Firing Back

Dylan Farrow’s Point-By-Point Response to Woody Allen’s New York Times Op-Ed

In a New York Times op-ed, Woody Allen finally responded to his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow’s allegations of sexual abuse. Now, Dylan Farrow has fired back at Allen’s self-defense.

Ron Galella/Getty

On Friday evening at approximately 9 p.m. ET, filmmaker Woody Allen published a lengthy op-ed in the Opinion section of The New York Times defending himself against allegations of child sexual abuse levied by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. Just a few hours after Allen’s defense went online, Dylan Farrow responded to it in a letter posted to The Hollywood Reporter.

Dylan wrote, “Once again, Woody Allen is attacking me and my family in an effort to discredit and silence me—but nothing he says or writes can change the truth. For 20 years, I have never wavered in describing what he did to me. I will carry the memories of surviving these experiences for the rest of my life.”

She called Allen’s op-ed a “rehash of the same legalese, distortions, and outright lies,” and provided a point-by-point rebuttal to Allen’s piece, repeating many of the claims made in Maureen Orth’s Vanity Fair piece which posted on Friday evening just prior to Allen’s, entitled, “10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation.”

Farrow had published an open letter on Feb. 1 on Nicholas Kristof’s On the Ground blog on the Times website claiming a cycle of sexual abuse at the hands of Allen, her adoptive parent along with his then-partner, Mia Farrow. “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,” Dylan wrote. “He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.”

She also alleged that Allen had acted inappropriately for as long as she could remember, including that he “would stick his thumb in my mouth,” that he’d make her “get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear,” and that “he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out.” It’s a heartbreaking letter, and led to an outpour of emotion from the media and public alike.

Allen responded with his own letter that attempted to refute Dylan’s claims. The filmmaker accuses his former partner, Mia Farrow, of “indoctrinating” Dylan with that idea that he had molested her.

“I did not molest Dylan,” wrote Allen. “I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being.”

Allen claims that his former partner, Mia Farrow, was so enraged after discovering he’d been in a relationship with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, when she was in her early 20s, that Farrow turned Dylan against him. He believes that Dylan has “come to believe she’s been molested, but if from the age of 7 a vulnerable child is taught by a strong mother to hate her father because he is a monster who abused her, is it so inconceivable that after many years of this indoctrination the image of me Mia wanted to establish had taken root?”

The acclaimed comedian also quoted the findings of the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital, who investigated the case. “It is our expert opinion that Dylan was not sexually abused by Mr. Allen. Further, we believe that Dylan’s statements on videotape and her statements to us during our evaluation do not refer to actual events that occurred to her on August 4th, 1992.”

These investigators, Allen claims, came to the conclusion that it was “more likely” that Dylan’s memories of abuse came from either “an emotionally vulnerable child who was caught up in a disturbed family and who was responding to the stresses in the family” and/or that she’d been “coached or influenced by her mother, Mia Farrow.”

Here are Dylan’s claims in The Hollywood Reporter rebuttal:

--A pediatrician, not Mia Farrow, reported the abuse incident to police based on Dylan’s firsthand account.

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--Court documents support her claim that Allen was in treatment for what his therapist described as “inappropriate” behavior towards her since 1991.

--Allen refused to take a lie detector test administered by the state police, instead hiring someone to administer their own lie detector test on him, which was deemed inadmissible as evidence by authorities.

Dylan claims that the “only final ruling in this case” came courtesy of the New York Supreme Court in 1992, that, “in denying my father all access to [Dylan],” claimed:

--The experts that Allen says exonerated him were “colored by their loyalty to Mr. Allen,” were guilty of “destroying all supporting documentation,” and ruled that their conclusions were “sanitized and therefore less credible.”

--Babysitters testified to witnessing “inappropriate sexual behavior by my father toward me.”

--They found “no credible evidence” to support the claim that Mia Farrow coached Dylan or “acted upon a desire for revenge against him for seducing Soon-Yi.”

--Their findings proved “that Mr. Allen’s behavior toward Dylan was grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her.”

--That the Connecticut State prosecutor found “probably cause” to prosecute Allen, but didn’t in order to shield “the child victim.”

Dylan ended her letter to THR with a plea to Allen to stop his “vicious attacks” against her. “I won’t let the truth be buried and I won’t be silenced,” she wrote.