The actress Mira Sorvino, who starred in Woody Allen’s movie Mighty Aphrodite, has issued a lengthy public apology to the director’s adopted daughter Dylan for initially not believing her allegations of abuse against her father.
In an open letter published by The Huffington Post, Sorvino says she now believes that Allen did indeed abuse Farrow, following conversations with Dylan’s brother Ronan Farrow, the journalist who was key to helping expose Harvey Weinstein via a series of meticulous allegations in a lengthy article for The New Yorker. That story included Sorvino’s own claim that Weinstein “started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around.”
In recent months, Dylan Farrow has renewed her efforts to have the entertainment industry address her claims against her father. She recently called out Justin Timberlake’s public support for the Time’s Up anti-sexual-harassment initiative as hypocritical, given his public declaration in November that “working with Woody Allen was like a dream come true.”
Farrow told BuzzFeed: “People who join this movement without taking any kind of personal accountability for the ways in which their own words and decisions have helped to perpetuate the culture they are fighting against, that’s hard for me to reconcile… I struggle with how a powerful force like Justin Timberlake can claim to be in awe of the strength of women and stand with them at this #MeToo moment and then in the next breath say that working with Woody Allen is a ‘dream come true.’”
In the open letter, Sorvino characterizes herself at the time of Mighty Aphrodite as “a naive young actress” who “swallowed the media’s portrayal of your abuse allegations against your father as an outgrowth of a twisted custody battle between Mia Farrow and him.”
Sorvino said that while she “never personally experienced what has now been described as inappropriate behavior toward young girls… this does not excuse my turning a blind eye to your story simply because I wanted desperately for it not to be so.
“It is difficult to sever ties and denounce your heroes, your benefactors, whom you fondly admired and felt a debt of gratitude toward for your entire career’s existence. To decide, although they may be fantastically talented and helped you enormously, that you believe they have done things for which there can be no excuse. But that is where we stand today.”
Farrow, who is the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and was later also adopted by Allen when they were a couple, has claimed that Allen took her into an attic in her mother’s Connecticut home in 1993 and molested her, and then employed highly paid lawyers and publicists to challenge her credibility and silence her over the ensuing decades.
Sorvino declares in her letter that she will never work with the 82-year old director again, mirroring a stance taken by the director Greta Gerwig in a new interview.
The Lady Bird writer and director, spoke about working with Allen in a New York Times op-ed Q&A with columnist Frank Bruni.
When Bruni asked Gerwig and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin if accused Hollywood figures such as Kevin Spacey, Roman Polanski or Allen would ever work again, Gerwig focused her answer on Allen, with whom she worked on 2012’s To Rome With Love.
“I would like to speak specifically to the Woody Allen question, which I have been asked about a couple of times recently, as I worked for him on a film that came out in 2012,” Gerwig began.
“I can only speak for myself and what I’ve come to is this: If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film. I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him.”
“Dylan Farrow’s two different pieces made me realize that I increased another woman’s pain, and I was heartbroken by that realization,” Gerwig told Bruni. “I grew up on his movies, and they have informed me as an artist, and I cannot change that fact now, but I can make different decisions moving forward.”
Allen has always denied the molestation allegations against Dylan and has never been charged.