Dylan Farrow Accuses Woody Allen in Open Letter To The New York Times

I believe Dylan 100%. I have always believed her, and her mother, Mia Farrow. For this reason, I have never watched one of Woody Allen’s films. I hope he does not have the audacity to show up to the Oscars, and if he wins, I hope he gets booed off the stage.

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Sadly, the Hollywood crowd will undoubtedly clap for him, if not give him a standing ovation. I would be shocked if they shunned him. Famous actors and actresses tend to support each other in their crimes, and to embrace those in the film industry who have committed rape or child sexual abuse.

I support Dylan and applaud her for publicly exposing this movie giant for who he is.

Dylan is taking a huge risk in going public with these allegations because Woody Allen is so well-liked in the film business.

Dylan is setting herself up for name-calling, labeling, and for being called a liar. She could experience extreme backlash from Woody Allen lovers.

But she is also opening the door for other children and adults, who might have been sexually violated by this man, or by other child sexual abusers.

Fifteen years ago I exposed my father’s crimes to my biological family. I was called ugly names, ostracized, condemned, betrayed, threatened, and one of my sisters refuses to admit I even exist.

I would do it again in a minute. It was the most liberating thing I have ever done, and no amount of ugliness from my biological family, or shunning, will ever trump the feeling of having taken my power back.

I will never be a lie to myself again. Truth is infinitely more important to me than being accepted and “loved” by my biological family.

I would rather be alone than be in a room with a group of people who want to live a lie.

Dylan, you are awesome.

Dylan Farrow

Dylan Farrow

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. 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.

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.

After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the “child victim.” Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. 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. That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, “who can say what happened,” to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face – on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television – I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.

Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. But this time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.

Today, I consider myself lucky. I am happily married. I have the support of my amazing brothers and sisters. I have a mother who found within herself a well of fortitude that saved us from the chaos a predator brought into our home.

But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.

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? ~Dylan Farrow

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kristof.blogs.nytimes.com
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22 Responses to Dylan Farrow Accuses Woody Allen in Open Letter To The New York Times

  1. Kevin F says:

    Yes. Another shocking case of child sexual assault. It’s Woody Allen this time but let’s not forget the wider issue of the film/television/entertainment industry’s reputation for widespread child sexual assault. This applies to all children – boys and girls – and was highlighted by Corey Feldman in his biography in 2013 and also in books like The Casting Couch (Selwyn Ford, 1990),
    Molestation and sexual assault for children and young people has been widely regarded as part of their process of employment and promotion. This goes back to the very beginning of the film industry and doesn’t just include girls like Marilyn Monroe; Ford details many cases where mothers deliberately brought their daughters in for ‘couch’ interviews with directors and movie stars.

    Also, Mia Farrow is interesting. I have no idea how she could live in a small apartment with Woody Allen and their children and be ‘unaware’ that her daughters were being sexually assaulted. Remember that Mia got her big break in the 1960s in ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, a film directed by Roman Polanski, the only Hollywood director I know of who was ever convicted of sexually assaulting a child. Maybe because of his Polish background, he wasn’t a Hollywood insider and could be prosecuted and ‘made an example of’. But as we know he did not spend one day in jail for his crimes. Based on Mia’s career past and the fact that she actually married Woody Allen, I wouldn’t be surprised if she has childhood secrets. But of course that’s just my wild speculation.

    I think people who read this website would abhor Woody Allen and side with Dylan and her allegations. But don’t forget it’s a bigger issue than one man. It’s similar in some ways to the Jimmy Saville case, where one pedophile was (rightly) publicly reviled and castigated, but all the very rich and famous people he associated with for decades were never followed up or investigated (again, just wild speculation on my part).

    • melissa lee says:

      Kevin, I believe from my own story and that of many of my clients that, incest is the norm, and very few go untouched by it…. Melissa

      • Kevin F says:

        You’re right, Melissa Lee.
        I think a lot of us survivors grew up realising that many adults were violent, two faced and lied about lots of things. So, it’s hardly surprising.
        For decades, the media denied and covered up all this and anyone who made or supported any kind of allegations was marginalised, ridiculed and called a ‘conspiracy theorist’ or something similar. But today, we have a conservative establishment media organisation (Fox News) admitting and reporting child abuse in Hollywood – see
        http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/10/30/experts-pedophiles-in-hollywood-even-bigger-problem-than-in-corey-feldmans-day/ .
        Of course, one swallow doesn’t make a Summer, but it may be possible that an admission/discussion of this in the most right wing of establishment media may signal some kind of change in the official attitude.
        Another possibility, of course, is that those in charge may sacrifice/scapegoat Woody Allen as they did Michael Jackson for years (the industry ‘go-to’ person, as it were, for child abuse allegations) and say something like ‘We’ve dealt with him; therefore we’ve dealt with child abuse’. Of course, nothing will be further from the truth.

    • Jess says:

      Kevin,

      I completely agree with you.

  2. KJ says:

    Dylan is so brave coming forward and in such a public way. It’s scary how many people are supporting him and immediately labelling Dylan as a liar, especially when the man has a proven record of inappropriate relationships with young women. Has anyone seen this article?: http://www.tmz.com/2014/02/05/woody-allen-12-year-old-sex-interview-pedophile/ (and here’s a link to the article it was referencing: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20066950,00.html)
    It is the comments of so-called intelligent people such as Barbara Walters that lead to so many victims keeping silent on their abuse. Something is seriously wrong with people when they feel it necessary to attack the victim. Thank you Dylan for speaking out.

  3. shanakd9 says:

    I hate to say it but nothing surprises me anymore, disgusts, repulses and outrages me but it doesn’t surprise me. I got the same crap from my family, My brother knew we were molested and so did my sons and nephews, did anyone speak up? NO! Not only that but my brother reneged. I feel bad for Mia. She sure was involved with some sickos!

  4. Little Nel says:

    Did anyone see the report that Mia’s son, has now changed sides?

    He is blaming Mia now, saying she turned him against Woody, but I’ll bet Woody gave him lots of financial motivation, either money or a job.

    As for Soon-Yi, she is in all probability, getting the same treatment from Woody to look the other way while Woody privately coddles their adopted girls. All that eye candy should help to keep his attention focused at home. I wonder if he has promised his little girls stardom. Is he busy taking promotional photos like the ones he took of Soon-Yi in the nude? They are not his biological issue and that’s a plus for a man like him.

  5. Little Nel says:

    I think what amazes me the most is the fact the NY Times made this letter known to the public.

    Has Woody Allen’s power base started to erode because of Dylan’s courage?

    She named Woody’s defenders and called them out of their denial. She has a strong motive for doing so as they contributed to her anguish. Who gangs up publicly against a seven year-old frail child who claims a movie giant assaulted her? Those that make their living off of a man like that and don’t want to loose him. Protecting Woody is better financially than protecting Dylan Farrow.

    Once again, the motive is the fear of financial loss and job security.

    • Stacy says:

      I was thinking of linking this before I read your comment Little Nel. Now I feel I have to share the link. No wonder so many feel hopeless. :(
      http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-news/burning-question–why-are-so-many-actors-willing-to-work-with-woody-allen-002535369.html

      • Jess says:

        Completely disgusting. But doing what is right and doing what is brave is often unpopular. I have never and will never watch a film made by a monster, because his talent is marred by his crime.

      • Little Nel says:

        Alec Baldwin doesn’t think that the movie industry should be interested in Woody’s family problems? The sexual assault of a seven year-old is criminal, but Woody wasn’t persecuted or convicted, so no crime was committed. It’s back to work.
        One TV show is asking viewers to vote. Is Woody or Dylan telling the truth? Like it’s all a just entertainment or publicity stunt to get media coverage.

        Woody, you are guilty and evil.

    • Alethea says:

      I agree 100% LN, and when neighbors and church friends rally behind the accused and gang up against a child, it’s usually out of social self-protection. They like the accused, they admire them…or the accused has been nice to them, so they choose to deny the charges. Actually, in Woody’s case, it was probably both social and financial.

  6. Stacy says:

    POWERFUL!!! Thank you for sharing her words.

  7. DJuanan Flowers says:

    Oddly enough, or, maybe not so odd…As I read this I can hear, in the other room, Fox News talking about this very subject, Allen, Dylan …. statute of limitations…a quote from her brother, “…her words speak for themselves.” I am grateful to her.

  8. mary says:

    The horrific thing is that some judge has allowed Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi to adopt these two young girls even after the child molestation allegations:

    http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Bechet+Dumaine+Allen/Woody+Allen+Soon+Yi+Daughters+Beverly+Wilshire/D9C1sB3EL5T

    Look at these pictures. Look at the looks on these girls faces. Look at their body language. This is not the portrait of a healthy parental-child relationship. There is something seriously wrong here, you can clearly see it in the terror and bags under the girls’ eyes. Someone needs to save those girls!!!!!!!!!!!! This is not right!!!!! Any actor or actress or endorses or defends Woody Allen, I will completely boycott and shut out. They are in essence, supporting an evil pedophile/child molestor.

  9. Gempen says:

    I received a text today from someone close to me and was distraught by the words I read. “The groundhog is a creep. So is Woody Allen although he’s a genius. Think the daughter is telling the truth?” I was disgusted. Being a survivor of childhood sex abuse is something that removes your innocence of being a child. These perpetrators condition false information into developing minds and it takes a long time to realize the wrong that was done. Woody Allen should be banned, punished and sent to jail. Dylan should be applauded for being brave and speaking out. Statue of limitations are cruel. It’s hard to speak up after being told to keep quiet for so long. Hopefully the laws will change soon.

  10. shanakd9s says:

    I have not watched any Woody Allen movies either, for the very same reason. When he molested and raped his stepdaughter and married her, I was sickened and appalled that he wasn’t ostracized then. I applaud you Dylan and I am so very very sorry for your pain. I can’t imagine how hard it has to be for you with having him being famous and up for an oscar. That turns my stomach. You are a survivor. I am glad that you have the support of your mother and family. I didn’t have any family support from my family of origin. So I am happy for you. You are a very wise, and courageous woman. God bless you, you will give others the courage to stand up and tell the truth, in spite of those who continue to protect abusers.

  11. melissa lee says:

    Yeah, Dylan……….. xoxo Melissa Lee

  12. Jess says:

    I have always known he was a pedophile. Ever since he and the relationship with his adopted daughter came out. That kind of sickness starts off early you don’t just suddenly sleep with your daughter when she’s grown that kind of grooming starts early.

  13. Little Nel says:

    Oh, how profound, Dylan Farrow! Your letter is revealing and credible. You are amazingly courageous.
    Yes, I believe you, Dylan. I feel nausea when I think about Woody Allen. He is an evil man who masquerades as a benign entity.

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