What You Should Know About the Abuse Allegations Against Woody Allen

Last night at the Golden Globes, the legendary director and writer Woody Allen was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. Everyone applauded–except for Allen's former family. "[D]id they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?" Allen's son Ronan Farrow wondered sarcastically.

Ronan wasn't the only one. Although the onscreen montage of his work was nice enough, the real excitement was on Twitter. As soon as the clips started airing, Allen's ex-partner Mia Farrow let everyone know she was checking out:

Why do Ronan and Mia Farrow hate Woody Allen? What molestation charges is Ronan talking about? This is what you need to know about the allegations against Woody Allen.

Mia Farrow and Woody Allen used to be together...

By the time they got together in the eighties, Farrow had already been married twice, to Frank Sinatra and André Previn. With Previn she had several children, three of them biological and three adopted, including a daughter from Korea named Soon-Yi. And although she never married Allen, she did adopt two more kids with him, Moses and Dylan. Ronan is the one biological child to come from their relationship.

...until Allen left Farrow for one of her daughters.

In the early nineties, Farrow found some pictures in Allen's apartment–including nude photos featuring none other than her 19-year-old daughter Soon-Yi. Allen was not only her de facto stepfather, but also 56 years old at the time. In a family interview with Vanity Fair, one of Farrow's sons by Previn said of the incident:

It turned our world upside down. It was nothing you would wish on anyone... To my siblings and me, you thought of [Allen] as another dad. It can disrupt your foundation in the world. It resets the parameters of what is possible.

Allen soon left Farrow. He has been with Soon-Yi ever since, marrying her in 1997. They have adopted two children together.

In 1992, another daughter accused Allen of sexually assaulting her when she was seven.

In 1992, when Dylan was seven years old, she told Farrow that Allen had molested her while they were alone in the attic. A rigorously reported Vanity Fair article from that year details Dylan's story:

According to her account, she and Daddy went to the attic (not really an attic, just a small crawl space off the closet of Mia's bedroom where the children play), and Daddy told her that if she stayed very still he would put her in his movie and take her to Paris. He touched her "private part." Dylan said she told him, "It hurts. I'm just a little kid." Then she told Mia, "Kids have to do what grown-ups say."

Although Allen denied the charges, there was an extensive investigation. He and Farrow split up. Dylan, who now has a different name, says she still has a "crippling" fear of even seeing pictures of Allen.

A judge found the allegations to be "inconclusive."

During custody proceedings , a team of therapists held that the sexual abuse didn't take place—but the presiding judge said he found the evidence inconclusive, and felt that their report had been "sanitized" and "colored by their loyalty to Mr. Allen."

Last year, Dylan spoke publicly about Allen for the first time.

"There's a lot I don't remember, but what happened in the attic I remember. I remember what I was wearing and what I wasn't wearing," she says in the article, a follow up by the author of the original 1992 piece, Maureen Orth. "The things making me uncomfortable were making me think I was a bad kid, because I didn't want to do what my elder told me to do."

Allen has tried to get back in her good graces.

Dylan says she's avoided Allen ever since. But in the Vanity Fair interview, she says he did try to contact her twice by mail. The second time, a large envelope with a stranger's return address arrived in her college mailbox. Although she says she "should have recognized the handwriting," Dylan opened the envelope. It was full of pictures of her with Allen and accompanied by a note that read:

"I thought you'd want some pictures of us, and I want you to know that I still think of you as my daughter, and my daughters think of you as their sister. Soon-Yi misses you."

It was signed "Your father."

He has always denied, and continues to deny, the allegations...

"The one thing I have been guilty of," Allen told reporters in 1992, "is falling in love with Miss Farrow's adult daughter at the end of our own years together and, painful as that might be, I and certainly the children do not deserve this form of retribution."

...and Ronan and Mia Farrow continue to press the case against him.

[image via AP]