Thursday, February 6, 2014

Is Woody Allen a Child Molester?

Mia Farrow
In an open letter last week in the New York Times, Dylan Farrow, 28, who was adopted by actress Mia Farrow (right) and writer-director Woody Allen in 1985, discusses for the first time her childhood charge that Allen sexually molested her when she was seven years old in the family home in Connecticut. Not surprisingly, her troubling accusation has reignited the fiery national debate over this sordid and sad family saga. I've been reading the comments from readers of various news reports rehashing the specifics of this case this morning. And I just can't stay silent any longer. 

A caveat: if you think Allen is a vicious sicko pedophile and Mia Farrow is an innocent victim, you might want to stop reading right about here.

First and foremost, we must always grant a child the benefit of the doubt when sexual abuse is charged. This is the most despicable crime there is, and if Allen really is guilty he should rot in jail, or worse. But the way I see it, there is an unusually heavy burden of proof in this case on both the accuser, Dylan, and her mother, Mia Farrow, because of Mia's demonstrably raging bitterness towards Allen and because of the accusations made over the years, including by one of her own children, that Mia brainwashed her kids from an early age to despise Allen.

Woody Allen
This story to me has never really been about sexual abuse, it is about the immeasurable anger and ugliness between two former lovers, neither of whom is what anyone would call a poster child for mental health. Again, if Allen really did abuse Dylan Farrow, he should fry in hell. But I don't believe a word of it. Not a damn word.

I instead believe Moses Farrow, 36, Mia and Woody's adopted son, who told  People magazine this week that Mia was the abusive one and that he was "often hit" by her as a child and that his mother went into "unbridled rages" of anger. Moses said Mia brainwashed him, and Dylan, to hate Allen from the time they were small children. 

"Of course Woody did not molest my sister," Moses said. "She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him. The day in question, there were six or seven of us in the house. We were all in public rooms and no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces … I don't know if my sister really believes she was molested or is trying to please her mother."

Moses Farrow
I don't know what really happened that day in Connecticut, and neither do you. All we are left with, then, are the existing facts and our gut feelings. And those facts and my gut tell me that Mia Farrow is simply not credible. I believe she is mentally unstable and blinded by rage. She is a gifted and versatile actress. And frankly, I think she's a bit of a loon.

For what it's worth, I've felt this way about her since long before she started a relationship with Woody. Ever since I watched her ethereal and creepy performance as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, and perhaps even dating back to when I was little and watched her in Rosemary's Baby, I thought she was bizarre and kind of scary, those crazy eyes. And she collects children like some people collect porcelain statues. All rather strange. 

Is Woody's relationship with Soon-Yi Previn also strange? Yes, of course. But check your facts, folks. Contrary to overwhelming popular belief, Soon-Yi was never Woody Allen's stepdaughter. She is the adopted daughter of Mia and Andre Previn. Woody and Mia were a couple, but they were never married and they didn't even live in the same house. Allen didn't start seeing Soon-Yi until she was 19 years old. 

If you get a chance, read Robert Weide's take on all this in The Daily Beast. He knows Allen and some say he's biased. That's a fair charge. But he presents a list of compelling facts. For example, Weide notes that Dr. John M. Leventhal, the family doctor who headed the medical investigation of the abuse charges (they included physical exams of Dylan) concluded that Dylan either "invented the story under the stress of living in a volatile and unhealthy home" or that it was "planted in her mind by her mother, Mia Farrow." 

Dylan's accusation, which first surfaced in 1993 during a bitter custody battle between Mia and Woody, is despicable if true. But I personally have never believed the allegation, despite Allen's curious lifestyle.

Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi is indeed strange by all normal societal standards. Many believe it is totally immoral and unacceptable. I've never felt that strongly about it. I did think it is was inappropriate from the start. But they have been together now for two decades and seem very much in love. Soon-Yi and Woody have their own family and she frankly seems a lot happier and healthier psychologically than Mia Farrow.

Mia Farrow (right) and son Ronan Farrow
Also, for the record, Mia is the one who cheated on Allen and allegedly conceived Frank Sinatra's son (Ronan Farrow, left), and then told everyone he was Woody's son. In other words, Mia was sleeping with her ex-husband, Frank Sinatra, many years after their divorce and while she was in a relationship with Woody. I wonder what Sinatra's wife Barbara thinks of Mia Farrow?

Going even further back, at age 24, Mia became pregnant by Previn, 40, who was still married at the time to singer-songwriter Dory Previn. If anyone is immoral in this drama, it is Mia, not Woody. 

And here’s one more interesting and perhaps telling fact: After director Roman Polanski pled guilty in 1977 to unlawful sex with a thirteen-year-old girl in Los Angeles, Mia testified on Polanski's behalf. The two remain close friends to this day, and Mia can't say enough good things about Polanski, an admitted sex offender who has never returned to the United States.  

When you put all this on the table, the entire case against Allen gets wobbly. I believe Mia Farrow has done everything in her power to make her children, and the outside world, believe that Allen is a monster. And a lot of people do believe that. I'm not one of them. I'm not buying it. He's no saint, but I do not believe he is a child molester. Sadly, none of us will ever know for certain what happened to this tragically dysfunctional family. In this story, there are no winners, and there are certainly no happy endings.


  1. There is another serious case going on and it needs to be published. Famous designer Marc Jacobs tortures a young Hungarian girl. He stole her ideas, harassed her, and kept her in psychological torture. He's been stalking her since she was 16. Jacobs is a cruel manipulative puppet master. He controls Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and more. Read the truth with evidence and spread the word!

  2. Jamie:

    I have to admit that you have raised a lot of doubts in my mind. As you said, if he really is a child molester, he should rot in hell. You brought up a lot of points that I don't think many people knew. Moses' story certainly has to be considered because he really has no reason to lie.


    1. Thanks John. Food for thought, at least.

  3. Really compelling, Jamie. Thanks for this.

  4. I don't believe for a minute Woody Allen molested anyone. I do believe Mia is an unhappy bitter woman.

  5. Jamie,
    Nice piece of writing. You make a lot of compelling points. You've done your homework, as should all of us. You've certainly made me think and have me reexamining what I read.
    We can't be so naïve to believe everything we read, even if we "think" it's correct.
    I believe this is/was a dysfunctional family and there are many skeletons for both of them.

  6. I agree with your thoughts. There is something mighty fishy about all of this. Usually, I am on the side of the accuser when it comes to things like this, but in this case, it just feels like it's a whole bunch of b.s. Mia Farrow strikes me as strange, and it is not outside the realm of possibility that she is behind all of this, hoping to extract revenge. I do think that his relationship with Soon Yi was innappropriate, but she was not a child. There's a big difference. And, honestly, Mia Farrow wed Frank Sinatra when she was about the same age and he was in his 40's. She's a hypocrite, basically.

  7. I have no idea what went on. The courts dealt with this years ago and I will leave the justice in this to their determination.
    I thought the announcement by Mia Farrow that Ronan Farrow might be the son of Frank Sinatra, right as his standing as a policy advisor was becoming public was odd. If my son were coming into the limelight for his enviable academic/professional achievements I wouldn't be calling his paternity into question - it's not the way to enhance your child's professional standing and must have been embarrassing to her son. Then the family is in the news again with the molestation charges.

    If the message had been, "this happened to my daughter and we dealt with it, if it's happened to you don't keep silent" it would be constructive. With the timing of the message I feel like it's more a personal smear campaign. Why drag your children through the pain of this past event, I'm sure whatever happened it was difficult for the children, if there isn't a constructive message?

    Your post is on point in noting that neither Mia Farrow or Allen are people with normal relationships. They're free to live however they wish, and I hope we hear no more about them, particularly not from the New York Times.

  8. Jamie,
    I think this was an excellent take on the subject. For many years I have said the the second and third worst things that I can imagine happening to me (#1 would be the death of a child) would be to be molested as a child and to be falsely accused of molesting a child. I have been fortunate to have not lost a child, but I was molested as a child and (very briefly) had my ex-wife imply that I couldn't be trusted alone with my own daughters. She later admitted that the accusation had been fueled by her rage and bitterness about our divorce and by the knowledge that my father was an admitted molester of his own children. To this day, the 48 hours following her accusation stand as the very darkest hours of my entire life. She never shared her "concerns" with anybody else (as far as I know) and I came to the realization that if she had shared that with anybody else I would have most likely have been instantly been judged guilty and that perception by others would have most likely stayed with me for my entire life.

    When I first heard this story, I immediately took the side of the alleged victim, but your writing has caused me to revisit my own story and look at this very differently. As you stated, we will never know the absolute truth of what really happened. I was very fortunate to have spent many years interviewing my father and to have had him eventually acknowledge that he had, in fact, molested my sisters. Thank you for presenting a fair and balanced view of this intensely difficult and serious subject.

    1. thanks for sharing that powerful story here, steve.

  9. I have always thought that both Mia Farrow and Woody Allen were the oddest of the odd, causing much dysfunction and pain within the non-traditional family they parented. But I've always doubted the story about the molestation (and think that many people conflated the two stories -- the alleged molestation of Dylan and the affair with Soon-Yi). Kudos for being authentic enough to publish what you think of the whole mess!

  10. interesting that you went back in time to try and redress some of the balance, jamie. i remember when mia farrow had twins by andré previn and read a lot about it at the time; apparently dory was emotionally shattered by the betrayal...she wrote a song "beware of young girls" or something similar. i don't recall that farrow's career suffered as a result, i suppose it was considered par for the course at the time. but seriously, multiple fathers, multiple partners, mutiple adoptions, as well as biological children...usually makes for a very messy and potentially dangerous situation. i do hope allen is not guilty, but how awful for dylan to have her story dissected and doubted so publicly, whether he is, or is not.

  11. Great great article. Like you said, there's no way of knowing for sure what happened but my "spidey-sense" told me when the story broke that something just didn't seem right about the story.

    Granted, I'm a huge fan of his movies and have been watching them since I was in 6th grade but something doesn't gel about a notoriously scared-of-the-law, neurotic filmmaker who doesn't go out much doing all this evil stuff.

    Anyways, great article. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks Woody is innocent.

  12. The timing of the accusations seem very suspicious. I wish Allen would publish his lie detector results if he really did pass. What is also interesting is that Mia Farrow's brother has been accused of child molesting and his family states the child is making up the story or has been implanted by an adult. Makes one wonder....

    1. Agree. This doesn't prove anything but it is indeed a significant fact that no one every talks about. Can you imagine how much hay Mia would have made if Woody had a brother who was a child molester?