The adopted daughter of Woody Allen, in an open letter posted online Saturday by The New York Times, recounted her allegation that she was sexually assaulted by the film director.
Billed as the first time Dylan Farrow has publicly written about her allegation that she was assaulted in 1992 at age 7, the letter was released the same day as the Writers Guild Awards — where Allen has been nominated for best screenplay for “Blue Jasmine.”
“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,” said the letter posted on Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s blog.
“He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me.”
The letter was published as Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” has garnered critical acclaim, including three Academy Award nominations, best original screenplay.
Allen’s representatives did not respond Saturday to a CNN request for comment.
In 1992, in the wake of an affair between Allen and Soon-Yi Previn — Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter with composer Andre Previn — Farrow accused the filmmaker of molesting Dylan. About a week later, Allen filed for custody of his three children with Farrow — Moses and Dylan, who were adopted, and Satchel, their biological son, who now goes by Ronan Farrow.
“A team of investigators from Yale-New Haven Hospital that was retained by the Connecticut State Police subsequently concluded Dylan had not been abused,” according to an account in the Times, which covered the custody proceedings.
Acting Justice Elliott Wilk of State Supreme Court “said it was unlikely that Mr. Allen could be prosecuted for sexual abuse based on the evidence,” the newspaper reported. “But while a team of experts concluded that Dylan was not abused, the judge said he found the evidence inconclusive.”
But the scandal permanently damaged Allen’s image — that of a neurotic but amusing schlub with a talent for slapstick and witty one-liners. He denied the Dylan accusations and said his relationship with Farrow, which had been painted storybook colors by the press, was not actually all that strong.
He did marry Soon-Yi Previn in 1997, and after the marriage came a slightly more public Woody Allen. The couple were the focus of a 1997 Barbara Kopple documentary, “Wild Man Blues,” which portrayed a generally happy pair. Allen was also the subject of a 2011 Robert Weide film, “Woody Allen: A Documentary,” which briskly addressed Farrow’s allegations from Allen’s point of view.
However, the scandal has always been near the surface, and the open letter in The New York Times is one of number of instances in recent months where the allegation has been raised.
In a November Vanity Fair article, Allen was condemned by Mia Farrow’s children, especially Dylan.
Last month, as Allen was honored with a lifetime achievement award during the Golden Globes, Ronan Farrow, now estranged from his father, took to Twitter and referenced the allegation: “Missed the Woody Allen tribute — did they put the part where a woman public confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?”
And now comes the open letter, where Dylan Farrow recounts not only the alleged abuse, but what she says happened to her in the aftermath.
“Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up,” she wrote. “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.”
She also admonished some of Hollywood’s biggest names, mostly women, for “turning a blind eye” and continuing to work with Allen.