Renewed claims that Woody Allen sexually abused his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, 21 years ago were “engineered by a vengeful lover,” the filmmaker’s lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, told CNN earlier this week, referring to Allen’s ex-partner actress Mia Farrow. The accusations were “fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities,” he wrote in a statement, regarding Dylan Farrow’s open letter that was published in The New York Times last weekend.
“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,” Farrow wrote for the first time publicly. “He told me to lie on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me.”
The controversy between Allen and the Farrow family started in 1992, when it was revealed that 56-year-old Allen was having an affair with Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, who was 19. This ended with Farrow accusing Allen of molesting Dylan, which led to a child custody battle. A police investigation ended with no charges against Allen, who married Previn in 1997.
The letter has prompted a heated debate, with many coming to Allen’s defense including The View host Barbara Walters (which prompted backlash from her co-hosts), his ex-girlfriend Stacey Nelkin and Allen himself, who called the allegations “untrue and disgraceful.” The distributor of Allen’s most recent film Blue Jasmine stated he “deserves our presumption of innocence,” while Cate Blanchett, who’s up for a Best Actress Oscar nomination for the film, commented, “It’s obviously been a long and painful situation for the family, and I hope they find some sort of resolution and peace.”
State prosecutors in Connecticut said earlier this week that there is no open investigation of Allen pending.