Woody Allen’s Adopted Daughter Chronicles Sexual Abuse

We reported the twitter firestorm that erupted after film director, Woody Allen, was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes 3 weeks ago.

As actress Diane Keaton stepped up to the podium to accept the award on his behalf, Mia Farrow, who had dated the famed director before he took up with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn in a scandal that erupted in the early 90s  tweeted, “Time to grab some icecream & switch over to #GIRLS.”

Mia and Woody’s son, Ronan Farrow, was more pointed in his criticism, “Missed the Woody Allen tribute – did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?”

At the time of the scandal, Mia accused Woody of molesting their adopted 7 year old daughter, Dylan. The abuse came out in court, but the director was never convicted of a crime. In a November Vanity Fair profile, Dylan, now an adult and going by a different first name, corroborates the abuse.

Now, the young woman, 28 years old, is telling her story to the New York Times. Her 1st person account of what Woody did to her in the attic of her mother’s house, and the subsequent affect it had on her mentally and emotionally is chilling.

Dylan has changed her name, is married, and living in Florida. Via New York Times.

What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen 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. 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. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.

For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.

When I asked my mother if her dad did to her what Woody Allen did to me, I honestly did not know the answer. I also didn’t know the firestorm it would trigger. I didn’t know that my father would use his sexual relationship with my sister to cover up the abuse he inflicted on me. I didn’t know that he would accuse my mother of planting the abuse in my head and call her a liar for defending me. I didn’t know that I would be made to recount my story over and over again, to doctor after doctor, pushed to see if I’d admit I was lying as part of a legal battle I couldn’t possibly understand. At one point, my mother sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I was lying – that I could take it all back. I couldn’t. It was all true. But sexual abuse claims against the powerful stall more easily. There were experts willing to attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child.

After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the “child victim.” Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself. That torment was made worse by Hollywood. 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.

Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. But this time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.

Today, I consider myself lucky. I am happily married. I have the support of my amazing brothers and sisters. I have a mother who found within herself a well of fortitude that saved us from the chaos a predator brought into our home.

But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.

What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?

Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.

Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?

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  • JLE12

    That is heartbreaking. I am happy I have always hated Woody’s movies. Really makes me wonder how many more victims are out there. I realize the statute of limitations apply and he can’t be punished by law but I really hope the admiration and love fest Woody gets from Hollywood stops.

  • Niall

    Heartbreaking. And any small shred of doubt I may have had about Woody Allen’s guilt is gone. I believe her. 100%

  • breakdown

    I believe her too. I always have. The fact that he would marry his stepdaughter sealed the deal for me years ago. It was an unusual household that he sure didn’t fit into.

  • iluvai

    I couldn’t read her account of the abuse. I’m so sad for all children who have to suffer through something like this.

  • Pippygirl

    One thing I have no doubt of is that this young woman believes Woody Allen molested her.

    “So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by
    Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the
    mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.

    Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?”

    Absolutely horrifying.

  • Incipit

    Beyond the statute of limitations, I think she just wants to be heard…realistically, I don’t see where there is much else to expect. The people who like him will disbelieve – the people who do believe can’t do anything about it. And even if criminal charges had been pursued at the time, the results may have been no different. All very sad.

  • JLE12

    Yeah, I agree. I was a Guardian Ad Litem for CASA for years and I heard so many stories like this, as well as negligence and physical abuse, and the fighting that goes on with the parents (or families) who just are more concerned with who “wins” rather than the well being of the child it is unreal. So often that means the child’s voice gets lost and that just breaks my heart. I had to quit finally, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I think a lot about some of the kids I tried to help and really hope they are thriving now but reading things like this just reiterates how scarring and life changing this can be on a child. Like you said all very sad.

  • Porfivor Nixon

    That letter is a masterpiece in itself- it just said everything so perfectly, and with only a few paragraphs, each sentence is just filled with so much emotion and imagery- it’s not something you can easily forget

  • http://www.fatladysings.us/ TFLS

    I remember reading the judges decision during the custody case. That judge was convinced Allen had molested his daughter – though there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him – just the testimony of one frightened little girl. And she was his daughter, biological or not – as was Soon Yi. He started dating Mia Farrow when Soon Yi was 10. How was she supposed to view him? The whole thing just creeps me the hell out. I cannot watch any of Allen’s films w/o thinking about what he did. I really don’t know how anyone can work with the man.

  • abbysee

    I believe her too. The letter is haunting, and sad. I’m ashamed of the women that defend him. How could they not have one scintilla of doubt? And if you do, you can’t defend him.

  • Errick Loyola

    To be honest, I hate Woody Allen for what he did to this woman, and I really feel for her. But somehow, and I know this would be unpopular, I do not support the notion that we should all hate his work output just because of the horrible things he has done.

    I have never forgotten what he did to his daughters, and I think it is downright disgusting, but I also have not forgotten how his extraordinary screenplays helped me find my voice in writing. No one here can deny that he is a very talented writer/director. You see, to criticize those people who appreciate his movies is plain dictatorial and preachy to me. Calling against Cate Blanchett and Diane Keaton and all the other actors who love him is like he is saying that he does not deserve to have friends. Like hey, it is not that I am condoning sexual abuse here, but every person views every situation differently from another person, and we should respect that. Some condone men for their acts, but there are also others who just condone the act, and not the person.

    Just my two cents though.

  • BonnieDee

    And after marrying Soon Yi Previn, Allen adopted two more daughters with her. Those kids have grown up with him as their Dad, and I wonder if we will be hearing more horror stories from them someday.

  • Kirsten

    That is a very poignant and well-written essay. I hope that Dylan and other victims of abuse can find peace.

  • BonnieDee

    The point is he should be in jail for his crimes, not being celebrated at the Golden Globes or anywhere else. When someone abuses a child, that reprehensible act overshadows, or should overshadow anything else you have done. Who cares if he’s a good writer? He freaking abused a 7 year old. And I don’t think he deserves to have friends, except “friends” he meets in prison. This is the sexual abuse of a 7 year old and that trumps any other thing he may have done. This society we live in that celebrates so called artistic talent over almost anything else has to take some blame here. If he was Joe Schmo, he’d be in prison.

  • Dianne

    Think your autocorrect inserted condone where the word condemn was intended.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/AdorablyHooked Gwen

    Oh my goodness…. So sad. So heartbreaking. And, he goes on with his life, celebrated. I’ve never been a fan of Woody Allen or his work, but this is heartbreaking, all the same.

  • Not fit to print

    He should have faced justice. I feel very sorry for his daughter and for Cate Blanchett who gave the performance of a lifetime, which is now being couched in the context of these revelations.

    Nowadays the court case would have gone forward. There are more in-court protections for children giving testimony and we know that offenders must be stopped because they often repeat. The stakes are too high to leave it alone.

    But I care about good writing, too, and Woody is one of the best.

    It is what it is.

  • Indigobunting

    I understand what you are saying; no doubt he is talented.

    The problem is that he should be in jail and shouldn’t have been free to make more movies while an innocent has suffered greatly because of his actions. I’ve been the victim of very mild sexual abuse and believe me-if it would have been worse I can see how it would ruin/change/encompass your entire life. And your ‘father’?-indescribable. In addition, I’m sure it has been very hurtful for Mia and her daughter to have their former friends not believe them and support Woody (I can see supporting if he admitted and tried to atone for his actions).
    And of course….since he is not identified as a sexual predator what about his innocent adopted daughters and Soon Yi herself?
    Innocent until proven guilty-but sexual predators are very, very difficult to cure.

  • Corrine43180

    This is devastatingly sad. That poor girl.

  • Not fit to print

    I have no use for Woody Allen as a person but imho it was unwarranted to call out many of the people who have worked with him. They are probably just like us. Most of us were on the fence in this matter until Mia Farrow’s Vanity Fair interview. It was hard to know whether the charges were true or part of a really nasty custody battle. Until then, I had no idea, so I don’t see how anyone can hold someone like Cate Blanchett, who was living in Australia and the UK until after the trial, in any way accountable.

  • Axxxel

    So sad… I wonder how Woody Allen’s current wife feels about this. She is after all a sister of Dylan.

  • Errick Loyola

    Exactly my point. My fear in here is this would create a backlash against Cate Blanchett too, who gave the best performance of her career in ‘Blue Jasmine’, and who is the only one deserving to win the Oscar this year. It wasn’t right to call her out for working with him.

  • Axxxel

    Maybe he was like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde…

  • Kirsten

    My fear in here is this would create a backlash against Cate Blanchett too,

    Sometimes, when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

    Hollywood and the Oscars are very political.

    Cate chose to work with a director who she thought was brilliant on a movie with a script she thought was well-written. She would have to have lived in a box not to have known that he had been accused of abusing his daughter and the he did marry a young woman he had been a father figure for since she was 10. Sometimes when you take risks like that, they don’t pay off. She got a wonderful credit on her resume and got to work with her dream director. That’s all she was guaranteed. It’s not like she took the job before any of this was out in the open.

    I’m not going to worry about Cate (better actors than her got Oscar snubs for worse reasons). A very damaged woman wrote a very emotional and cathartic letter and perhaps that will help other victims to stop punishing themselves. And perhaps, some other people will call the abusers on their shit. Or at least stop praising them like they are the second comings.

    Cate is such a front-runner, she’ll probably win anyway.

  • Errick Loyola

    I agree. I don’t really think this essay would even affect Woody Allen’s career, same as how the issues surrounding Roman Polanski then did not stop him from being appreciated and even winning a well-deserved Oscar for ‘The Pianist’. Allen is not a young and upcoming auteur anymore, he is already very well established and revered in the profession.

    It is Cate Blanchett’s career which is going to take a hit from this. The timing of this letter couldn’t be anything but bad for her. She has been long presumed to be the deserving frontrunner for this year’s Oscar, and this goes out a few days before the voting starts. Now every Oscar member would be scared to vote for her. Sad, as she has nothing to do with this family issue.

  • perfectstorm

    That was 20 years ago. Woody Allen was never formally tried and found guility. A lot of actors have worked with him since. A lot have won Oscars. Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, CK Louis, Emma Stone, Scarlett Johanssen do not have a personal relationship with Woody Allen. I think it was wrong for Dylan Farrow to drag innocent people into her messed up family.

  • Guest

    Exactly. Though he probably is not innocent, technically he is. Why would these actors not

  • Kirsten

    I think it was wrong for Dylan Farrow to drag innocent people into her messed up family.

    I think that they would have been pulled in regardless if she had named them or not.

    If you take out the specific names in the piece, are people saying that Cate would have had a clear sailing to the Oscars? That nobody would have asked Cate what her opinion on the article was? That no reporter would have asked Cate how she felt working with Woody Allen given the new weight to the allegations?

    Are we saying that Dylan is wrong to write the piece? Are we saying that she should have studiously avoided writing the piece when it could have effected somebody else’s chance at winning a prize? Woody Allen works almost constantly, there is no open window for her to write her cathartic piece. She is the victim (regardless of whether you think Woody did what she says he did or Mia brainwashed her, Dylan is the victim) and she gets to write this piece on her time table.

    Personally, I’m more upset that Cate lost the Oscar because of Harry’s Grade A politicking for Gwyneth than I am for when a victim chooses to write her article.

  • weareallinnocent

    I totally agree with Kirsten, here. Yes, Dylan opened herself up to scrutiny when she wrote and published her piece. But, I don’t believe people get to judge whether what she said or how she said it is “right” or “wrong.” It was right for her. Whether you or I would have done it exactly the same way or at the same time or included the same information is impossible to say without experiencing the exact same things. (And, hopefully, that is not the case!) This is her grief.

  • Tess Herself

    It’s interesting that we (society in general) are not afraid of naming names when we feel that the perpetrator is being harmed (aka…everyone associated with Justin Bieber) but we become a bit more squeamish when it is the victim speaking out. For Ms Farrow, these people have (without intent or malice) added to what she considers the “illusion” of Woody Allen. Her mind set is that these people, along with working with Allen, are always “praising and honoring” him. Victims are prone to include society at-large and particular supporters of the prepetrator of adding to the myth or legend of someone they “know” isn’t all he is cracked up to be. Who can blame her for striking out at an industry who doesn’t seem to care about “who” a person is, just “what” the person is.

  • perfectstorm


    Here’s what Blanchett and Baldwin had to say.

    Are we saying that Dylan is wrong to write the piece

    You’re putting words in my mouth. My point – it’s ridiculous to hold everyone who has worked with Woody Allen in the last 20 yrs accountable for his actions – for something that is clearly a personal, family matter. These people are outsiders who had nothing more than a polite working relationship with him.

  • Heidijo123

    It appears since Woody was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award the stories & allegations are being recycled once again….
    Wash, rinse & repeat……

  • Leigh13

    Well, it’s an important question you raise–can you enjoy, respect, learn from and be inspired by art from a bad person. And there have been a ton of them–per this article from the New York Times.


  • upsidedawn

    I learned recently that a loved one of mine had been sexually abused in childhood. I know the perpetrator, and it makes me crazy that I treated him nicely over all the time since it must have happened (though I didn’t care for him), not having had the least hint about such abuse. He should have been held accountable through the justice system, but instead he lives unencumbered by any accusation or taint of wrongdoing.

    At least in this case, there’s been a clear public airing of grievances from the victim, even if Allen won’t suffer any legal repercussions. What boggles my mind more than a bit is that Mia Farrow counts herself as a friend to Roman Polanski, in spite of his history. Things are complicated for sure.

  • weareallinnocent

    While I understand the inclination to “protect” those outside the family, I am struck by the apparent need to blame the victim… for something. Here, to do so, we have to ignore that the victim experienced abuse at a very young age and still feels continually victimized as her abuser seems to be lauded as though nothing happened. And, then, we scold her for pulling “innocent people into her messed up family” as though she is somehow to blame for “her family” and should feel enough shame to keep it “in the family.”

    Seems to me this is exactly what Dylan has decided against — being shamed into remaining silent. I suspect she has done that for many years and has decided to refuse to continue doing it, both for her own sake and for others in similar “messed up families.” That, to me, is courageous and generous. And, I appreciate that both Blanchett and Baldwin see this for what it is and refuse to condemn Dylan.

  • Errick Loyola

    I agree, and that makes me really suspicious about everything, especially since it is Mia Farrow we are talking about here.

    I still find it funny how she publicly attacked the HFPA for awarding Woody the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, then the HFPA shames her by telling the press they even asked her beforehand if she will allow them to use a still of her in ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo’ in the video tribute, and she said yes.

    Everything about all this fiasco with this family has been taxing to digest. Really hard to decipher the truth. Questionable stuff, indeed.

  • Errick Loyola

    Thank you. That was a good read.

    “The reason that question — “Can bad people create good art?” — is misleading is that badness and goodness in this formulation don’t refer to the same thing. In the case of the artist, badness or goodness is a moral quality or judgment; in the case of his art goodness and badness are terms of aesthetic merit, to which morality does not apply.” — TRUTH

  • Kirsten

    I still find it funny how she publicly attacked the HFPA for awarding Woody the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award,

    When did she attack the HFPA? She watched the Globes and simply tweeted that she was going to watch ice cream and watch “Girls” during the segment that featured Woody. Even if he didn’t sexually abuse Dylan, one could hardly expect her to want to watch him being lauded after what happened with Soon-Yi.

    It was their son who slammed Woody.

  • Errick Loyola

    I think the others will agree that we are not ignoring the fact that Dylan may have been abused. But, why should it be okay for someone to do something wrong just because someone did something wrong to her? Point is, it was not right for her to drag Blanchett, Baldwin and the others in this story just because they’ve worked with her supposed victimizer.

    I actually laud her for coming forward, and I genuinely believe she did the right thing of making her side public. But, I would never support her decision to shame these actors who have nothing to do with this issue after all.

  • Kirsten

    You’re putting words in my mouth.

    I asked a question. I did not put words in your mouth. Putting words in your mouth would be stating that you said that. Asking for clarification on what some people were posting is not putting words in somebody’s mouth. It is the exact opposite.

    My point – it’s ridiculous to hold everyone who has worked with Woody
    Allen in the last 20 yrs accountable for his actions

    I’m sorry, but that is not always how Hollywood works. How well are Mel Gibson movies selling these days since his drunken, racist rants? Everybody who was in those movies, long before he went totally around the bend, is paying a price for what he eventually did.

    Leonardo DiCaprio is probably not going to win an Oscar this year because the movie he was in was seen as applauding the excesses of 90s Wall Street regardless of how good he actually was in the role and the number of times those involved in the movie say it was an indictment.

    Zero Dark Thirty failed to capitalize on early Oscar buzz because of controversy about torture in the movie. Did the torture make the acting and directing any less good? No, but it cost people awards. Did anybody actually get tortured in the making of the movie? No. But that didn’t matter.

    I’m not saying it’s fair. I’m saying that is how Hollywood works. All of those actors have been kicking around the industry long enough to know that.

    – for something
    that is clearly a personal, family matter.

    I do not personally consider child sexual abuse to be a personal, family matter.

  • Errick Loyola
  • Amy Beth

    I do have a favorite Woody Allen movie. A few actually. Growing up, his movies were a big part of my cultural zeitgeist.

    I’m not sure what Dylan Farrow wants to happen. If she is trying to get the industry to stop honoring Woody Allen going forward, all to the good.

    But that’s not what it sounds like from this letter. it sounds like she wants me to feel guilty about laughing at a funny movie that I saw before she was born. I enjoyed the movies back then and trying to make me feel like a co-conspirator for things that happened afterward just muddies the waters.

  • Kirsten

    Yes, but she actually tweeted harsher stuff than that.

    Ah, I did not see the follow-up tweets the following day backing up the tweets that Woody’s son made which started the initial controversy.

  • Kesia Monteith

    All I got to say about Alec Baldwin’s opinion is that he continues to sound like a royal dickhead. LOL

  • BonnieDee

    I think she wants all of us to know the truth about the man, that’s all.

  • Not fit to print

    If you take the specific names out of the piece I, for one, wouldn’t have made any comments in support of the people who have worked with Woody. I believe Dylan and am glad she finally found the courage to stand up and speak about her abuser.

  • weareallinnocent

    Which brings me back to my point in a previous post. Who are we to judge her approach to grieving as wrong? For the sake of argument, even if it is “wrong” per se, I don’t think we can come close to equating her alleged “wrong” to the wrong that was done to her. Not even close.

  • Corrine43180

    The fact that many people consider child sexual abuse to be a personal family matter is what keeps so many pedophiles from the punishments they deserve and keeps the victim feeling as if they did something wrong and exposing what happened is shameful and wrong. It is a crime, period.

  • Stooch

    Why should it not be relevant in regards to the actors who have worked with Allen. They wanna hitch their wagons to good part of Woody (his talent) to help their careers. Sorry my friend, soon as you go there you also associate yourself with the bad with Allen. I personally would not work with someone with this exact type of cloud hanging over them no matter what it did for my career. If the actors want the accolades which come with working with Woody like awards, then in the court of public opinion they should have to comment and state their feelings about the situation.

  • Porfivor Nixon

    Yeah, but I don’t think that’s the whole story. There was a documentary on Woody about ten years ago and Mia refused to sign off on any clips or anything to use and she got a lot of flak for that, for some reason, so who knows why she later stopped doing that- maybe she felt she didn’t want it to become the issue, there could be multiple reasons so what you say is slanted without all the information about it. Nice try, though.

  • Leigh13
  • Damien Roberts

    I agree with you to an extent, but the differences are so small that I won’t get into that. Look at Michael Jackson for instance, in the last 10-20 years there is a very great chance that he was guilty of some of the things he did, but people still love his music. Shouldn’t the same dissonance be available for Woody Allen? Acknowledging that he is a talented director doesn’t mean people think that what he did was acceptable, it just means that people are able to compartmentalize the difference between the man and his work. I also agree that calling out actors and actresses who have worked with him wasn’t necessarily the right move on her part.

    All that said, I am lucky enough to have never been sexually assaulted, let alone at a young age. So I can’t judge her for feeling this way, if what she is saying is true, she has every right to hate the guy.

  • Stooch

    I got to the part of the article where the author says Malone (Dylan) “stands behind her mothers allegations” that told me all I needed to know about the authors perspective on the matter. These things happened to Dylan and they are her allegations and trying to past them off as the ravings of a jilted lover is disgusting. This guy seems to have an ax to grind with Mia and the fact he barely discuss Dylan and her thoughts but rather makes it about Mia, well whatever the guys a hack. I especially like the part where he calls Mia a cheater and implies that Ronan is actually Frank Sinatra’s son……..great slam job lol

  • Errick Loyola

    Exactly my thoughts. There are people who can separate a man from his work, and there are those who cannot. It is as simple as that.

  • nncw

    I think that it is sad if she was unable to find justice if she was abused. If he committed this rape of a minor who also happened to be part of his family then he should be behind bars. To marry your adopted daughter is totally wrong as well. Perhaps it is in very poor taste to honor anyone who is so dishonorable. Just the fact that you are rich, talented, gifted doesn’t excuse acting immorally.

  • Darko_5

    It s OK to have a favorite WA movie god knows he is talented and has created many masterpieces. But for me going forward I will not go to any more of his movies and I will judge those actors and actress who continue to accept roles from him. Because IMO to continue to do so does make us co-conspirators weather we are watching or acting in his films.

  • weareallinnocent

    It’s pretty much human nature and the media norm that these things fade until something thrusts the issue back into the spotlight. This time it was honoring him again, which appears to have been the catalyst for Dylan to break her silence. No surprise, no conspiracy, and imo, certainly no reason to diminish the significance of Dylan’s statement.

  • weareallinnocent

    Simple? Respectfully, there is nothing simple about this. One could interpret your comment to mean, if you’re big — or something — enough to see past his personal indiscretions or pedophile proclivities, you can appreciate his work. That doesn’t sound simple to me at all.

  • Happyhexer

    Actually, there WAS enough evidence to convict. Usually is just the child’s word against the alleged abuser. There rarely is physically evidence, especially when the abuse involves touching. If the jury believes the child’s testimony, that can be enough to convict.

    Occasionally, a child lies — often at the behest of a parent trying to use abuse allegations as a bargaining chip in a divorce or custody case, etc. That makes it all the harder for those children who really are abused. I can’t know, but I suspect that the lying or false recovered memories (where the accuser believes his or her allegations) cases are rare in
    proportion to the overall abuse cases. Or at least I’d like to think

    Once Mia knew her daughter Dylan was safe from visitation by
    Woody, she likely decided the risk of prosecution was too great. Woody could afford to hire the best attorney possible, who could have cross-examined Dylan mercilessly (although at a risk of offending the jury). And can you imagine how Dylan (or any child who actually was abused) would feel if a jury brought back an acquittal?

    But FYI, many states have extended statutes of limitations for child sex abuse. In my state, the statute provides:

    “A prosecution for any of the following felonies may be commenced within six years after the commission of the crime or, if the victim at the time of the crime was under 18 years of age, anytime before the victim attains 30 years of age or within 12 years after the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or the Department of Human Services, whichever occurs first:” — then lists various crimes such as rape, sodomy,
    and sexual abuse.

    FWIW, Dylan’s account rings true to me. She describes grooming behavior, then the actual abuse. And the things she
    claims Woody said to her are in line with what abusers often say to their victims (praising the victim, impressing upon them that it is “their secret,” offering rewards, etc.).

  • Happyhexer

    Bravo, BonnieDee. And you are 100% correct. If Woody was Joe Schmo, who would have been prosecuted. The decision to prosecute is made by the state, not the victim’s parent. (Although the parent can make prosecution difficult if he or she fails to cooperate.)

  • Happyhexer

    They are public figures. Dylan is asking them whether a man’s talent as a writer and director outweighs sex abuse allegations leveled against him by a child. What if the allegations HAD come from their child? How would they feel then? Would they still try to separate the actions from the person?

  • Happyhexer

    “I do not personally consider child sexual abuse to be a personal, family matter.”

    Bingo, Kirsten. We are taking about a crime, and therefore it is a societal matter.

  • Guest

    Woody Allen and Soonyi have 2 adopted daughters. Sexual abuse is a cycle and I am concerned they are victims as well.

  • http://www.fatladysings.us/ TFLS

    I believe her too. I was raped at age 15 by my best friends older brother. He ‘groomed’ me as well – so well no one really believed me. So I know how that goes. My friend coped with it by ending our friendship. Her brother was going to an Ivy League college, destined for ‘big things’ – just like the rash of star athletes (college and pro) who feel entitled; who believe no one will hold them to account. No one wants to accept that the ‘golden boy’ is in actuality a predator. So yes, I believe Dylan’s account. Just as I believe no one will hold Allen responsible. It will be naught but a footnote to his career – like Polanski. Sad, I know – but too true.

  • Happyhexer

    I am very sorry to hear about what happened to you, TFLS. I wish I could say it is a rare occurrence, but it happens more frequently than any of us would like to believe. I hope you have found supportive people to surround you and gotten any help you might need. And that you are happy, successful, healthy, and whole. For your own sake, but also because that would be akin to a finger in the eye of your abuser.

    I never experienced anything like what you or Dylan did, and I count myself lucky. (I did, however, have an uncle by marriage who made me uncomfortable when I was a little girl, and I avoided him. He and my aunt never were able to have children, so it could have just been that he liked kids. My cousins — who were in a much better position to be abused, if something like that was going to happen — have never said anything, so I’m guessing that nothing did happen. Sometimes there’s a fine line, and I don’t want to be suspicious of every man who likes kids.)

    I do have several friends who were abused — one by her brother and another by a neighbor man. Also, the nature of my job is such that I encounter child sex abuse cases with regularity, (although I don’t deal with any of the actors directly). I do know that abusers are most commonly family members, friends of the family, or neighbors. (Which makes sense in a warped way, as those are the people most likely to have access to the child.) Lastly, it is pretty common for grooming behavior to precede the offense. (I note that you understand what I mean by “grooming” without having to define it.)

  • http://www.fatladysings.us/ TFLS

    I came from an abusive family. My attacker knew that. He knew there was no one who cared what happened. I would not be surprised if I wasn’t the first; nor was I likely the last girl he raped. There are far too many predators wandering loose in our society. If you are white, rich and privileged – you can get away with anything. As for me – I began having serious flashback problems when I turned thirty.
    There were other incidents relating to my family situation that were, quite frankly, much worse. It took two years intensive therapy to cope. And as with anything traumatic….it is and always will be a work in progress.

    I believe my attacker targeted me because I was ‘at risk’. I can’t help but posit whether Allen
    targeted Dylan for similar reasons. Propinquity coupled with Allen’s belief in his own godhood. She was there, she was in his control. I saw him interviewed once on 60 minutes. The
    interviewer wanted to talk about the recent birth of Allen’s biological son….but once the interviewer mentioned he knew some people who didn’t like Allen’s films – that’s all Allen would talk about. Himself. He couldn’t even name all of Mia Farrows children, fer chrissake Completely self-absorbed. I hated him. Just for that interview. And I had liked his films up until that point. But he gave off a vibe…….Definitely not a good man.

  • Happyhexer

    I likely am not saying a thing you don’t already know, but . . . I do not doubt for a minute that you were targeted. That, too, is common. Abusers identify children that they think “won’t tell,” for various reasons (shyness, low self-esteem, etc.), or who are unlikely to be believed (often because they come from chaotic homes, etc.). And it isn’t surprising that your recovery is “a work in progress.” Trauma can actually reshape the wiring of one’s brain. I never was sexually abused but I was physically abused by my sister, and to this day I tend to have a hyper-vigilant startle reflex. My coworkers have noticed . . .

  • Happyhexer

    (P.S.) Regardless of my own beliefs, I can at least understand when people point to the fact that Woody Allen was never charged with or convicted of any crime. But how the heck do they conveniently ignore the fact that Roman Polanski PLEADED GUILTY to several sex crimes and absconded from justice before he could be sentenced? Yes, I understand there have been allegations of legal improprieties, but that is what appellate courts are for. There is just no excuse.

  • jobeob987

    I have conflicting feelings on this whole sad affair. First of all, I strongly believe Dylan. I believe her family believes this. I believe she believes this with every fiber of her being. Secondly, Woody Allen’s actions don’t speak well of him whether we’re talking about his relationship with Soon-Yi and their adopted daughters (which makes me ill, btw) or the fact that several of his movies adopted the same theme (older men having relationships with teen girls). Ew! I knew there was a reason I never cared for Woody Allen. He always gave me a serious creep factor.

    Having said all that, if I were asked if he were absolutely guilty, I couldn’t say yes since nothing was ever proven in a court of law and since I wasn’t there to witness the abuse. The way Dylan tells her story is very familiar with the stories of other victims. It rings true. It’s just that as an American, I’ve been conditioned to believe “innocent until proven guilty” so I have a difficult time saying Allen is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I wish Dylan could take him to court. Does anyone know if the statute of limitations on this sort of thing has expired?

  • http://www.fatladysings.us/ TFLS

    Interesting, isn’t it, how childhood trauma can permanently affect your life? My brother terrorized me, and to this day I cannot abide anyone comming up behind me. My husband learned that the hard way when he touched my back in the shower before I was aware he was there. I spun around and punched him. It was a startle reflex. I was protecting myself. He understood…and always remembered thereafter to let me know he was entering my space. I am also rabid when it comes to intervening anytime I see abuse of any living creature. So I guess you could say Dylan’s story affects me greatly.

  • LA944

    I found it a very interesting take on it. I did read the whole thing. None of us know what happened–but it is possible that Woody innocent of the molestation charges. And it does clear up some other misconceptions about his relationship with Mia (I always thought they were married) –Soon Yi’s age when his romantic relationship started with her and quite a few other things.

  • Damien Roberts

    I don’t think its simple and in many ways I don’t feel great about it, but just because he is likely a bad person doesn’t make him untalented.

  • Jae

    Crimes against children and women are often under reported. And under prosecuted. Our so society doesn’t like to deal with them. I have little doubt that Woody Allen is guilty. It is a fact that he had an inappropriate relationship with Soon Yi when she was a kid. That fact doesn’t change because he married her. I want to see how many of his supporters would allow their little girls to have a sleep over with his at his home or allow him to baby sit.

  • Jae

    The distance of time doesn’t make an action less reprehensible. I see nothing wrong with calling out people who laud praise and public acclaim on a man who would seduce his daughter into a sexual relationship and who likely molested another.

  • Miz

    Yes, the statute of limitations has expired.

  • Miz

    For clarification, Soon Yi was not his adopted daughter. She was Mia’s.

  • Not fit to print

    I believe that the statute of limitations has run out, which is why Dylan is taking it to the court of public opinion.

    As you say, most of us rely on the courts to tell us who is guilty/not guilty. In the absence of a verdict, a lot of people revert to “innocent until proven guilty”. IMHO, unless a person is within the circle of family or close friends, it is hard to have enough possession of the facts to say definitively that so-and-so is at fault. So most people step back and say “not my business” to judge either way.

    Watching the over-confident supporters of opposite points of view on CNN last night made my stomach roil. I had to turn the channel. A lot of gossipy talking heads are hoping to build high media profiles over this. Going after Woody, going after Mia – the rhetoric can’t hide how hard this is going to be for Dylan and the rest of her family.

    In that context, I much prefer agnostics to firm believers on either side of this tragedy.

    ETA: I did not watch the O J Simpson trial and I am not watching this

  • Miz

    He was taking pornographic photos of Soon Yi when she was underage to ‘help her get modeling jobs’. How twisted is that?

  • Not fit to print

    I agree about the distance of time. Roman Polanski’s request to return to the US used the fact that the victim was “over it”. Not relevant at all.

  • Dianne

    I watched Piers Morgan and the pro Woody people were horrendous. They and others of like mind in the print media are saying that it’s all a big publicity stunt to help propel Ronan Farrow’s media career. That is absolutely ridiculous. Barbara Walters also made a fool out of herself gushing over what a great dad Woody is with his and Soon Yi’s adopted daughters as if that proves anything. There is really nothing Dylan can do to clear up this situation, even if she could go to court it would be difficult to prove, but maybe speaking out was something she needed to do to help move her life forward. That’s something.

  • jobeob987

    Ugh, that’s so disgusting and so Hollywood. I guess is all comes down to money. As long as Woody is making movies that make money, then it’s easy to overlook his “peccadillos.”

  • Not fit to print

    Speaking out can be empowering. I doubt it will ever be enough, though.

    The focus on Mia and Ronan as the prime movers in this matter is actually very demeaning to Dylan because it ignores her – the very person who is asking for acknowledgement of the wrongs done to her. She is bearing testimony in the only way open to her and is, again, being treated as a basketball in a very nasty game.