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Woody Allen’s Adopted Daughter Dylan Farrow Details Account of Alleged Sexual Abuse

Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen’s adopted daughter, has given a detailed account of the 1992 alleged sexual abuse by the director.

Farrow made the child molestation allegations in a first person account published in The New York Times.

Woody Allen declined to comment to the Times.

The letter was published Saturday on the Times website as part of Nicholas D. Kristof’s blog. Kristof has also written an op-ed column about the allegations, noting that Allen recently received a lifetime achievement award at the Jan. 13 Golden Globes.

Allen’s screenplay for “Blue Jasmine” is one of the five original screenplays nominated for a Writers Guild Award and an Oscar this year. Spike Jonze’s screenplay for “Her” won at the WGA Awards on Saturday evening with simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.

When the charges first arose in 1992, Allen was accused of touching the then-7-year-old inappropriately. Allen responded by asserting that the his ex-girlfriend Mia Farrow had made the allegations out of anger over his affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Farrow Previn.

Prosecutors decided not to pursue charges.

Mia Farrow was awarded custody of the couple’s three children in 1993 by a judge who denied Allen visitation rights with Dylan Farrow.

Allen has never been convicted of child abuse.

Dylan Farrow, who is now 28, said that the assault took place in the attic of her home. “He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set,” she said. “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 also claims in her open letter that she was profoundly impacted by the alleged assault. “That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up,” she said in the letter. “I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself.”

“That torment was made worse by Hollywood,” Farrow said. “All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, ‘who can say what happened,’ to pretend that nothing was wrong. 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.”

Kristof noted in his op-ed that Allen’s defenders say he denies the allegations, has never been convicted and should be presumed innocent.

“People weighed in on all sides, but one person who hasn’t been heard out is Dylan Farrow, 28, the writer and artist whom Allen was accused of molesting,” he said. “Dylan, Allen’s adopted daughter who is now married and living in Florida under a different name, tells me that she has been traumatized for more than two decades by what took place; last year, she was belatedly diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She says that when
she heard of the Golden Globe award being given to Allen she curled up in a ball on her bed, crying hysterically.”

Kristof questioned the wisdom of giving Allen a lifetime achievement award.

“Look, none of us can be certain what happened,” he said. “The standard to send someone to prison is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but shouldn’t the standard to honor someone be that they are unimpeachably, well, honorable?  Yet the Golden Globes sided with Allen, in effect accusing Dylan either of lying or of not mattering. That’s the message that celebrities in film, music and sports too often send to abuse victims.”

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