Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Woody Allen and his then-partner actress Mia Farrow, wrote an open letter claiming that the iconic filmmaker sexually assaulted her when she was 7.
Her letter was posted Saturday on a New York Times blog, as NYT journalist Nicholas Kristof contacted Dylan through his friendship with Mia and her son Ronan Farrow.
Even though Allen has never been convicted of any wrongdoing in the case and remand innocence under the law, Kristof decided to publish the letter, saying it’s important for “the world to hear Dylan’s story in her own words.”
The 28-year-old Dylan was adopted by Farrow and Allen in 1987 when she was 2. And five year later, when she was 7, she writes that Allen led her by the hand to a room in their house where “he told me to lie on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me.”
“He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies,” Farrow wrote.
Farrow also said Allen would have her get in bed with him, and at other times “place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out.”
“For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like,” said Farrow. “These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal.”
Now happily married, Farrow says she struggled with guilt and mistrust issues, an eating disorder, and cutting herself as a result of the abuse. “That torment was made worse by Hollywood,” she writes.
“Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face — on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television — I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart. … For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away.”
Farrow’s brother, Ronan, revisited the allegations against Allen when the director was given a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes last month. “Missed the Woody Allen tribute – did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?” he tweeted.
Representatives for Allen and his former partner Mia Farrow didn’t return requests for comment from The Associated Press. The Times reported that Allen declined to comment. He has long maintained his innocence.
It is the first time Dylan Farrow has spoken publicly about the unproven allegations of abuse which emerged more than two decades ago in the aftermath of Allen’s acrimonious split with Mia Farrow in 1992.
The 78-year-old director, who split with Mia Farrow after starting a relationship with the actress’s adopted daughter from a previous marriage, Soon-Yi Previn, has always vigorously denied abusing Dylan Farrow.
In the year 0f 1994, a New York judge custody battle between Allen and Farrow ruled that the abuse allegations were inconclusive, but at the same time lambasted the director as “self-absorbed, untrustworthy and insensitive,” reports the AFP.
Despite the shocking news, critics accused Dylan Farrow that she times her accusations on purpose, so as to ruin her former adoptive father’s chances of winning an Oscar for his highly – praised film “Blue Jasmine”. The letter was published as Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” has garnered critical acclaim, including three Academy Award nominations, best original screenplay.
As the Daily Mail writes, Woody Allen cannot be prosecuted on child molestation charges as the statute of limitations on accusations by Dylan Farrow has passed. The Connecticut prosecutor who investigated Allen more than 20 years ago in the case but did not file charges says it’s now too late.