New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s newly minted defense lawyer once said actress Mia Farrow “implanted” her daughter Dylan’s allegation of sexual assault against her adopted father Woody Allen. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that defense attorney Elkan Abramowitz would be retained by Cuomo, as he faces investigations into his handling of the state’s nursing homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic and claims he sexually harassed two aides. Abramowitz, however, has a history representing those accused of sexual abuse, representing Allen after Dylan Farrow went public in 2014 with her allegations that the actor-director had molested her as a 7-year-old. Allen has denied these allegations, and has not faced criminal charges. “The idea that (Dylan) was molested was implanted by her mother, and that memory is never going to go away,” Abramowitz said. Both Dylan and Mia Farrow have denied these allegations, and the prosecutor who declined to charge Allen said there was no evidence that Farrow had been coached. Abramowitz also represented disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, according to The New York Times, and is a longtime friend and former donor to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
Cuomo is accused of unwanted sexual advances towards two female aides, Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett. On Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her office had officially received a referral from Cuomo to investigate the allegations, and would be hiring an outside law firm to do so. Bennett is retaining defense lawyer Debra Katz, who represented Dr. Christine Blasey Ford after she accused now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, the Times reported Monday. In a statement provided to The Daily Beast, Katz wrote that Bennett “will cooperate fully with Attorney General’s investigation.”