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:
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?