Friday night, the New York Times published Woody Allen's response to his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow's open letter, in which she detailed her sexual assault allegations against Allen. In the response, Allen denied abusing Farrow, blaming the ordeal on the fallout from his "acrimonious breakup" with her mother, Mia.
I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn't molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was. Common sense would prevail. After all, I was a 56-year-old man who had never before (or after) been accused of child molestation. I had been going out with Mia for 12 years and never in that time did she ever suggest to me anything resembling misconduct. Now, suddenly, when I had driven up to her house in Connecticut one afternoon to visit the kids for a few hours, when I would be on my raging adversary's home turf, with half a dozen people present, when I was in the blissful early stages of a happy new relationship with the woman I'd go on to marry — that I would pick this moment in time to embark on a career as a child molester should seem to the most skeptical mind highly unlikely. The sheer illogic of such a crazy scenario seemed to me dispositive.
Allen wrote that Dylan told the first doctor who examined her that she had not been molested by her father, but changed her story after Mia took her out for ice cream. He also claims he passed a lie detector test and was cleared by the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital.
This group of impartial, experienced men and women whom the district attorney looked to for guidance as to whether to prosecute, spent months doing a meticulous investigation, interviewing everyone concerned, and checking every piece of evidence. Finally they wrote their conclusion which I quote here: "It is our expert opinion that Dylan was not sexually abused by Mr. Allen. Further, we believe that Dylan's statements on videotape and her statements to us during our evaluation do not refer to actual events that occurred to her on August 4th, 1992... In developing our opinion we considered three hypotheses to explain Dylan's statements. First, that Dylan's statements were true and that Mr. Allen had sexually abused her; second, that Dylan's statements were not true but were made up by an emotionally vulnerable child who was caught up in a disturbed family and who was responding to the stresses in the family; and third, that Dylan was coached or influenced by her mother, Ms. Farrow. While we can conclude that Dylan was not sexually abused, we can not be definite about whether the second formulation by itself or the third formulation by itself is true. We believe that it is more likely that a combination of these two formulations best explains Dylan's allegations of sexual abuse."
Allen addressed the rumors that Frank Sinatra was Ronan Farrow's father, saying Mia Farrow's admission that it was a possibility calls into question her "integrity and honesty." And, further attacking Farrow, he said that the location of the alleged assault—an attic—was inspired by a song by Dory Previn, whose husband Allen said Farrow stole.
He also questioned whether Dylan wrote her open letter.
One must ask, did Dylan even write the letter or was it at least guided by her mother? Does the letter really benefit Dylan or does it simply advance her mother's shabby agenda? That is to hurt me with a smear. There is even a lame attempt to do professional damage by trying to involve movie stars, which smells a lot more like Mia than Dylan.
Finally, he again denied molesting Dylan and said he hoped that she will someday "reconnect" with Soon-Yi and himself. He ended with this:
No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing. (This piece will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments on it by any party. Enough people have been hurt.)
[New York Times/Image via AP]