By Steven Zeitchik
LOS ANGELES — After a week of silence in the face of allegations of child molestation, Woody Allen has spoken out and denied the accusation.
In a forceful op-ed column on the New York Times Web site, the filmmaker denied that in 1992 he abused his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, who a week ago wrote a letter posted to a New York Times blog alleging that when she was 7 Allen had taken her to an attic in the family home and molested her.
“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,” Allen wrote in the piece, which will be published this weekend in the newspaper’s print edition, alluding to Dylan Farrow’s mother Mia Farrow.
“Dylan has come forward with the accusations that the Yale experts investigated and found false,” Allen said, referencing a six-month investigation that followed the initial accusations. “Plus a few little added creative flourishes that seem to have magically appeared during our 21-year estrangement,” he added, in reference to Dylan Farrow’s letter. Despite Mia Farrow maintaining during their custody battle in the early 1990s that Allen had abused Dylan, the filmmaker was never charged.
The Allen column is the first response from the director as the 21-year-old charges have resurfaced in recent months. Ronan Farrow, Allen’s presumed biological son with Mia Farrow, had sent a tweet citing the alleged molestation after Allen’s Golden Globes tribute last month.
And in her letter last Saturday, Dylan Farrow wrote that “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.”
In the op-ed piece, Allen stopped short of saying Dylan Farrow was knowingly lying. Instead, he claimed she was manipulated by Mia Farrow, painting his ex-girlfriend as manipulative and trying to tarnish him.
“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?” He went on to suggest that Mia Farrow may have even helped her daugther pen the letter.
“One must ask, did Dylan even write the letter or was it at least guided by her mother?” he said.
The resurfaced allegations, combined with Dylan Farrow speaking out for the first time, have shone a light on the filmmaker just weeks after receiving an Oscar nomination as well as raised anew larger cultural questions about scandals of alleged sexual abuse.
Allen said that despite the lengthy response he did not wish to speak of it further. “This piece will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments on it by any party.”