10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation.

10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation

This week, a number of commentators have published articles containing incorrect and irresponsible claims regarding the allegation of Woody Allen’s having sexually abused his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. As the author of two lengthy, heavily researched and thoroughly fact-checked articles that deal with that allegation—the first published in 1992, when Dylan was seven, and the second last fall, when she was 28—I feel obliged to set the record straight. As such, I have compiled the following list of undeniable facts:

1.   Mia never went to the police about the allegation of sexual abuse. Her lawyer told her on August 5, 1992, to take the seven-year-old Dylan to a pediatrician, who was bound by law to report Dylan’s story of sexual violation to law enforcement and did so on August 6.

2.   Allen had been in therapy for alleged inappropriate behavior toward Dylan with a child psychologist before the abuse allegation was presented to the authorities or made publicMia Farrow had instructed her babysitters that Allen was never to be left alone with Dylan.

3.   Allen refused to take a polygraph administered by the Connecticut state police.Instead, he took one from someone hired by his legal team. The Connecticut state police refused to accept the test as evidence. The state attorney, Frank Maco, says that Mia was never asked to take a lie-detector test during the investigation.

4.   Allen subsequently lost four exhaustive court battles—a lawsuit, a disciplinary charge against the prosecutor, and two appeals—and was made to pay more than $1 million in Mia’s legal fees. Judge Elliott Wilk, the presiding judge in Allen’s custody suit against Farrow, concluded that there is “no credible evidence to support Mr. Allen’s contention that Ms. Farrow coached Dylan or that Ms. Farrow acted upon a desire for revenge against him for seducing Soon-Yi.”

5.   In his 33-page decision, Judge Wilk found that Mr. Allen’s behavior toward Dylan was “grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her.”The judge also recounts Farrow’s misgivings regarding Allen’s behavior toward Dylan from the time she was between two and three years old. According to the judge’s decision, Farrow told Allen, “You look at her [Dylan] in a sexual way. You fondled her . . . You don’t give her any breathing room. You look at her when she’s naked.”

6.   Dylan’s claim of abuse was consistent with the testimony of three adults who were present that day. On the day of the alleged assault, a babysitter of a friend told police and gave sworn testimony that Allen and Dylan went missing for 15 or 20 minutes, while she was at the house. Another babysitter told police and also swore in court that on that same day, she saw Allen with his head on Dylan’s lap facing her body, while Dylan sat on a couch “staring vacantly in the direction of a television set.” A French tutor for the family told police and testified that that day she found Dylan was not wearing underpants under her sundress. The first babysitter also testified she did not tell Farrow that Allen and Dylan had gone missing until afterDylan made her statements. These sworn accounts contradict Moses Farrow’s recollection of that day in People magazine.

7.   The Yale-New Haven Hospital Child Sex Abuse Clinic’s finding that Dylan had not been sexually molested, cited repeatedly by Allen’s attorneys, was not accepted as reliable by Judge Wilk, or by the Connecticut state prosecutor who originally commissioned them. The state prosecutor, Frank Maco, engaged the Yale-New Haven team to determine whether Dylan would be able to perceive facts correctly and be able to repeat her story on the witness stand. The panel consisted of two social workers and a pediatrician, Dr. John Leventhal, who signed off on the report but who never saw Dylan or Mia Farrow. No psychologists or psychiatrists were on the panel. The social workers never testified; the hospital team only presented a sworn deposition by Dr. Leventhal, who did not examine Dylan.

All the notes from the report were destroyed. Her confidentiality was then violated, and Allen held a news conference on the steps of Yale University to announce the results of the case. The report concluded Dylan had trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. (For example, she had told them there were “dead heads” in the attic and called sunset “the magic hour.” In fact, Mia kept wigs from her movies on styrofoam blocks in a trunk in the attic.) The doctor subsequently backed down from his contention.

The Connecticut state police, the state attorney, and Judge Wilk all had serious reservations about the report’s reliability.

8.   Allen changed his story about the attic where the abuse allegedly took place. First, Allen told investigators he had never been in the attic where the alleged abuse took place. After his hair was found on a painting in the attic, he admitted that he might have stuck his head in once or twice. A top investigator concluded that his account was not credible.

9.   The state attorney, Maco, said publicly he did have probable cause to press charges against Allen but declined, due to the fragility of the “child victim.” Maco told me that he refused to put Dylan through an exhausting trial, and without her on the stand, he could not prosecute Allen.

10.   I am not a longtime friend of Mia Farrow’s, and I did not make any deal with her. I have been personally accused of helping my “long-time friend” Mia Farrow place the story that ran in Vanity Fair’s November 2013 issue as part of an effort to help launch Ronan Farrow’s media career. I have also been accused of agreeing to some type of deal with Mia Farrow guaranteeing that the sexual-abuse allegation against Woody Allen would be revisited. For the record, I met Mia Farrow for the first time in 2003, more than 10 years after the first piece was published, at a nonfiction play she appeared in for a benefit in Washington, D.C. I saw her and Dylan again the next day. That is the last time I saw her until I approached her in April 2013 to do a story about her family and how they had fared over the years. I talked to eight of her children, including Dylan and a reluctant Ronan. There was no deal of any kind. Moses Farrow declined to be interviewed for the 2013 piece.

Read: The scathing 33-page decision from the presiding judge in Woody Allen’s 1992 custody suit against Mia Farrow.

Ethical Concerns Hit Oscar Races: Woody Allen and Christian film.

Ethical Concerns Hit Oscar Races

By MICHAEL CIEPLYFEB. 2, 2014

Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin, right, directed by Woody Allen, center, in “Blue Jasmine.” Sony Pictures Classics

LOS ANGELES — Next week, about 6,000 Oscar voters will start casting ballots for their favorite films of 2013 and those who made them.

Will they make moral judgments as well as artistic ones with their votes?

That question and others erupted this weekend as a controversy emerged involving people and movies in the annual film awards race.

An open letter by Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen’s adopted daughter, was published on Sunday in the column and blog of Nicholas Kristof, the columnist for The New York Times. In the letter, Ms. Farrow presented graphic details in her account of sexual abuse as a child by Mr. Allen.

Ms. Farrow challenged actors like Cate Blanchett and Diane Keaton to justify their decisions to work with him, as both have, or to celebrate him, as Ms. Keaton did at the Golden Globes in January, when Mr. Allen received a lifetime achievement award.

Her torment, Ms. Farrow wrote, “was made worse by Hollywood,” adding that “all but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye.”

The letter suggests a callous indifference by film professionals now celebrating their accomplishments in a series of ceremonies leading up to the March 2 Academy Awards. And it lands as Mr. Allen’s film “Blue Jasmine”enters the Oscar balloting that begins Friday. He is nominated for best original screenplay, and Ms. Blanchett, the film’s star, figures on many lists as the favorite for best actress honors.

The abuse claims go back to 1993, when Ms. Farrow’s mother, Mia Farrow, fought with Mr. Allen over custody of three children, including Dylan. Last fall, Dylan Farrow spoke in detail about her claims of abuse in an interview in Vanity Fair. Mr. Allen, who was never charged with criminal wrongdoing, has denied the accusations, a position his lawyer repeated on Sunday.

In a separate blowup, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, on Saturday issued an emphatic defense of its decision to rescind a nomination for the song “Alone Yet Not Alone,” from a small, religious movie of the same title.

The Academy had been accused in a letter from an earlier Oscar winner, Gerald Molen, of opening itself to charges of bigotry against Christians, but insisted that the nomination was revoked only because the song’s co-writer, Bruce Broughton, had abused his position as a committee member by emailing voters with a notice about his song.

Together, the two controversies are this year’s contribution to an emerging insistence by many who watch the Oscar process, and some who participate in it, that Academy members should take into account moral, ethical and social factors when marking a ballot or enforcing the rules.

A year ago, “Zero Dark Thirty,” about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, was sharply criticized by public officials and some Academy members who believed that the film advocated the use of torture, or falsely suggested that harsh interrogation had led to Bin Laden’s discovery.

The actor Martin Sheen, a prominent Academy member, was linked to a drive against the film’s portrayal of torture, then publicly disclaimed the effort. The film had five nominations, including one for best picture, but received an award only for its sound editing.

Another kind of storm broke around “Life of Pi,” which drew pre-Oscar protests for supposedly underpaying its visual effects artists. Ang Lee still won the Oscar for best director.

By and large, Oscar voters are lucky if they can find time to see the nominated films, let alone sort through a court case or a secret military operation. But they, including actors, are increasingly being asked to do just that.

At the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where she was honored Saturday night, Ms. Blanchett was asked about the Farrow letter by the Hollywood-Elsewhere.com reporter Jeffrey Wells on her way to an after-party. “It’s obviously been a long and painful situation for the family, and I hope they find some resolution and peace,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Ms. Blanchett said she had no further comment. Ms. Keaton’s agents did not immediately respond to a request for comment. “We have had a long, productive and rewarding relationship with Mr. Allen,” Sony Pictures Classics, which released “Blue Jasmine,” said in a statement. “Mr. Allen has never been charged in relationship to any of this, and therefore deserves our presumption of innocence.”

Elkan Abramowitz, a lawyer for Mr. Allen, responded harshly to the new round of publicity. “It is tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces after it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities,” he wrote in an email Sunday. “The one to blame for Dylan’s distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen.”

In summarizing the case, Mr. Kristof, who acknowledged being a personal friend of Mia Farrow and her son Ronan, wrote that “a panel of psychiatrists sided with Allen, a judge more with Dylan and her mother.”

Oscar voters have occasionally used the awards to send a message about focusing on art, not behavior. That appears to have happened in 2003, when they named Roman Polanski best director for “The Pianist,” while Adrien Brody received an Oscar as its star and Ronald Harwood for writing its screenplay — even though Mr. Polanski was still wanted for sentencing on a statutory rape charge from more than 25 years earlier.

Asked to comment on Ms. Farrow’s claims, an Academy spokeswoman wrote in an email, “The Academy honors achievement in film, not the personal lives of filmmakers and artists.”

But Dylan Farrow, through her letter, now insists that accountability, at least as she sees it, be part of the package.

Christian film stripped of ‘Best Song’ Oscar nomination

Academy says that writer broke its rules against lobbying.

By Victor Morton

The Washington Times

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This year’s most-obscure Oscar nominee is no more.

At a meeting this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors decided to strip the surprise nomination for Best Song from “Alone Yet Not Alone,” which appears in the independent Christian-produced film of the same name.


 


Writer Bruce Broughton, a former member of the board of governors and currently on the music branch’s executive committee, violated the Academy’s rules against lobbying by personally e-mailing “members of the branch to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period,” according to a statement released by the governors Wednesday.

The nomination of “Alone Yet Not Alone” raised the eyebrows (and hackles) of many veteran Oscar-watchers when the nominations were announced Jan. 16. The film had a public profile more associated with obscure foreign films and nobody had tipped it as a possible nominee in any category.

“Alone Yet Not Alone” played on 11 screens nationwide for one week in October and grossed less than $135,000, BoxOfficeMojo.com said. As of Wednesday evening, fewer than 100 people had rated it on the Internet Movie Database. By comparison, the Sandra Bullock October release “Gravity,” which was nominated for 10 Oscars, has grossed more than $260 million and been rated by more than 250,000 IMDb users.

The producers of “Alone Yet Not Alone” plan a broader release in June.

Studios sometimes give films a short end-of-the-year “qualifying run” to make it eligible for the Oscars, with a broader release planned for the spring, cashing in on the publicity and cachet of the nomination.

The Japanese animated film “The Wind Rises” by Hayao Miyazaki was nominated for Best Animated Feature this year using the same strategy. But that strategy usually requires a much more-aggressive and high-profile publicity campaign than “Alone Yet Not Alone” could manage.


 


Ironically, the song had survived an earlier challenge to its eligibility based on the fact the film’s producers had not purchased any advertisements for its short and barely-noticed qualifying run in Los Angeles. The Academy ruled in that case that the theater listings for its showtimes qualified as the required advertisement.

According to the Academy governors, no other song will be nominated in place of “Alone Yet Not Alone” when the final ballots are sent out Feb. 14, and the Oscar will go to one of the four remaining nominees on March 2.

“Alone Yet Not Alone” is a religiously themed period piece about 18th-century settlers dealing with colonial wars and Indian kidnappers in the Ohio Valley. The song is presented in the movie as a traditional family hymn and sung on the film’s soundtrack by Joni Eareckson Tada, a well-known evangelical minister.

Mr. Broughton, who wrote the song with lyricist Dennis Spiegel, told the Hollywood Reporter that he was “devastated” by the stripping.

“I indulged in the simplest grassroots campaign, and it went against me when the song started getting attention. I got taken down by competition that had months of promotion and advertising behind them. I simply asked people to find the song and consider it,” he told the prominent trade publication.

The film’s status as a small Christian film led Orthodox Christian film blogger Peter Chattaway to predict charges of religious persecution in the coming days, playing off the image of Hollywood as a liberal bastion hostile to Christianity.

“The Academy may or may not have ruled correctly when it comes to Broughton’s e-mails. But it probably, however unintentionally, just gave certain Christians a little more fodder for their persecution narrative, and thereby threw just a little more fuel on the culture-wars fire. Sigh,” Mr. Chattaway wrote on his Patheos site Wednesday night.

Is Woody Allen a child molester? An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow

An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow

By DYLAN FARROW
Dylan FarrowFrances SilverDylan Farrow

(A note from Nicholas Kristof: In 1993, accusations that Woody Allen had abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, filled the headlines, part of a sensational story about the celebrity split between Allen and his girlfriend, Mia Farrow. This is a case that has been written about endlessly, but this is the first time that Dylan Farrow herself has written about it in public. It’s important to note that Woody Allen was never prosecuted in this case and has consistently denied wrongdoing; he deserves the presumption of innocence. So why publish an account of an old case on my blog? Partly because the Golden Globe lifetime achievement award to Allen ignited a debate about the propriety of the award. Partly because the root issue here isn’t celebrity but sex abuse. And partly because countless people on all sides have written passionately about these events, but we haven’t fully heard from the young woman who was at the heart of them. I’ve written a column about this, but it’s time for the world to hear Dylan’s story in her own words.)

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 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?