[Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault.]
Though Dylan Farrow has gone on the record as a child and an adult with her allegations of sexual abuse against her adopted father Woody Allen, she gave her first-ever TV interview on the matter today on CBS This Morning.
Speaking with co-host Gayle King in the first of two segments, Farrow reiterates in harrowing detail how, when she was 7 years old, Allen allegedly molested her. Now an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, she says she utilizes a different vocabulary as an adult; where when she was a child, she told her mother, Mia Farrow, and a physician that Allen had “touched her private parts,” the now 32-year-old uses anatomical terms like “vulva” and “labia.” When King asks if she can’t see why Allen would claim that the younger Farrow had been coached by her mother in retaliation for his affair with Soon-Yi Previn, she answers with a bit of understandable frustration: “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?” Farrow also claims Allen frequently held her in his lap and asked her to get into bed with him while they were both in their underwear. She cites this as part and parcel with the abuse, because her father, who she says was her hero, never showed brother Ronan Farrow the same attention.
In the second part of the interview, Farrow addresses the actors who continue to work with Allen despite expressing support for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, urging them to “acknowledge their complicity.” She tells King, “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?”
CBS reached out to Allen regarding the interview with Farrow, and this was his response:
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.