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Woody Allen Responds to Dylan Farrow's Sexual Abuse Allegations in Never-Before-Seen Interview

Corinne Heller
·4 min read
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In a never-before-seen interview, Woody Allen says allegations that he molested his now-estranged daughter Dylan Farrow are "so preposterous," although he does believe that she thinks the sexual abuse happened.

The 85-year-old Oscar-winning director, who has long denied the claims, made his comments to CBS Sunday Morning in July 2020 in what the network says marks his first in-depth television interview in nearly three decades. The sit-down was released on ViacomCBS' Paramount+ streaming platform on Sunday, March 28, two weeks after the conclusion of the HBO miniseries Allen v. Farrow, which centered around the molestation allegations.

"It's so preposterous and yet the smear has remained," Woody told CBS Sunday Morning. "And they still prefer to cling to, if not the notion that I molested Dylan, the possibility that I molested her. Nothing that I ever did with Dylan in my life could be misconstrued as that."

Allen v. Farrow featured interviews with Dylan, now 35, and her mom, Woody's estranged partner Mia Farrow. The sexual assault allegations made by then-7-year-old Dylan were brought to light as part of a 1992 custody battle. In 2013, Dylan went public with the claims in comments made to Vanity Fair, and detailed her accusations against her estranged father again in a 2014 New York Times essay, a 2017 Los Angeles Times op-ed and in a 2018 CBS This Morning interview.

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"I believe she thinks it [happened]," Woody said about his daughter in the 2020 CBS Sunday Morning interview. "She was a good kid, and I believe she thinks it. You know, I do not believe that she's making it up. I don't believe she's lying. I believe she believes that."

Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen
Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen

In a 2014 New York Times counter op-ed, Woody wrote, "Not that I doubt Dylan hasn't come to believe she's been molested, but if from the age of 7 a vulnerable child is taught by a strong mother to hate her father because he is a monster who abused her, is it so inconceivable that after many years of this indoctrination the image of me Mia wanted to establish had taken root?"

After the allegations surfaced during the former couple's custody battle, Connecticut state police launched an investigation. Woody was never arrested or charged. Mia won custody of the three children the two shared, and he was denied visitation rights with Dylan.

"There was no logic to it on the face of it," the director told CBS News about the molestation claims. "Why would a guy who's 57 years old? I never was accused of anything in my life. I'm suddenly going to drive up in the middle of a contentious custody fight at Mia's country home yet, a 7-year-old girl. On the surface, I didn't think it required any investigation, even."

Before Allen v. Farrow premiered, Woody and wife Soon-Yi Previn's rep said in a statement that the documentary makers "had no interest in the truth," adding, "Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods."

"As has been known for decades, these allegations are categorically false," the statement continued. "Multiple agencies investigated them at the time and found that, whatever Dylan Farrow may have been led to believe, absolutely no abuse had ever taken place."

The second episode of Allen v. Farrow featured home video footage of Dylan at age 7, telling her mother about the alleged abuse. Before it aired in February, Dylan tweeted, "My fear in letting this tape come to light is that I am putting Little Dylan in the court of public opinion. While I have been able to take the stones thrown at me as an adult, to think of that happening to this little girl is stomach-churning."

"But I decided to let them share it in hopes that Little Dylan's voice might now help others suffering in silence feel heard, understood, and less alone," she continued. "And that my testimony might also help parents, relatives, friends, loved ones and the world in general understand first-hand how an abused child might speak and interpret these horrific events."

Dylan added, "I hope this tape helps us all find ways to allow painful secrets to come safely out of their closets so we all can heal and move forward in strength and peace. No longer ashamed, buried, scared, sad, and silent."

For free, confidential help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit rainn.org.