Saturday 24 February 2018

Woody Allen hits back at ‘disgraceful’ Dylan Farrow sex abuse allegations

Director and actor Woody Allen at the French premiere of Blue Jasmine in Paris (AP)
Director and actor Woody Allen at the French premiere of Blue Jasmine in Paris (AP)

Woody Allen has spoken out against what he calls the “untrue and disgraceful” claims from his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow that he sexually abused her as a child.

Referring to an open letter renewing the allegations that appeared in the New York Times on Saturday, the director’s publicist Leslee Dart said: “Mr Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful.”

Dylan Farrow has claimed that in 1992 Allen took her up to the “dim, closet-like attic” of their home in Connecticut, told her to lie on her stomach and play with her brother’s train set, and then sexually assaulted her.

In response to the claims resurfacing this weekend, Ms Dart said “a thorough investigation was conducted by court-appointed independent experts” at the time.

“The experts concluded there was no credible evidence of molestation; that Dylan Farrow had an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality; and that Dylan Farrow had likely been coached by her mother Mia Farrow,” Ms Dart said.

Allen's lawyer Elkan Abramowitz has also now respondend, saying: “It is tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces after it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities. The one to blame for Dylan's distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen.”

No charges were ever brought following the 1992 investigation, and Ms Farrow’s open letter has not led to renewed legal action.

Ms Farrow, who is now married and living under a different name in Florida, was provoked into resurrecting her claims after Allen was celebrated with the lifetime achievement award bestowed by the Golden Globes last month and the three Oscar nominations for his latest release, Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett.

“I was thinking, if I don’t speak out, I’ll regret it on my death bed,” Ms Farrow writes, describing years of torment including eating disorders and self-harm.  “That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up.  I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls.”

The actors Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin, named in Ms Farrow’s letter as among those who have worked with Allen in the past 20 years, have responded to the question: “What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? … Or you, Scarlett Johansson?”

Baldwin said: “You are mistaken if you think there is a place for me, or any outsider, in this family's issue.”

Blanchett told reporters she hoped the family could find some “resolution” to “a long and painful situation”.

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