Photo: REX USA/Stewart Cook.
Speaking through his lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, Woody Allen has responded to Dylan Farrow's allegations of abuse. Farrow's open letter, published on Nicholas Kristof's blog on The New York Times' website last Saturday, detailed the scenario in which she claims her adoptive father led her into the attic, asked her to lie on the floor, and then sexually assaulted her. Though his publicist commented shortly after the letter was published, today Abramowitz appeared on the Today show to convey Allen's response:
"His reaction is one of overwhelming sadness because of what has happened to Dylan. She was a pawn in a huge fight between him and Mia Farrow years ago, and the idea that she was molested was implanted in her by her mother. That memory is never going to go away. So, the fact that she says this now, that it happened 20 years ago, is totally understandable."
When host Savannah Guthrie questioned his allegation of coaching on Mia Farrow's part, citing custody judge Acting Justice Elliott Wilk's assessment that there had been "no credible evidence of coaching," Abramowitz answered, "The custody judge is not the most important factor here." He followed up with the findings from the Yale-New Haven Hospital investigation (one of several teams who examined and interviewed Dylan), which found that there were inconsistencies in the child's story and her re-telling had "a rehearsed quality," eventually reporting that the team did not believe Dylan had been abused. On the other hand, Dr. John M. Leventhal, head of the Yale-New Haven team, did also acknowledge that, "We don't have firm evidence that Miss Farrow coached or directed Dylan to say this."
When asked about the findings of the custody judge who denied Allen's visitation rights due to behavior that he deemed "grossly inappropriate," Abramowitz replied plainly that he believed the judge was wrong. "The judge favored Mia Farrow for a variety of reasons. I think a lot of the confusion about the case relates to the way the relationship with Soon-Yi evolved."
Guthrie concluded the interview by asking if Abramowitz had an opinion as to why Dylan spoke out, to which he replied, "I think it's a continuation of Mia Farrow's desire to hurt Woody Allen."
Allen's response via Abramowitz was in line with what the media anticipated, and it is important to note that neither he nor Dylan have changed their stances since the accusations first came to light in 1993.