Mia Farrow, the former domestic partner of acclaimed filmmaker Woody Allen, “implanted” false memories of sexual abuse by Allen in the mind of her daughter, Dylan Farrow when Dylan was seven years old, an attorney for Woody Allen charged Tuesday morning.
Woody Allen lawyer Elkan Abramowitz is leading the counterattack by Woody Allen and his camp against Mia Farrow and her children, who recently revived the 20-year-old charge that Allen sexually abused the seven year-old Dylan in an attic of the Farrow home.
But Woody Allen has consistently denied the charge and now, through his lawyer, is blasting back at Mia Farrow, accusing the actress of using the ex-couple’s now-adult adopted daughter as a “pawn” in a bitter breakup between the pair that took place two decades ago.
Appearing on NBC’s Today Show Tuesday morning, Abramowitz said that Dylan Farrow is not to blame for what he calls a trumped-up allegation originating with her mother, Mia Farrow.
“In my view she’s not lying, I think she truly believes this happened,” Abramowitz told NBC interviewer Savannah Guthrie. “That’s what the vice of this is. When you implant a story in a fragile seven-year old’s mind, it stays there forever, it never goes away.”
Guthrie responded by reminding Abramowitz that in 1993, a judge found no credible evidence that Mia Farrow had coached her daughter to accuse Woody Allen, Dylan’s adoptive father, of sexual abuse, and that a doctor who investigated the case said, “We don’t have firm evidence that Miss Farrow coached or directed Dylan to say this.”
Woody Allen was never arrested or charged with a crime in connection with the Mia Farrow and Dylan Farrow abuse allegations. While Dr. John Leventhal, as Guthrie mentioned, testified that there was no “firm evidence” of coaching by Mia Farrow, he nonetheless believed that Farrow probably did “influence” her daughter.
Leventhal testified at the time that Dylan Farrow’s telling of the abuse story had “a rehearsed quality.”
However, in 1993, Connecticut prosecutor Frank Maco said that there was “probable cause” to arrest Woody Allen, but he chose not to do so. One of his stated reasons was to prevent Dylan Farrow from undergoing the trauma of publicity and a trial in the case.
In a 60 Minutes interview in 1992, Woody Allen accused Mia Farrow of going into violent rage after she learned that Allen was in a sexual relationship with her adopted daughter with musician Andre Previn, Soon-Yo Previn.
Allen at the time charged that Mia Farrow, who starred in several Woody Allen films including The Purple Rose Of Cairo and Hannah and Her Sisters, threatened to kill him and told him, several weeks before the abuse allegations surfaced, “I have something very nasty planned for you.”
The adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Previn was at least 19 at the time she began her relationship with Woody Allen, though she may have been a year or two older. Her actual birthdate in unclear. Allen was 56. The couple remained together, marrying in 1997 and remaining married today.
Prior to the Abramowitz Today appearance, Mia Farrow posted a message on her Twitter account saying she expected “a lot of ugliness” directed her way, but that the story was “not about me.”
I love my daughter. I will always protect her. A lot of ugliness is going to be aimed at me. But this is not about me, it’s about her truth.
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) February 4, 2014
Abramowitz told Guthrie that Woody Allen felt “overwhelming sadness” because Dylan Farrow “was a pawn in a huge fight between him and Mia Farrow years ago.”