The country seems obsessed by the recently revived battle between Woody Allen and his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow over allegations he molested her twenty-one years ago when she was seven years old. Both camps and their defenders have been flaming each other in the press since this article appeared in Vanity Fair last October.
I remember reading about the abuse charge when it happened but the details had faded. That’s why I was amazed how quickly people took sides: Team Woody versus Team Dylan. The attacks and counter attacks are coming too fast and furious for me to process, but here are a few highlights:
- January 12, 2014: Woody Allen won the Golden Globe for lifetime achievement.
- January 27, 2014: Robert B. Weide wrote this article in support of Woody Allen following renewal of the allegations in October 2013.
- February 1, 2014: Dylan’s open letter in Nicolas Kristof’s New York Times blog, in which she blasts Hollywood in general and Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in particular for appearing in Allen's Blue Jasmine.
- February 2, 2014: Ronan Farrow and Mia Farrow tweeted in support of Dylan.
- February 7, 2014: Allen denies the allegations.
- February 7, 2014: Maureen Orth of Vanity Fair speaks out in support of Dylan.
- February 8, 2014: Rebuttal of Allen's denial by Dylan Farrow and the full text here.
- Why did Dylan choose to tell her story in the New York Times and why now? I read that she has a book in the works but I could find no evidence that that's true. I hope it isn’t true. If so, it makes her motives murkier. Some people speculate that she’s seeking her fifteen minutes of fame or helping launch Ronan’s career in broadcasting. I dismiss both of those claims as implausible. She says she wanted to tell her story in a voice that had been silenced for so many years, but she also allegedly said that her mother's bombshell revelation that Ronan's biological father could be Frank Sinatra and not Woody Allen overshadowed her story and made her feel as if nobody cared.
- Did Dylan warn her siblings before igniting this firestorm? There are deeply personal details in the court custody papers released that could prove damaging, if not to careers, at least to psyches. Some sources report that Mia did not know beforehand that Dylan planned to publish her letter.
- It’s been reported that the prosecutor had “probable cause” to file child sexual abuse charges against Allen but chose not to because Dylan was too fragile to testify, and he knew he couldn’t win the case without her testimony. Did he make that decision on his own or was Mia involved?
- Why did Dylan call out Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in her NYT piece? Was she trying to damage Blanchet’s Oscar chances as well as Allen’s? If so, that would be a damn shame.
- What does Dylan hope to gain? Does she feel that this trial in the court of public opinion twenty-one years after the fact is for the greater good or does she have some other reason?
After reading various accounts, I’m leaning toward an opinion about what happened. I'm also remembering the McMartin sexual abuse trial in which children were coached to report fabricated acts of molestation. Until I’m sitting in a jury box, listening to all the evidence, I can't make an informed decision. Right now there’s only one thing I’m fairly sure about. What do you think?
|Woody, Frank, Ronan|