The New York Times today provided space to embattled writer/director Woody Allen in order to respond to the allegations of child abuse which were leveled against him by his daughter, Dylan Farrow, in an open letter published on Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times blog last week.
Allen had requested equal time from the Times’s editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, who acknowledged, “They asked and we said, ‘Yes, send it in.”
In the Sunday Review opinion page, Allen addressed the twenty-one year old accusations by stating that he had believed they “would be dismissed out of hand” and that they are the result of a “terribly acrimonious breakup” between himself and Dylan’s mother, actress Mia Farrow.
“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.” Allen wrote. “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 has been accused by Dylan Farrow of sexually abusing her at age seven when, as she wrote, “he took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me.”
In 1993 Allen was investigated but never charged with any crime after the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital concluded “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.” Additionally doctors could find no physical signs of abuse.
The 78 year-old director has maintained that this incident never happened.
Allen writes that he understands that Dylan believes that she was molested: “Not that I doubt Dylan hasn’t come to believe she’s been molested, but if from the age of 7 a vulnerable child is taught by a strong mother to hate her father because he is a monster who abused her, is it so inconceivable that after many years of this indoctrination the image of me Mia wanted to establish had taken root?”
Dylan Farrow responded to Allen’s piece in the New York Times, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “Once again, Woody Allen is attacking me and my family in an effort to discredit and silence me – but nothing he says or writes can change the truth. For 20 years, I have never wavered in describing what he did to me. I will carry the memories of surviving these experiences for the rest of my life. “
The 21 year-old accusations of sexual abuse were recently rekindled after Allen received a lifetime achievement award from the Golden Globes.
[Woody Allen attends the ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger’ via Shutterstock]