Dylan Farrow is joining the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements by sharing her own story of alleged sexual abuse at the hands of her adoptive father, Woody Allen.
With all of the conversation about alleged sexual harassment in Hollywood, Farrow decided this was the best time to come forward with her own story in her first TV interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King. Farrow previously came forward with allegations against Allen and only recently received recognition when actress Natalie Portman acknowledged her story.
“I felt it was important to add my story to [the #MeToo movement.] Because it was something I have struggled with for a long time,” she said. “It was very momentous for me to see this conversation finally carried into a public setting.”
Farrow said that she is “not angry” with stars who still work with Allen, but she hopes that “they can acknowledge their complicity and hold themselves accountable to how they have perpetuated the culture of silence in their industry.”
She said that she has been telling her story for 20 years and has repeatedly been “shut down, ignored and discredited.”
Farrow first came forward with her account in 1993 in an op-ed featured in the New York Times. She recounted those same details in the interview on Thursday’s broadcast.
“I want to show my face and tell my story. I want to speak out, literally,” she said. “I loved my father. I respected him. He was my hero, and that doesn’t take away from what he did, but it does make the betrayal and the hurt even worse.”
Farrow detailed the story of the alleged abuse to King in the interview.
“I was taken to a small attic crawl space in my mother’s country house in Connecticut by my father. He instructed me to lay down on my stomach and play with my brother’s toy train that was set up. And he sat behind me in the doorway, and as I played with the toy train, I was sexually assaulted,” she said. “As a 7-year-old I would have said, ‘He touched my private parts.’ As a 32-year-old, he touched my labia and my vulva with his fingers.”
Farrow’s mother, Mia Farrow, took her daughter to the pediatrician after the incident, where the then 7-year-old told the doctor she was touched on the shoulder. When Mia Farrow asked why she lied, Farrow said she was “embarrassed” and later went to tell the doctor she had been molested.
Allen denied the allegations and claimed that Mia Farrow made the story up to get revenge after he left her for her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, to whom he has now been married for 20 years.
“What I don’t understand is how is this crazy story about me being brainwashed and coached is more believable than me being sexually assaulted by my father,” she said. “Every step of the way, my mother has told me to tell the truth. She has never coached me.”
Farrow later broke down watching a clip of Allen deny the allegations in a 1992 interview.
“I’m really sorry,” she sobbed. “I thought I could handle it … He’s lying, and he’s been lying for so long, and it is difficult for me to see him and to hear his voice. I’m sorry.”
Farrow went on to tell King that the incident in the attic wasn’t the only time Allen was inappropriate with her.
“He was always touching me and cuddling me. If I said I wanted to go off by myself, he wouldn’t let me,” she said. “He would ask me to get into bed with him when he only had his underwear on or when I only had my underwear on. He wasn’t like this with [Farrow’s brother, Mia Farrow and Allen’s biological son] Ronan.”
The Los Angeles Police Department previously investigated the allegations but never pressed charges, reportedly to spare Farrow from trauma from a trial.
“Honestly, yes, I do wish that they had [filed charges],” she said. “I was already traumatized. Outside a court of law, we do know what happened in the attic that day.”
In response to the story resurfacing, Allen released a statement to CBS News.
When this claim was first made more than 25 years ago, it was thoroughly investigated by both the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital and New York State Child Welfare. They both did so for many months and independently concluded that no molestation had ever taken place. Instead, they found it likely a vulnerable child had been coached to tell the story by her angry mother during a contentious breakup.
Dylan’s older brother Moses has said that he witnessed their mother doing exactly that – relentlessly coaching Dylan, trying to drum into her that her father was a dangerous sexual predator. It seems to have worked – and, sadly, I’m sure Dylan truly believes what she says.
But 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. I never molested my daughter – as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.