Dylan Farrow shared an open letter with the New York Times on Saturday that details her allegations of how her adoptive father, Woody Allen, sexually abused her. In 1992, Dylan, then seven years old, created quite a controversy when she made claims that Allen had been sexually abusing her. The accusations eventually led to the break up of her parents, Mia Farrow and Woody Allen.
In the November 2013 issue of Vanity Fair, Dylan Farrow spoke openly about the sexual abuse for the first time. “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,” said Dylan Farrow, now 28-years-old and happily married in Florida. When the sexual abuse accusations originally surfaced, it was a tabloid stealing game of he said, she said. Complicating the issue even further was Woody Allen’s sexual relationship with another of Mia Farrow’s adoptive daughters, Soon-Yi Previn. Allen has been married to Soon-Yi since 1997.
The Vanity Fair piece raised an issue that had been largely forgotten about in the public eye. Dylan’s brother Ronan was not one to let it be forgotten. During the 2014 Golden Globe awards, Ronan Farrow took to Twitter while Allen was honored with the lifetime achievement award.
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?
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 13, 2014
Obviously there is a great deal of animosity between the Farrow’s and Allen. Mia Farrow has even gone so far as to claim that Frank Sinatra may be the real father of Ronan.
But for all the drama that has been stirred since the Vanity Fair piece, the situation turned very somber and real on Saturday, February 1st. Nicholas Kristof posted an open letter from Dylan Farrow detailing the sexual abuse she suffered from Woody Allen on his blog. The opening paragraph alone should cause anyone to stop and listen to a broken seven year old girl.
“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.”
This letter changes the game. For years Hollywood and law enforcement refused to fully invest in this issue. And whether anything legal will come of this remains to be seen. But if her allegations are true, her story deserves to be heard. Kristof asked Dylan Farrow why she would come out with this story now. Her response says it all, “I was thinking, if I don’t speak out, I’ll regret it on my death bed.”
In 1992, there was no mass public use of the internet or social media. It will most certainly be a different public situation for Woody Allen now that Dylan Farrow has penned this open letter.