Many love Woody Allen for the many witty characters he has portrayed on screen or for the movies he has directed during his career. But his legacy in Hollywood is anything but pristine.
Allegations of abuse against his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow have followed the famed director for years. And a documentary that premiered last year brought the allegations to the forefront of the public once again.
“I was daddy’s girl,” said Dylan Farrow later said about her adoptive father Woody Allen. She described their relationship in detail, talking about how he was a “magnet” to her, and routinely showered her with “intense affection.”
But soon the closeness and affection began to recede. Everyone in the family started to notice that Dylan became withdrawn. She would lock herself in the bathroom anytime Allen was around so she could successfully avoid interacting with him.
The HBO documentary series, Allen v. Farrow was released last year. In the series, the entire case is revisited with Dylan Farrow being there to represent her own side of the story for the first time.
The news which shocked the world nearly thirty years ago is now being revisited. At the time when the alleged sexual abuse occurred, Dylan’s mother Mia Farrow was in a relationship with Woody Allen.
According to the Daily Mail, the couple had been together from 1979 until their split in 1992.
Mia Farrow was also in the documentary and shared her recollections. She shared that while Allen was loved the world over for his writing and directing, she knew his reality. She recalled times when he would have their daughter Dylan “in his bed with him in his underwear.”
“Sometimes he would also kneel in front of her or sit next to her and put his face in her lap which I caught a couple of times and I didn’t think that was right,” Mia Farrow added.
The main incident which the documentary focused mostly on occurred in the attic of Farrow’s Connecticut home in August 1992. It was when everyone in the house realized that Dylan and Allen had been missing for over 20 minutes.
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Later on, trying to figure out what had happened, Mia Farrow asked Dylan to recount what had happened. The 7-year-old girl was incredibly uneasy even talking about it.
Mia Farrow had the foresight to record her daughter’s answer as to where Woody Allen had taken her. She said, “He touched [my] privates and then he was breathing on my leg. And then, this [where I mean] he squeezed me too hard that I couldn’t breathe,” a 7-year-old Dylan says in the home video shot by Farrow.
The little girl is visibly disturbed by the incident she describes. She recounted what Allen told her, saying, “He said: ‘Don’t move I have to do this. If you stay still we can go to Paris… Because this way you could be in my movie, if I do this.'”
“I didn’t want him to do it, mama. I didn’t like it… I don’t want to talk about it,” the distressed child ends up saying.
As an adult, Dylan Farrow still feels the same way when she watches the tape. “I am that little girl on the tape. So… it’s a very vulnerable part of me, and a very… a very hurt part of me. There’s a lot of… That little girl is in a lot of pain,” she says.
Mia Farrow tried several times to get Allen to confess to the abuse on phone calls she was secretly recording but always failed. In 1992, she ended her relationship with Allen and accused him of sexual assault.
This was after she had also discovered sexually explicit pictures of her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn at Allen’s home. Farrow had adopted Soon-Yi with her ex-husband, Andre Previn. It is believed that Allen might have been having an affair with her since she was in high school.
Allen was 34 years older than Previn. And in 1997, he tied the knot with her. The two of them are still together.
Since the allegations were first leveled against Allen, he has repeatedly denied them. He even went as far as claiming that Farrow had coached 7-year-old Dylan to make those accusations against him, simply because she had been jealous of his relationship with her other daughter Soon-Yi.
However, directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering also spoke to independent child abuse experts and lawmakers while making the documentary series and asked them whether they believed Dylan had been coached. They revealed their opinion and said they do not believe her behavior in the video had been influenced by anyone.
However, Allen has always maintained his innocence. He also defended himself in his memoir Apropos of Nothing saying “I never laid a finger on Dylan, never did anything to her that could be even misconstrued as abusing her; it was a total fabrication from start to finish, every subatomic particle of it.”
This is such a heartbreaking story. We are wishing the Farrow family the very best as they are still healing from this ordeal.