Photo: BEImages/Matt Baron.
It has been one grueling, emotional ride this week. Last Saturday, Dylan Farrow published a heartbreaking open letter in the New York Times detailing the abuse that she recalls at the hands of her father, Woody Allen. The week that has followed has been an intense one, for Allen fans and non-Allen fans alike, filled with deep, soul-searching think pieces and real essays about the victims, and painful after-effects, of sexual abuse. No matter what side of the conversation one might fall, it is clear that this entire discussion is rooted in pain, and hopefully these dialogues around abuse won't cease when this dies out of the media spotlight.
Tonight, Friday, while the rest of the world has eyes on Russia, Allen has released his own personal letter, through the lens of New York Times as well. In it, he gives his own account of the now-infamous day in Connecticut and explains his own personal torment. (Though, it should be noted, that while his byline reads "Woody Allen," the piece refers to him as Mr. Allen, throughout.) Below is an excerpt:
"NOW it’s 21 years later and Dylan has come forward with the accusations that the Yale experts investigated and found false. Plus a few little added creative flourishes that seem to have magically appeared during our 21-year estrangement.
Not that I doubt Dylan hasn’t 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? Is it any wonder the experts at Yale had picked up the maternal coaching aspect 21 years ago? Even the venue where the fabricated molestation was supposed to have taken place was poorly chosen but interesting. Mia chose the attic of her country house, a place she should have realized I’d never go to because it is a tiny, cramped, enclosed spot where one can hardly stand up and I’m a major claustrophobe. The one or two times she asked me to come in there to look at something, I did, but quickly had to run out. Undoubtedly the attic idea came to her from the Dory Previn song, “With My Daddy in the Attic.” It was on the same record as the song Dory Previn had written about Mia’s betraying their friendship by insidiously stealing her husband, André, “Beware of Young Girls.” One must ask, did Dylan even write the letter or was it at least guided by her mother? Does the letter really benefit Dylan or does it simply advance her mother’s shabby agenda? That is to hurt me with a smear. There is even a lame attempt to do professional damage by trying to involve movie stars, which smells a lot more like Mia than Dylan.
After all, if speaking out was really a necessity for Dylan, she had already spoken out months earlier in Vanity Fair. Here I quote Moses Farrow again: 'Knowing that my mother often used us as pawns, I cannot trust anything that is said or written from anyone in the family.' Finally, does Mia herself really even believe I molested her daughter? Common sense must ask: Would a mother who thought her 7-year-old daughter was sexually abused by a molester (a pretty horrific crime), give consent for a film clip of her to be used to honor the molester at the Golden Globes?
Of course, I did not molest Dylan. 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. Being taught to hate your father and made to believe he molested you has already taken a psychological toll on this lovely young woman, and Soon-Yi and I are both hoping that one day she will understand who has really made her a victim and reconnect with us, as Moses has, in a loving, productive way."
This painful situation continues to unfold. Read the rest at the New York Times.