Woody Allen is finally speaking out in length about his daughter's claims that he sexually molested her when she was 7 years old. In a letter to the New York Times, the same venue where Dylan Farrow last weekend publicly accused her father for the first time, Allen denies the claims in detail and pointed the blame at her mother and his former partner, Mia Farrow.
"Twenty-one years ago, when I first heard Mia Farrow had accused me of child molestation, I found the idea so ludicrous I didn't give it a second thought," Allen writes in a letter posted on the Times' site Friday. "We were involved in a terribly acrimonious breakup, with great enmity between us and a custody battle slowly gathering energy. The self-serving transparency of her malevolence seemed so obvious I didn't even hire a lawyer to defend myself."
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Allen, 78, points to not only his nasty split from Mia, whom he left from her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi, in 1992, but also to the fact that he had not been accused of child molestation before or since. "I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn't molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was. Common sense would prevail," he continued. "I had been going out with Mia for 12 years and never in that time did she ever suggest to me anything resembling misconduct"
Allen recalls the events that followed the accusation and alleges that Dylan, now 28, only changed her story after her mother bribed her with things like ice cream, and also claims that Mia tried to get a former girlfriend of Allen's to testify that she was underage when they had started dating, although Allen says she wasn't. Allen also quotes the report from the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital, which at the time was destroyed but subsequently leaked to the press. The report found that, "Dylan was not sexually abused by Mr. Allen," and that Dylan was " coached or influenced by her mother."
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Allen goes on to say that he was "heartbroken" after Mia received custody of their children. "I never saw her again nor was I able to speak with her no matter how hard I tried. I still loved her deeply, and felt guilty that by falling in love with Soon-Yi I had put her in the position of being used as a pawn for revenge," Allen writes. "Soon-Yi and I made countless attempts to see Dylan but Mia blocked them all, spitefully knowing how much we both loved her but totally indifferent to the pain and damage she was causing the little girl merely to appease her own vindictiveness."
Allen even went so far as to bring up the claim Mia made to Vanity Fair last year that her son, Ronan, could possibly be the son of Frank Sinatra and not the acclaimed writer-director's. "Is he my son or, as Mia suggests, Frank Sinatra's? Granted, he looks a lot like Frank with the blue eyes and facial features, but if so, what does this say? That all during the custody hearing Mia lied under oath and falsely represented Ronan as our son," he writes. "Even if he is not Frank's, the possibility she raises that he could be, indicates she was secretly intimate with him during our years. Not to mention all the money I paid for child support. Was I supporting Frank's son? Again, I want to call attention to the integrity and honesty of a person who conducts her life like that."
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Although Allen believes that Dylan does believe she was molested, he also included several quotes from his and Mia's adopted son, Moses, who came forward in his defense earlier this week, about the alleged influence Mia placed on the children to stay away from Allen. In the end, Allen says he just hopes that one day his estrangement with Dylan will end the way it did with Moses.
"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. No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing."
Allen then ended the letter by saying he would not comment any further on the matter as "enough have been hurt."
What do you think of Allen's response?