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In her first televised interview, the adopted daughter of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow described in graphic detail how Allen allegedly sexually assaulted her.
Speaking with CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King, Dylan Farrow also responded to claims that she was “brainwashed and coached” by her mother and began crying as she watched Allen deny the sexual assault claims in a 1992 interview with 60 Minutes.
Farrow explained how Allen took her into an attic crawlspace in her mother’s Connecticut home and, as she said, instructed her to lie down on her stomach and play with a toy train. While she was doing that, she claims, Allen sat behind her and touched her inappropriately, telling King exactly where on her body he touched her. When her mother, who had been shopping found out what happened, Farrow says, she was upset and took her daughter to the doctor. Farrow initially told the doctor that she was touched on her shoulder but told her mother that she said that because she was embarrassed, so she went back in and told the doctor the same thing she told her mother, Farrow said.
Allen suggested at the time that Farrow had changed her story because she was coached by her mother, who months earlier had discovered that Allen had been having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-yi Previn.
When King brought up the claim, Farrow wondered why what Allen says is “more believable.”
“What I don’t understand is how is this crazy story of me being brainwashed and coached more believable than what I’m saying about being sexually assaulted by my father,” she said.
When King suggested that Farrow’s mother’s anger could have led her to try to turn her daughter against her father, Farrow said, “Except every step of the way, my mother has only encouraged me to tell the truth. She’s never coached me.”
Farrow also began crying when King played a clip of Allen denying the allegations during a 1992 60 Minutes interview.
“He’s lying and he’s been lying for so long. And it’s difficult for me to see him and hear his voice,” Farrow said.
Farrow first alleged in 1992 that Allen sexually assaulted her when she was seven years old and she resurfaced her claim in a 2014 column in The New York Times and an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times last December, linking Allen in the latter to the #MeToo movement.
Indeed the wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations against powerful men in Hollywood over the past few months has brought a renewed focus to Farrow’s claims and a number of actresses, including Natalie Portman, have expressed their support for Farrow. Meanwhile, actors who have worked with Allen — such as Greta Gerwig, Rachel Brosnahan, Rebecca Hall and Timothee Chalamet — have distanced themselves from the filmmaker in recent weeks.
Allen was never charged with a crime and the New York state child welfare investigators and a report by the Yale New Haven hospital found that the abuse didn’t happen. But the Connecticut state prosecutor on the case, Frank Maco, questioned the Yale report’s credibility, saying there was probable cause to charge Allen but that Farrow was too fragile to face a celebrity trial.
But now, looking back, Farrow says she would’ve rather had charges filed and gone to trial.
“I was already traumatized,” she said. “Here’s the thing. I mean, outside of a court of law, we do know what happened in the attic on that day. I just told you.”
Maco told CBS News that he believes Farrow was not coached or manipulated by her mother. Allen, in a lengthy statement to CBS News, again denied Farrow’s claim.
“Even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn’t make it any more true today than it was in the past,” Allen said in part. “I never molested my daughter – as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.”
In the second part of her interview, Farrow discussed her role in the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements and how she feels about the actors that have worked with and still esteem her father.
“With so much silence being broken by so many brave people against so many high profile people, I felt it was important to add my story to theirs because it’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time,” Farrow said. “It was very momentous for me to see this conversation finally carried into a public setting.”
Farrow, who has taken to social media to call out the actors who have starred in Allen’s films, said she’s “not angry with them,” but she seems them as complicit and perpetuating a “culture of silence.”
“I hope that especially since so many of them have been vocal advocates of this Me Too and Time’s Up movement that they can acknowledge their complicity and maybe hold themselves accountable to how they have perpetuated this culture of – of silence in their industry,” Farrow said.
When asked how they’re complicit, Farrow said, “Because I have been repeating my accusations unaltered for over 20 years and I have been systematically shut down, ignored or discredited. If they can’t acknowledge the accusations of one survivor, how are they going to stand for all of us?”
Farrow said her experiences with Allen have “affected every part of [her] life.”
“Growing up, I pushed it to the side, I tried to pretend or tried to convince myself that this was something moving forward that I did not need to bring with me even though it came anyway,” she said. “It’s impacted everything.”
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