It's been speculated for over two decades in Hollywood that Woody Allen abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, at the age of 7. And now, 21 years later, Farrow is speaking out again in a bombshell open letter in the New York Times, accusing Allen of "sexually assaulting" her back in 1993.
"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," Farrow, now 28, wrote. "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."
Allen, 77, and Dylan's mother Mia Farrow, 68, began dating in 1980 and adopted Dylan and her brother Moses in 1987. They also welcomed son Ronan in 1987. Allegations of abuse began in 1993, but Allen has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and has maintained his innocence. During a custody battle for the children in 1992, Farrow filed charges of molestation against Allen, but the case was later dropped.
"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," Dylan continued. "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."
Allen went on to marry Ronan's adopted sister, Soon-Yi Previn, in 1997. The couple now have two children. As for Dylan, she writes in the NYT piece that she began cutting herself and developed an eating disorder after the alleged "sexual relationship" she endured with Allen.
"Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. But this time, I refuse to fall apart," she explained on why she decided to speak out now. "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." (He also received the Golden Globe lifetime achievement award last month, and was then mocked by Ronan via Twitter. "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?" he wrote Jan. 12.)
So, with the survivors in mind, Farrow called out big A-listers, who have worked with the legendary Hollywood director over the years. "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?" she wrote. "Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse."