Dylan Farrow pens open letter accusing Woody Allen of sexual abuse

Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Woody Allen, has accused the director of sexual assault when she was 7 years old.

Farrow made the allegations in an open letter published in Nicholas Kristof's New York Times blog.

They are the same allegations made by Mia Farrow in a bitter custody case in 1991. At that time, Allen, who was not married to Farrow, had begun a sexual relationship with Farrow's 19 year old adopted daughter Soon-Yi.

The allegations resurfaced following Allen's Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes. Mia Farrow sent out some accusatory tweets, which has now been followed up by Dylan Farrow's horrific description of her abuse at the hands of Woody Allen.

Farrow recounts the sexual assault but makes it clear there were other instances of abuse as well:

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.

And yes, there are still friends and colleagues of Allen who will defend him to the last. Robert Weide, who produced a documentary for PBS about Allen, rushed to the ramparts in his defense:

I know I'm treading a delicate path here, and opening myself up to accusations of "blaming the victim." However, I'm merely floating scenarios to consider, and you can think what you will. But if Mia's account is true, it means that in the middle of custody and support negotiations, during which Woody needed to be on his best behavior, in a house belonging to his furious ex-girlfriend, and filled with people seething mad at him, Woody, who is a well-known claustrophobic, decided this would be the ideal time and place to take his daughter into an attic and molest her, quickly, before a house full of children and nannies noticed they were both missing.

Even people who give Woody the benefit of the doubt and defend him on the internet are often confused on a few points. Some mistakenly say that the court found him "not guilty" of the molestation charges. The fact is there was never such a ruling because he was never charged with a crime, since investigative authorities never found credible evidence to support Mia's (and Dylan's) claim.

It's hard to claim that Dylan Farrow imagined the abuse and assault given the psychological damage she describes.  The question is, given the allegations, should the Academy of Motion Picture Artists proceed with their ceremony honoring Allen with a lifetime achievement award at next month's Oscars?

The film industry sells lies - we call them fairy tales, drama, comedy, sci-fi, etc. They also sell celebrity, which is also selling lies only without the redeeming value associated with "art." More often than not, denizens of Hollywood refuse to separate fantasy from reality and are perfectly capable of embracing the most disgusting people because they can make you money, or advance your career, or get you invited to the best parties and premiers.

Woody Allen is a money tree. His films rarely lose at the box office. His name on a film is as good as gold. Hypocrisy in Hollywood is far more about the green than it is anything else, so Allen will get a pass and no doubt still collect his Academy Award for lifetime achievement.

Like Roman Polanski, who raped a 13 year old girl and eventually got away with it after he fled the US before sentencing, industry big shots will come to Allen's defense. Dylan Farrow will be called a liar and worse, and any thought that Allen will suffer any consequences for his abusing his adopted daughter will disappear.

Dylan Farrow closed her open letter by accusing some famous people of ignoring her abuse:

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?

So goes hypocritical Hollywood where, as long as you can make other people money, your place is secured.

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