DYLAN FARROW’S OPEN LETTER ABOUT WOODY ALLEN Reveals the Twenty Years of Media Double Standards
The second part of the post on Demerol will have to wait as very, very interesting news has come from Dylan Farrow about her stepfather Woody Allen. The 28 year-old Dylan says she was sexually assaulted by her stepfather almost twenty years ago when she was 7 years old.
Considering that a similar allegation is probably awaiting us in June this year (when Wade Robson’s lies about Michael Jackson may be resumed) it will be interesting to look into Dylan’s story to educate ourselves a bit on the subject before the Wade Robson wave comes upon us again.
Making judgment on Woody Allen even on the basis of a powerful letter like Dylan’s will contradict the basic law principle of “innocent until proven guilty”, so the only thing we can really do is tell the girl’s story and focus on the reaction to it from the media which, especially in comparison with what they did to Michael Jackson, will strike you by its incredibly considerate attitude towards Woody Allen as one of the Hollywood pillars.
The comparison of the manner in which the similar stories of Michael Jackson and Woody Allen were handled by the media will be all the more easier as the seven-year-old Dylan accused her stepfather of abuse right at the time when Jordan Chandler accused Michael Jackson of the same.
Dylan’s story started in 1992 and was over in February 1994 when the investigation against Woody Allen was closed without bringing criminal charges, and Michael’s case started in 1993 and the police investigation ended in September 1994 without bringing criminal charges against him too.
However this is where the similarity between the two cases ends as all the rest was completely different.
When Maureen Orth (who seemed to be writing about all child abuse allegations at the time) wrote a story about Woody Allen and his adoptive daughter Dylan, she diligently repeated Mia Farrow’s accusations against her ex-partner Woody but nevertheless tried to keep a balanced view of the case.
Of course her article about Woody Allen was a far cry from her series about Michael Jackson which grew more biased and nastier with each new consecutive piece.
However even her much quieter narration about Woody Allen is still holding many curious details of Dylan Farrow’s case who at the time of the events was just seven years old.
Orth says that Woody Allen’s love for his step-daughter was so intense that he literally couldn’t take his hands off her.
The intensity of this relationship was once observed by a child psychologist, Dr. Susan Coates who was in the family to attend to another of Mia Farrow’s 11 children (most of them adopted) and who, just after a brief look at Allen’s interaction with the little Dylan, approached him and Mia Farrow with a suggestion of a session on “inappropriate fatherly behavior”.
Quote from the Vanity Fair:
“There was an unwritten rule in Mia Farrow’s house that Woody Allen was never supposed to be left alone with their seven-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan. Over the last two years, sources close to Farrow say, he has been discussing alleged “inappropriate” fatherly behavior toward Dylan in sessions with Dr. Susan Coates, a child psychologist.
In more than two dozen interviews conducted for this article, most of them with individuals who are on intimate terms with the Mia Farrow household, Allen was described over and over as being completely obsessed with the bright little blonde girl. He could not seem to keep his hands off her. He would monopolize her totally, to the exclusion of her brothers and sisters, and spend hours whispering to her. She was fond of her daddy, but if she tried to go off and play, he would follow her from room to room, or he would sit and stare at her.
…Indeed, people wondered how she could cope with so much doting attention from her father—behavior that many people frankly didn’t know what to make of. “When she just wanted to giggle and run away and play, he’d be right behind her. And I just looked at it, and I’d shake my head and think, I hope this is a great thing,” says Pascal. “It was to the point that when we would go over there I wouldn’t run over and talk to her or anything. I’d talk to Satchel, but it’s like you don’t even dare talk to Dylan when he’s around.”
And was Pascal aware of the rule that Woody was never to be left alone with Dylan? “It was a really good rule,” she says. “There was no other way she could get away and get out.”
… Dr. Coates, who just happened to be in Mia’s apartment to work with one of her other children, had only to witness a brief greeting between Woody and Dylan before she began a discussion with Mia that resulted in Woody’s agreeing to address the issue through counseling. At that point Coates didn’t know that, according to several sources, Woody, wearing just underwear, would take Dylan to bed with him and entwine his body around hers; or that he would have her suck his thumb; or that often when Dylan went over to his apartment he would head straight for the bedroom with her so that they could get into bed and play.”
The seasoned us who are well familiar with Victor Gutierrez’s stories about MJ will be impressed by this introduction but will note that all of the above may not be necessarily true – some sources like making up stories and some authors are prone to add their own embellishments to them, so let us agree not to rush things and make fast judgments on Woody Allen.
However with every new line the story told by the girl’s adoptive mother Mia Farrow continues to grow uglier.
“One summer day in Connecticut, when Dylan was four and Woody was applying suntan lotion to her nude body, he alarmed Mia’s mother, actress Maureen O’Sullivan, and sister Tisa Farrow when he began rubbing his finger in the crack between her buttocks. Mia grabbed the lotion out of his hand, and O’Sullivan asked, “How do you want to be remembered by your children?” “As a good father,” Woody answered. “Well, that’s interesting,” O’Sullivan replied. “It only lasted a few seconds, but it was definitely weird,” says Tisa Farrow.
…. Several times last summer, while Woody was visiting in Connecticut, Dylan locked herself in the bathroom, refusing to come out for hours. Once, one of the baby-sitters had to use a coat hanger to pick the lock. Dylan often complained of stomachaches and headaches when Woody visited: she would have to lie down. When he left, the symptoms would disappear. At times Dylan became so withdrawn when her father was around that she would not speak normally, but would pretend to be an animal.
On August 4, [evidently 1992] Woody was in Connecticut to visit the children, and Mia and Casey went shopping, taking along Mia’s two most recently adopted children—a blind Vietnamese girl named Tam, 11, and Isaiah, a seven-month-old black baby born to a crack-addicted mother. While they were gone, there was a brief period, perhaps 15 minutes, when Woody and Dylan vanished from sight. The baby-sitter who was inside searched high and low for them through the cluttered old farmhouse, but she couldn’t find them. The outside baby-sitter, after a look at the grounds around the house, concluded the two must be inside somewhere. When Mia got home a short time later, Dylan and Woody were outside, and Dylan didn’t have any underpants on. …Woody, who hated the country and reportedly brought his own bath mat to avoid germs, spent the night in a guest room off the laundry next to the garage and left the next morning.
That day, August 5, Casey called Mia to report something the baby-sitter had told her. The day before, Casey’s baby-sitter had been in the house looking for one of the three Pascal children and had been startled when she walked into the TV room. Dylan was on the sofa, wearing a dress, and Woody was kneeling on the floor holding her, with his face in her lap. The baby-sitter did not consider it “a fatherly pose,” but more like something you’d say “Oops, excuse me” to if both had been adults. She told police later that she was shocked. “It just seemed very intimate. He seemed very comfortable.”
As soon as Mia asked Dylan about it, Dylan began to tell a harrowing story, in dribs and drabs but in excruciating detail. According to her account, she and Daddy went to the attic (not really an attic, just a small crawl space off the closet of Mia’s bedroom where the children play), and Daddy told her that if she stayed very still he would put her in his movie and take her to Paris. He touched her “private part.” Dylan said she told him, “It hurts. I’m just a little kid.” The she told Mia, “Kids have to do what grown-ups say.” Mia, who has a small Beta video camera and frequently records her large brood, made a tape of Dylan for Dylan’s psychologist, who was in France at the time. “I don’t want to be in a movie with my daddy,” Dylan said, and asked, “Did your daddy ever do that to you?”
What’s absolutely crucial to the story is that the little girl volunteered this information herself. With small children it is the surest sign of real abuse. A little child doesn’t know what’s good or bad, what’s normal or abnormal – for them everything a grown-up does is good and not to be disputed. So when she asked Mia Farrow a simple question: “Did your daddy ever do that to you?” it was worse than any accusation she could ever make.
However this is true only in case the overall story is accurate and correct.
According to people close to the situation, Mia called her lawyer, who told her to take Dylan to her pediatrician in New Milford. When the doctor asked where her private part was, Dylan pointed to her shoulder. A few minutes later, over ice cream, she told Mia that she had been embarrassed to have to say anything about this to the doctor. Mia asked which story was true, because it was important that they know.
They went back to the doctor the next day, and Dylan repeated her original story—one that has stayed consistent through many tellings to the authorities, who are in possession of the tape Mia made. The doctor examined Dylan and found that she was intact. He called his lawyer and then told Mia he was bound by law to report Dylan’s story to the police.
One of Mia’s lawyers, Paul Martin Weltz, notified Woody’s lawyer J. Martin Obten of an incident by hand-delivered letter. On August 13, Allen’s lawyers responded with a jolting pre-emptive strike. They filed a custody suit against Mia Farrow, charging that she was an unfit mother. They have also denied any suggestion of child abuse or therapy for it.
Woody told Time, “Suddenly I got a memo from her lawyers saying no more visits at all. Something had taken place. When I called Mia, she just slammed the phone. And then I was told by my lawyers she was accusing me of child molestation. I thought this was so crazy and so sick that I cannot in all conscience leave those kids in that atmosphere. So I said, I realize this is going to be rough, but I’m going to sue for custody of the children.”
…Woody Allen maintained he had done nothing wrong, but suddenly he was under criminal investigation because of statements Dylan had made. Things had begun to unravel seven months earlier, when Farrow discovered that Allen was having an affair with her 19- or 21-year-old adopted Korean daughter, Soon-Yi. Was it incest? Mia Farrow believed Allen to be a father figure to 9 of her 11 children, not just to Satchel and the 2 he had adopted, and felt that his behavior could not be excused or rationalized.
[She] made the discovery of Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi when she found a stack of Polaroids taken by him of her daughter, her legs spread in full frontal nudity. Woody would later say publicly that the pictures had been taken because Soon-Yi was interested in modeling. ..The pictures were under a box of tissues on Allen’s mantle. Each managed to contain both her daughter’s face and vagina, and when Mia saw them, she later told others, “I felt I was looking straight into the face of pure evil.”
Well, well, well… So in Woody Allen’s case there were photographs of Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter “with her legs spread in full frontal nudity” and each photo contained “both her daughter’s face and vagina” and Allen said that it was just for “modeling”? And no one in the media thought that this interesting factual evidence deserved even a comment?
Please compare it with Michael Jackson’s case where they didn’t find a single scrap of factual evidence and all they had to talk about was two books he had from his fans with a couple of photos of naked boys on the beach (the books were ‘seized’ in 1993 while in 2003 they didn’t ‘seize’ even that little].
These two books were the only thing they had in addition to the so-called Michael’s “porn” (Playboy magazines locked away in a bag) however this scarce nothing keeps Michael Jackson’s haters talking for more than 20 years now. Oh, they haven’t heard of Woody Allen pictures of a schoolgirl Soon-Yi with “her legs spread in full frontal nudity” yet….
Can anyone here imagine what would have happened to Michael Jackson if he had made photos of a boy thirty years his younger “in full frontal nudity” and explained to the police that it was “just for modeling”? Frankly, I cannot even imagine it. Could it be a crowd tearing him apart or a bomb dropped on Neverland as a radical decision of the problem?
However it was Woody Allen who made those photos, and since Woody Allen is surely not Michael Jackson the matter of the girl’s photos was evidently brushed aside and looked upon as a little whim of the ageing master and as his private matter not worthy of attention or intrusion.
This is what is called double standards, guys.
Though the whole thing was highly immoral it still remained to be seen whether it was illegal. The age of Soon-Yi was not clear as no one knew her real age – she had been picked up from a street in Korea and adopted by Mia Farrow and her previous husband when she was approximately 7. Now the girl was in the last year at school and was aged somewhere in between 19 and 21.
A quote from the Vanity Fair:
Nobody knows how old Soon-Yi really is. Without ever seeing her, Korean officials put her age down as seven on her passport. A bone scan Mia had done on her in the U.S. put her age at between five and seven.
In 1997 Soon-Yi became Woody Allen’s wife and in the noise over their marriage the news of the alleged Dylan Farrow’s molestation was somehow lost.
However the 7 year-old girl was saying a horrendous thing about that scene in the attic she had described to her mother – she said that her stepfather” had used his finger to abuse her.
Sorry for the shock, guys…
THE MEDIA REACTION
After all we learned about the way the media treated Michael Jackson it will be amazing to find out that exactly at the same time when they were pouring their mockery, scorn and dirtiest possible language on Jackson, the same media was on its best behavior with Woody Allen – the articles were civil and restrained, and it was actually Mia Farrow who found herself in the center of media ridicule.
The Vanity Fair article says about it:
Allen and his friends not only mounted an aggressive campaign of damage control but sought to defend him by painting Farrow, whom he had never moved in with, as filled with rage and out for revenge…
Particularly vicious were the tabloid Hamill brothers, Pete in the New York Post and Denis in the New York Daily News, whose brother Brian has worked for Woody as a still photographer on 17 movies.
In a single column, Denis [..] quoted Woody minions who said that Mia washed down tranquilizers and antidepressants with abundant red wine, and that in April, after quarrelling about his affair with Soon-Yi, she had staged a fake suicide attempt in Woody’s apartment. What had Woody done, was the leitmotif, to deserve all this?
We haven’t got the particularly vicious pieces from Pete and Denis, but it is quite noticeable that other media resources also present the horrendous details of the story in a way which is suggestive that they are doubting Mia Farrow’s credibility.
When she testified about the details of abuse they noted that she described it “in a quiet voice”:
In a quiet voice, Ms. Farrow testified, “She said he took her into the attic and that he touched her in certain places, that he inserted a finger partially.”
And when she presented the video of her 7-year old girl telling her story the fact that the video was made out of several episodes was interpreted as a sign of it being false:
Mr. Allen and his lawyers have suggested that the video, which has many stops and starts, reflects Ms. Farrow’s efforts to cajole false answers from the girl. Ms. Farrow said she simply turned the machine on each time Dylan began to talk about the incident.
Just imagine for a second that Evan Chandler had made a video tape with Jordan Chandler describing the alleged abuse (in whatever stops and starts it took) and you will realize that Michael Jackson would have been doomed. No one would have paid attention to the breaks in the video (it would be regarded as a sign of its authenticity) and the tape would have turned into a hit piece shown in prime time on TV for years to come.
However the tape showed the girl talking about Woody Allen, so the media didn’t care.
The fact that the girl was embarrassed to point to her private parts was again used against the accusers. No one explained that the girl was shy and that on the way back from the doctor she told her mother about her problem of confessing things to a stranger. The next day she did disclose everything to the doctor but the media was already focusing on the fact that the girl’s bodily parts were not injured.
She took Dylan to a doctor the same day the videotape was made, Ms. Farrow recalled. “I think she said he touched her, but when asked where, she just looked around and went like this,” she said, patting her shoulder.
While returning home in the car, Ms. Farrow said, Dylan told her that she did not want to talk about the incident with a stranger.
Four days later, Ms. Farrow took Dylan to another doctor. “There was no evidence of injury to the anal or vaginal area, is that correct?” Mr. Abramowitz asked.
“Yes,” she said.
The nanny (whose $40,000 salary was paid by Woody Allen) said the tape was made over 2 or 3 days with breaks in between. This was interpreted as a sign that in the periods between the takes Mia Farrow was coaching her daughter.
The media portrayed her as an unbalanced and bad mother who had fits of rage in front of the children. Her understandable fury with Allen for seducing one daughter and molesting another and the need for anti-depressants to cope with the problem were presented as something extraordinary and out of the way.
Woody’s friends ridiculed her as “a heavily medicated walking zombie” and the papers were writing that according to her nanny she had “dramatic mood swings and screaming fits” (did they expect her to take all that trouble with a Hollywood smile on her face?):
“I know that the tape was made over the course of at least two and perhaps three days,” Thompson said. “I was present when Ms. Farrow made a portion of that tape outdoors. I recall Ms. Farrow saying to Dylan at that time, ‘Dylan, what did daddy do . . . and what did he do next?’ “Dylan appeared not to be interested, and Ms. Farrow would stop taping for a while and then continue.”
In her two affidavits filed with Allen’s lawyers, Thompson painted a less than tranquil portrait of Farrow’s household. She charged that the actress gives her biological children more gifts and possessions and depends on her adopted children “to do all the chores in and around the house.”
“Since January, Ms. Farrow has suffered dramatic mood swings and had screaming fits about Mr. Allen,” the nanny said in an affidavit taken last August. “These fits of rage were often conducted in front of the children where she would say mean and nasty things about Mr. Allen. All of the pictures of Mr. Allen in their home were destroyed.”
As regards the accusations made by the 7-year old girl the public verdict was that they were made by an “emotionally disturbed child coached or influenced by her mother”.
Dr. Leventhal said: “We had two hypotheses: one, that these were statements that were made by an emotionally disturbed child and then became fixed in her mind. And the other hypothesis was that she was coached or influenced by her mother. We did not come to a firm conclusion. We think that it was probably a combination.”
Have you ever heard Jordan Chandler called by the media an “emotionally disturbed child coached or influenced by his father”? Never heard any such definition in MJ’s case? Me neither.
Can you imagine the prosecution having a video tape of Jordan describing the scene of alleged abuse and Tom Sneddon not making it the central part of his case, possibly even substituting this tape for the child’s testimony at the trial? You can’t imagine Tom Sneddon not using such a tape? Me neither.
Did you ever hear the media say that the prosecution did not have any factual evidence in Jordan Chandler’s case and the only thing they had was the boy’s story which was totally contradicted by the photos at that? No, I’m afraid you never heard of it because they never said it.
What is funny about Woody Allen’s case is that it was running absolutely parallel to Michael Jackson’s case and this is why the difference between the two is so striking and vivid. While Michael Jackson was being crucified, Woody Allen was shielded and protected, and the media kept restraining the public from accusations against him providing argument after argument against the little accuser and her mother.
THE 7- YEAR OLD GIRL STOOD HER GROUND
There was so much pressure from lawyers and the media on Mia and her daughter to “recant” that at some point Mia also questioned the girl’s story and said to her that she would understand if she had made it up.
However the 7-year old stood her ground, did not waver and even said about Allen: “If he says he didn’t, he is lying”.
A quote from Vanity Fair, 1993:
Mia went to Dylan to see if she was willing to recant. Mia said, “Dylan, you know, we all make up stories. Everybody does that. Sometimes we know we made it up.” But the little girl would not back down. “If he says he didn’t,” Dylan answered, “he’s lying.”
Since the incident, Dylan has burst out, even in the middle of playing games, with statements like “I don’t want him to be my daddy.”
“The thing that people have to understand in this case is that it is not Mia versus Woody; it’s just a plain simple fact that a seven-year-old child has told her mother something and that her mother has to choose to believe her,” says a member of the household.
“If her mother doesn’t believe her, who is going to believe her?” Lynn Nesbit observes, “Mia says, ‘How can you turn your back on a seven-year-old?’ Believe me, her life would be a heck of a lot easier if she dropped it.”
The end of Woody Allen’s story is that the media brushed off all accusations against him as ridiculous and went after the little girl’s mother instead. Dylan never recanted on her story, but all media attention was diverted to the Michael Jackson case though it didn’t have even half of the evidence they had against Woody Allen. No photos, no video tapes, no nothing there – just what the boy said.
But this is not the only difference between Allen’s and Jackson’s situations.
Same as in the criminal investigation of Jackson’s case which lasted for more than a year ended in nothing, the Prosecutor investigating allegations against Woody Allen also dropped the case without making any charges.
However at a press-conference Prosecutor Frank Maco said that there was “a probable cause” to charge and he didn’t do it only to spare the child as the experience of a trial would be too traumatic.
From the Prosecutor we also learned that an arrest warrant had already been drawn for Woody Allen but then they decided against proceeding with the case to enable the child to heal.
Woody Allen called a press-conference where he lashed out against the Prosecutor, police and Mia Farrow who in his opinion formed an “unwholesome alliance in the cheap scheming reeks of sleaze and deception” (I wish Michael Jackson had been than eloquent):
Allen said that Farrow, the prosecutor and police formed an “unwholesome alliance” against him. “Their cheap scheming reeks of sleaze and deception,” he said.
The filmmaker held a news conference soon after Litchfield, Conn., State’s Atty. Frank Maco said he would not press a sexual abuse charge, despite his belief that there was “probable cause” to support it.
Maco said state police investigators had drawn up an arrest warrant for Allen but he decided there was no “compelling interest” in further pursuing the sexual abuse allegations. Later, Farrow’s lawyer said her client agreed with the prosecutor’s decision to spare 8-year-old Dylan from the trauma of a trial.
Farrow, who won custody of the three children in June, is trying to void Allen’s adoption of Dylan and her 15-year-old brother, Moses. An ugly court fight followed for custody of Dylan and Moses, both adopted, and 5-year-old Satchel, their biological son.
And here guys, a big surprise is awaiting us. After the prosecutor made his statement about a ‘probable cause for charge’ he was ostracized and you’ll never guess for what – it was for sending a copy of his statement to a judge who was at that time deciding on the status of Dylan’s adoption by Woody Allen.
The legal authorities worried about the possibility of a terrible outcome – what if the Prosecutor’s “inappropriate” statement prejudiced the judge against Woody Allen and the girl who accused him of a sexual assault would stop being his adoptive daugher? What a terrible outcome indeed…
A special disciplinary panel was called and found the Prosecutor’s act to be “inappropriate, unsolicited and potentially prejudicial.”
There was no need to worry though – despite the Prosecutor’s statement the judge wasn’t prejudiced and Dylan remained Woody Allen’s adoptive daugher, however the behavior of “the Connecticut Prosecutor handling of a child-molestation complaint against Woody Allen” was found to be a cause for “grave concern” and sanctions against him were considered “ranging from censure to disbarment.”
Since this was a public reprimand the media called it a “damning” decision in respect of the Prosecutor. To show how “bad” the Prosecutor’s misconduct was the media also added that “Prosecutors are generally barred from making accusations that are not contained in formal charges”:
“In most circumstances,” the panel wrote, Mr. Maco’s comments “would have violated the prosecutor’s obligation to the accused.”
Prosecutors are generally barred from making accusations that are not contained in formal charges, according to legal experts.
“This amounts to a public reprimand, though they’re not calling it that,” said Kate Stith, a law professor at YaleUniversity and a former Federal prosecutor. Though the decision was “quite damning,” she said she was not surprised that the panel did not punish Mr. Maco, because lawyers are rarely disciplined for their public statements.
Wait a second, please.
So the prosecution has certain obligations to the accused and these obligations include a ban on making accusations that are not contained in formal charges?
So if there are no formal charges a Prosecutor cannot continue with his accusations? And this is so grave a violation that a disciplinary panel may censure and even disbar the prosecutor?
Dear me, and what was Tom Sneddon doing to Jackson for ten years from 1993 to 2003 though no formal charges were made?
He was accusing him to the left and to the right, and no one ever stopped and restrained him let alone disbar!
Tom Sneddon kept referring to the photos as proof of his ideas though the photos absolutely did not match the boy’s description, and this means that he was telling open lies about Jackson, and still not a single disciplinary panel ever noticed it? Can I ask a question why, please?
And if all these amazing double standards have not amazed you bad enough here is one more piece to amaze you even more.
The recent Vanity Fair article reported that “the file for Dylan’s case in New York City’s Child Welfare Administration is nowhere to be found”.
Yes, the file they collected about Woody Allen as a result of their investigation mysteriously disappeared. In contrast to Allen all documents from the MJ 1993 case were scrutinized not by one, but by two Grand juries, however they found nothing to indict him for and this is why the case was ended.
TWENTY YEARS LATER
In the autumn of 2013 Mia Farrow and her eight children including Dylan spoke to Vanity Fair again and Dylan, now a grown up woman, reiterated her story about the sexual assault by Woody Allen.
She said that even 20 years afterwards she could not bring herself to call her abuser by name and his image was still giving her a crippling fear. By now she has forgotten a lot but what happened in the attic she remembers very well:
Orth speaks to Farrow’s children, including Dylan, who now has another name and who discusses what she remembers about Allen and how his behavior has tormented her. She refuses ever to say his name. She calls her fears “crippling” and says, “I’m scared of him, his image.”
According to Dylan, “There’s a lot I don’t remember, but what happened in the attic I remember. I remember what I was wearing and what I wasn’t wearing.” She tells Orth, “The things making me uncomfortable were making me think I was a bad kid, because I didn’t want to do what my elder told me to do.” The attic, she says, pushed her over the edge. “I was cracking. I had to say something. I was seven. I was doing it because I was scared. I wanted it to stop.” For all she knew, she tells Orth, “this was how fathers treated their daughters. This was normal interaction, and I was not normal for feeling uncomfortable about it.”
Dylan’s brother Ronan Farrow made her story public via Twitter during the Golden Globes ceremony where Woody Allen was given an award for his lifetime achievement.
- “Missed the Woody Allen tribute — did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?”
This tweet drew a long reply from the Daily Beast written by Robert Wiede, an Emmy-winning filmmaker who also recently made a documentary about Allen in the series of “American Masters”.
Ronan Farrow, Allen’s son with Mia Farrow, wrote on Twitter about the ceremony: “Missed the Woody Allen tribute — did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?” Mia Farrow tweeted the next day: “A woman has publicly detailed Woody Allen’s molestation of her at age 7. Golden Globe tribute showed contempt for her & all abuse survivors.”
Robert Weide, a screenwriter, director and producer who made a documentary on Allen for PBS’ “American Masters” series in 2011, wrote a long story on the controversy in the Daily Beast last week, casting doubt on the accusations. “If I wrote it today, it would be exactly the same piece,” he said after the Dylan Farrow letter was released.
Here is an excerpt from Robert Weide’s long story about the good Woody Allen and the not-so-good Mia Farrow who brainwashed her children about their stepfather:
I’ve already said this, but it bears repeating: I know Dylan/Malone believes these events took place, and I know Ronan believes so too. I am not in a position to say they didn’t, any more than all the people on the internet calling for Woody’s head can say they did.
The point is that accusations make headlines; retractions are buried on page twelve, and coerced accusations are as much a reality as coerced confessions. Since Woody literally pays no mind to this stuff, and he continues to work and have a happy home life, I would never suggest he’s a victim in this case. The real victim has always been Malone. For me, however, the real questions are: who’s doing the victimizing, and does pain really heal better in the public spotlight? I don’t pretend to have answers for either question.
Malone, who is now a writer and artist, and happily married to an information-technology specialist, had been living a seemingly quiet life out of the spotlight. Obviously, if she feels that an interview with Vanity Fair is a necessary part of her healing process, that’s her right. I can only hope it brought her some closure, and I sincerely wish her all the happiness and peace she’s been looking for.
Robert Weide’s long answer to Dylan and Ronan Farrow is an amazing (and novel for us) piece of journalism. The author meticulously records every little media fact in support of Allen’s since 1993. He also says that “he cannot take a position on reliability and objectiveness of Vanity Fair” and closes the article with banging news that the magazine was accused of libel in Roman Polanski’s case and lost to him – which is a very transparent allusion to the Vanity Fair’s sources being untrue and this being a libel case again.
Knowing all the good Maureen Orth did to Michael Jackson I would not even object to these accusations if it were not for one nagging question. If the magazine is so bad, why didn’t anyone notice it when it was publishing lie after lie about Jackson? Were these lies so difficult to notice considering all that craziness about the blood baths from 42 cows allegedly taken by MJ in the center of Switzerland described by Maureen Orth?
When the witch hunt for Jackson was in full swing not a single Emmy-winning filmmaker raised a voice of reason and the media was allowed to run wild with all those nasty stories about Jackson, choking with agitation and the thrill of the game.
And why hasn’t anyone ever, ever cared to make a long story similar to that about Allen meticulously recording the numerous facts of Michael’s innocence, including the fact that the description of Michael’s accuser never matched the photos and they were actually so different that the accuser’s lawyer wanted them barred from the case?
Let us sum up.
Woody Allen was never charged with a crime in 1993. And Michael Jackson was never charged with a crime in 1993 either. In 2005 he was charged with everything under the sun including conspiracy and keeping hostages but was fully acquitted on all counts and proclaimed a free and innocent man.
So both of them were innocent until proven guilty, and if that is the case why was there so big a difference in the way they were treated by the media?
Michael was crucified and ripped into shreds for almost two decades while Woody Allen lived the 78 years of his life basking in the rays of glory, respect and admiration.
Why has Woody Allen been always supported by the media despite the accusations made by a 7-year old girl while Michael Jackson was vilified as the worst of criminals on the basis of a similar story?
Does it mean that the innocence until proven guilty principle apply only to the chosen few in the country that prides itself on equal opportunities for all?
In fact, Robert Weide is absolutely right when he says that accusations make headlines and retractions “are buried on page twelve”. But for Michael Jackson it was even worse. The retractions about his innocence were not even on page 12 – they were not published at all except for the USA Today and one other media source. The retraction was a short piece about the photos not matching the accuser’s description, published in tiny letters and under a wrong title.
Now that both these sources are happily archived and can be obtained only for money, Jackson is denied even the luxury of a tiny retraction on page 12 while Woody Allen is enjoying the benefit of long stories written in his support by renowned filmmakers.
DYLON FARROW’S LETTER IN VIEW OF WADE ROBSON’S ALLEGATIONS
The Farrows’s story was suddenly continued in a way no one really expected it – Dylan Farrow wrote a letter to the New York Times website where she confirmed that at the age of 7 she had been sexually assaulted by her stepfather Woody Allen. She addressed her letter to the public and Hollywood.
Here is the text of it preceded by a note from Nicholas Kristof:
In 1993, accusations that Woody Allen had abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, filled the headlines, part of a sensational story about the celebrity split between Allen and his girlfriend, Mia Farrow. This is a case that has been written about endlessly, but this is the first time that Dylan Farrow herself has written about it in public. It’s important to note that Woody Allen was never prosecuted in this case and has consistently denied wrongdoing; he deserves the presumption of innocence. So why publish an account of an old case on my blog? Partly because the Golden Globe lifetime achievement award to Allen ignited a debate about the propriety of the award. Partly because the root issue here isn’t celebrity but sex abuse. And partly because countless people on all sides have written passionately about these events, but we haven’t fully heard from the young woman who was at the heart of them. I’ve written a column about this, but it’s time for the world to hear Dylan’s story in her own words.
FEBRUARY 1, 2014, 3:04 PM 357 Comments
An Open Letter From Dylan FarrowBy DYLAN FARROW
Frances SilverDylan Farrow
What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.
For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.
When I asked my mother if her dad did to her what Woody Allen did to me, I honestly did not know the answer. I also didn’t know the firestorm it would trigger. I didn’t know that my father would use his sexual relationship with my sister to cover up the abuse he inflicted on me. I didn’t know that he would accuse my mother of planting the abuse in my head and call her a liar for defending me. I didn’t know that I would be made to recount my story over and over again, to doctor after doctor, pushed to see if I’d admit I was lying as part of a legal battle I couldn’t possibly understand. At one point, my mother sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I was lying – that I could take it all back. I couldn’t. It was all true. But sexual abuse claims against the powerful stall more easily. There were experts willing to attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child.
After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the “child victim.” Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself. That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, “who can say what happened,” to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face – on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television – I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.
Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. But this time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.
Today, I consider myself lucky. I am happily married. I have the support of my amazing brothers and sisters. I have a mother who found within herself a well of fortitude that saved us from the chaos a predator brought into our home.
But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.
What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?
Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.
Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?
The letter is absolutely outstanding in its pain and sincerity. This is how the real victims talk.
She used to tell this story when she was 7 years old and she is still sticking to it now – years have absolutely not erased it from her memory. She felt nausea for him when she was small and this nausea still hits her each time she sees his image twenty years later. In her childhood she locked herself in the bathroom to avoid meeting with him and even now she still looks for a solitary place to lock herself in to loosen her feelings and fall apart.
How typical it is. The memory of a childhood horrid experience never goes away as it is the emotional memory which sends the grown-up exactly into the moment when she experienced it in childhood and the same emotion is relived again and again with all the heartbeat, panic and confusion of it.
Every little detail of it is imprinted in the memory and this is forever. And the only thing you can do about it is change your own attitude towards it – it was a different you and this other you remained in the past, while now you are here and living a new life.
Is it necessary to explain that in the mind of really sexually abused children their perception of themselves in the past and present coexist, but never change places and play games which Wade Robson is fooling us with now?
Even a seven-year old will know that something abnormal was taking place with her when she was little and will remember it forever, and this is all the more true for a boy who was allegedly abused from the age of 7 to 14 as Wade Robson claims.
And it is absolutely impossible to imagine this tortured soul of a girl behaving the way Wade Robson is behaving now – supporting the man right at the time of the alleged abuse followed by a happy 10 year period of being a close family friend of the offender, then defending him at a trial looking confident, relaxed and even making easy jokes (like Wade Robson did) and then, after twenty years of this total amnesia, suddenly recalling the horror of what happened at age 7-14 and painting in most dirty colors the alleged abuser asking for a mere $30mln at that?
Give me a break, guys. Wade Robson’s scenario is complete fiction and Dylan Farrow’s letter of her twenty years of nausea towards the man she sees as her offender shows it like nothing else would.
And though her letter cannot of course be considered the final establishment of guilt of Woody Allen due to the “innocent until proven guilty” principle, I’m still happy that Dylan talked. First of all it will be the final step in her healing process and from now on her emotional memory won’t have a crippling a power over her mind.
And secondly, in comparison with her heart-wrenching story Wade Robson’s allegations begin to look especially ridiculous and this is what we need to really thank her for.
The more victims of abuse speak up the easier it will be for the public to realize what real abuse is all about and the better and safer it will be for our children.
COREY FELDMAN, HOLLYWOOD AND MICHAEL JACKSON
Dylan Farrow is not the first to tell us what some people in Hollywood like doing to little girls and boys. The one who made the first crack in the wall of silence around real pedophiles in entertainment business was Corey Feldman who was also abused by some Hollywood mogul – same as his friend Corey Haim.
Feldman says that pedophilia is the Hollywood “open secret” and while he was a child he was surrounded by pedophiles.
This is a review of his fantastic (as I’ve read) book called “Coreyography” where he tells it all:
Feldman [..] did encounter more sexual abuse later on from the adults around him, including an older male Feldman had hired as his assistant who he calls “Ron Crimson” in the book. Crimson allegedly performed oral sex on Feldman after he encouraged a teenaged Feldman to take a cocktail of pills. Feldman writes that in his teen years he was constantly surrounded by pedophiles.
Corey Feldman said that of all people Michael Jackson was the one who never in his whole life gave him an inappropriate touch and with whom he was finally able to return to normalcy.
After all the abuse Corey endured from other grown-up people Michael Jackson became his happy place and it was actually Michael Jackson who brought him back to innocence:
Feldman’s childhood was so troubled that he looked to his friend Michael Jackson, introduced to him by director Steven Spielberg, for normalcy.
“Michael Jackson’s world, crazy as it sounds, had become my happy place,” he writes.
“Being with Michael brought me back to my innocence. When I was with Michael, it was like being 10 years old again.”
Feldman stresses in the book that Jackson never once acted inappropriately toward him.
… You can’t go around publicly accusing industry titans without expecting to find yourself in the middle of a nasty lawsuit,” writes Feldman, “to say nothing of the potential threat to my career, as well as to the personal safety of myself and my son.”
Coreyography acts in part as a warning to parents pushing their children into show business. Feldman claimed on a 2011 episode of Nightline and repeats in the book that the “number one problem in Hollywood was, and is, and always will be pedophilia.”
Same as in the Woody Allen investigation in 1993, the media and police didn’t follow up on the true story of Corey Feldman’s molestation which he disclosed to the police when they were seeking his “confession” regarding Michael Jackson.
Corey said that his relationship with Michael Jackson was one of the healthiest he had. When questioned by the police he had nothing bad to say about Michael and instead ventured information about his true abuser, however the police were not interested and did nothing.
A recording of Feldman speaking to Santa Barbara sheriffs recorded in December 1993 when the actor was 22 was obtained by RadarOnline.
Feldman was being questioned in relation to the molestation charges brought against MIcahel Jackson by Jordy Chandler and his family. In his book the Stand By Me actor said his relationship with the pop king was one of the healthiest he had.
In the recording, Feldman can be heard telling Sgt. Deborah Linden and Detective Russ Birchim, ‘I myself was molested’ before going on to name his abusers.
The detectives expressed little to no concern but continued to keep the focus on Jackson.
‘I know what it’s like to go through those feelings and believe me, the person who molested me, if this was him that did that to me, this would be a different story. ‘I would be out there, up front, doing something immediately to have this man given what was due to him.’
He alluded to this interview recently after a fan on Twitter asked him why he did not report the men to authorities.
‘All names were given to police before statute had run out but they did zero,’ he answered.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to requests for comment.
In the book, Feldman recalls his often twisted friendship with fellow child star Corey Haim and how the pair were told by trusted adults that it was normal for older men and young boys to have sexual relations in the industry.
He named their abusers as Ron, Tony, Burnham and Crimson — all pseudonyms.
…Naturally, he sought out adult role models at work. And while Steven Spielberg, who hired him for the first time for ‘Gremlins,’ became a trusted friend, other grown ups took advantage of him, he writes in the book.
One picture in the book shows Feldman and Haim at the former’s 15th birthday party flanked by five older men who at the time were abusing them.
‘Slowly, over a period of many years I would begin to realize that many of the people I had surrounded myself with were monsters,’ he writes.
Interestingly, the only safe place he knew was with Michael Jackson.
‘I was shattered, disgusted, devastated. I needed some normalcy in my life. So, I called Michael Jackson,‘ he recalls. The pair had been introduced by Spielberg.
‘Michael Jackson’s world, crazy as it sounds, had become my happy place. Being with Michael brought me back to my innocence. When I was with Michael, it was like being 10 years old again.’
He insists in the book that Jackson never abused him or tried to touch him sexually.
The surprises didn’t end there. Corey, 42, also said, ‘The people who did this to me and Corey [Haim] are still in this business…. and they want me dead.‘
He also stated that these predators are ‘very powerful in the media and in the studio system.’
Sherri, who sat between Corey and guest host Nick Offerman, made sure to squeeze in a mention of Michael Jackson. After the host pointed out he wrote that the King Of Pop was the one man who did not take advantage of him, Corey agreed, saying, ‘Of all people.’
Here is the interview of Corey Feldman where he speaks about the powerful players in Hollywood who molest children and that there was one gentleman in this industry who did NOT take advantage of him and that was MICHAEL JACKSON – and all Barbara Walters has to say to it is this:
“You are damaging an entire industry!”
FELDMAN: I’m saying that there are people that did this to both me and Corey Haim that are still working, that are still out there, and they are some of the richest and most powerful people in this business.
WALTERS: And they are predators?
FELDMAN: And they do not want me say what I’m saying right now.
WALTERS: Are you saying that they are pedophiles?
WALTERS: And that they are still in this business?
FELDMAN: YES. And they don’t want me here right now. They want me dead.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: And that’s what you are saying in your book. When you talk to parents…Corey.. There are a lot of parents out there who want to put their kids in this business. Their kids are cute, they are great actors. What will you say to parents who have their best of intentions who’re coming there with their child? Are you saying there are many predators in this industry?
FELDMAN: It’s a many feathered bird, okay? Be careful what you wish for – that’s what I’ll tell you. You know, don’t go into it with naivety, don’t go into it thinking that it’s all roses and …
WALTERS: You are damaging an entire industry!
FELDMAN: I’m sorry, I’m not trying to. I’m just trying to say it’s a very important, serious topic.
SHEPHERD: There is one gentleman in this industry who did NOT take advantage of you. He was not a pedophile. You said it was Michael Jackson.
FELDMAN: Of all people.
Yes, of all people Michael Jackson was the one who never took advantage of children. The most vilified man on earth was even able to return the abused children to normalcy and give them a feel of childhood innocence which they had long lost.
And the more child victims come out to tell their true story the more obvious it will become that Michael Jackson was simply used as a shield to cover up for someone else’s crimes.