A 20-year-old family feud has turned into a full-fledged nightmare. Just two days after Dylan Farrow penned a startling open letter alleging her father Woody Allen sexually abused her at age 7, the Oscar-winning director's lawyer Alkan Abramowitz released a statement Monday, Feb. 3 saying the controversy was "engineered by a vengeful lover," in what appears to be a dig at Mia Farrow.
"It is tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces," Abramowitz told CNN Monday. "Even though it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities." Allen's attorney added, "The one to blame for Dylan's distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen."
The story traces back to 1992 when it was revealed the acclaimed director was having an affair with Soon-Yi Previn -- the adopted daughter of Allen's then-partner Mia Farrow. Accusations of Allen's "inappropriate touching" of Dylan soon emerged in the nasty custody battle over Mia and Woody's two children. The charges were later dropped.
Dylan's essay, which was published by the New York Times Saturday, Feb. 1, recounted the alleged incident in horrific detail: "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," Dylan, 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."
Times columnist Nick Kristof, who published her harrowing first person account on his blog, shared a full disclosure in his Sunday column: "I am a friend of her mother, Mia, and brother Ronan, and that’s how Dylan got in touch with me," the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist revealed.
"Dylan, Allen's adopted daughter who is now married and living in Florida under a different name, tells me that she has been traumatized for more than two decades by what took place," Kristof, the co-author of bestselling book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, added in his latest column. "Last year, she was belatedly diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She says that when she heard of the Golden Globe award being given to Allen she curled up in a ball on her bed, crying hysterically."
Allen was recently nominated for another Oscar in the best original screenplay category for Blue Jasmine; the film also has Oscar nods for Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins as Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. As previously reported, two of the movie's stars, Blanchett and Alec Baldwin, have already acknowledged Dylan's letter.
Since the story first broke, the director has denied the claims -- first in a 1992 interview calling them "unconscionable" and "insane" -- and again this past Sunday, Feb. 2. "Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful," his rep told Us Weekly after the publication of Dylan's essay. "He will be responding very soon."