Woody Allen accused of abuse

Last updated 18:30 02/02/2014

Woody Allen's adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, revisited her sexual abuse claim against the filmmaker in a letter posted on the website of the New York Times.

Woody Allen

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Dylan Farrow has renewed molestation allegations against Woody Allen, claiming the movie director sexually assaulted her when she was 7 after he and actress Mia Farrow adopted her. 

In an open letter to The New York Times posted online yesterday, Dylan Farrow made her first public comments about the 1992 incident. In a letter to op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof, she said she was moved to speak out because of Hollywood’s continued embrace of Allen. 

‘‘That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up,’’ wrote Farrow. ‘‘I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls.’’ 

The letter comes not long after Allen was honoured at the Golden Globes with the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. 

The New York Times reported that Allen declined comment. Representatives for Allen and for former partner Mia Farrow did not immediately return requests for comment from The Associated Press. Allen has long maintained his innocence. 

In the letter, Dylan Farrow claims that in 1992 at the family’s Connecticut home, Allen led her to a ‘‘dim, closet-like attic’’ and ‘‘then he sexually assaulted me.’’ Farrow didn’t specify Allen’s actions but described other abusive behaviour. 

Farrow said Allen would have her get in bed with him, and at other times ‘‘place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out.’’ 

‘‘For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like,’’ said Farrow. ‘‘These things happened so often, so routinely, so skilfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal.’’ 

Allen was investigated on child molestation claims for the alleged 1992 incident, but prosecutors elected not to charge him. 

The handling of the investigation was criticised after Litchfield County state attorney Frank S. Maco said in a press conference there was ‘‘probable cause’’ to charge Allen, although he chose not to. A disciplinary panel found that Maco may have prejudiced the then-ongoing custody battle between Allen and Mia Farrow by making an accusation without formal charges. 

The 1992 allegation came shortly after Allen became involved with Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. Allen was not the adoptive father of Previn, who was about 19 at the time. Allen was in his mid-50s. The two married in 1997 and have two adopted daughters. 

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Though many fans never forgave Allen for his romance with Previn, the director’s career was largely uninterrupted. He has continued to release a new film almost every year, with his latest, ‘‘Blue Jasmine,’’ earning three Academy Award nominations, including a screenwriting nomination for Allen.

- AP

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