Adopted daughter accuses Woody Allen of molestation

Woody Allen responded to the accusations in an open letter by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, published Saturday.
Woody Allen responded to the accusations in an open letter by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, published Saturday. (CHRISTOPHE ENA / AP)
Posted: February 05, 2014

Woody Allen, 78, on Sunday lashed out against allegations by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, 28, that the American film icon sexually molested her when she was 7 years old.

Allen was reacting to an open letter by Dylan published in Saturday's New York Times.

In explicit detail, the letter recounts several instances of alleged abuse.

"Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closetlike attic on the second floor of our house," Dylan writes of an alleged 1992 incident at the family's Connecticut home. "He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother's electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me."

Allen's publicist, Leslee Dart, said in a statement, "Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful."

Allen has said the allegations, first made more than two decades ago, were manufactured by his ex-lover and Dylan's adoptive mother, Mia Farrow.

"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," said Allen's lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz. "The one to blame for Dylan's distress is neither Dylan nor Woody."

Dylan is one of two children, including Moshe (or Moses, as he is called), whom Allen and Farrow adopted in the early '80s. The couple, who were together from 1980 to '92, also had a biological child, son Satchel (now known as Ronan Farrow).

Allegations that Allen had abused Dylan surfaced in 1992, when the couple broke up after it was discovered that Allen had been carrying on a sexual relationship with Farrow's then-19-year-old adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. (Allen and Soon-Yi wed in 1997.)

A team of experts from Yale-New Haven Hospital concluded at the time that there was no abuse, Dart noted.

Police also investigated but decided not to charge Allen. Litchfield County, Conn., state attorney Frank S. Maco said at the time that he believed there was "probable cause" to charge Allen but that he decided against it to save the young girl the trauma of a trial.

 Dylan told New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a longtime friend of Mia Farrow's, that she, Dylan, "has been traumatized for more than two decades by what took place" and was belatedly diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder last year.

Kristof said that when Dylan heard Allen was to be presented with a Golden Globe lifetime achievement award last month, "She curled up in a ball on her bed, crying hysterically."


tirdad@phillynews.com

215-854-2736

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