Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Next step uncertain in Woody Allen allegations

09 February 2014, 07:33

New York -  A week bracketed by letters of accusation and denial of child molestation left little clarity and scant hope for resolution in a bitter saga that has haunted Woody Allen and the Farrow family for more than two decades.

The back-and-forth between Allen and his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, breathed new fire into a long dormant scandal, but what happens next is uncertain, with the possibility of legal recourse and continued scrutiny in the weeks and months ahead.

Farrow, in her most detailed account yet, alleged in an open letter published on 1 February by The New York Times that Allen "sexually assaulted" her when she was 7 years old at the Farrows' Connecticut home, renewing a charge against the movie director that was first leveled in 1992.

Allen responded in a letter posted online Friday night by the Times that insisted "of course I did not molest Dylan." He instead claimed the young Dylan had been coerced and misled by her mother, Mia Farrow. The two acrimoniously separated after Farrow discovered Allen was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, who was 19 or 21 at the time. (Her date of birth is uncertain.)

"I loved Dylan and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter's well-being," said Allen, who married Previn in 1997 and has two adopted daughters with her.

Allen ended his letter by declaring it would be his "final word on this entire matter."

Continue to stir questions

But the rampant debate sparked by Dylan Farrow's accusation will likely continue to stir questions over the alleged molestation, how claims of sexual assault are publicly weighed, and the legacy of Allen's acclaimed work as a filmmaker.

Filing criminal charges would be difficult for Farrow. In Connecticut, Farrow had until age 20 to file charges. (She is now 28, married and living in Florida.) In 2002, Connecticut extended the cutoff to age 48, but that only covers crimes since the change. Exceptions can be made for the most serious sexual crimes.

Connecticut state prosecutor Frank Maco, who investigated the charges in 1993 but is now retired, has said he believes the statute of limitations ran out on the case years ago.

The history of the case is clouded by a 1993 investigation that was full of contradictions. Allen wasn't charged and a team of child abuse specialists from the Yale-New Haven Hospital brought into the case by prosecutors concluded Dylan had not been molested. But Maco claimed there was "probable cause" for charging him. In the custody battle, Judge Elliott Wilk concluded Allen's behavior with Dylan was "grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her."

Farrow could file a civil suit against Allen. Though a suit would offer the opportunity to retry the case in civil court, it would insure a drawn-out, very public battle that would be taxing for all involved.

Even without further legal action, the public eye in which Allen and the Farrows operate will keep the matter in the headlines.

Frank Sinatra's son? 

Ronan Farrow, the 26-year-old son of Allen and Mia Farrow (though she has said Frank Sinatra could be the father), will start hosting his own show on MSNBC on Feb. 24. (Dylan's brother, Moses, 36, has insisted Allen never molested Dylan.)

Allen's latest film, Blue Jasmine, is nominated for three Academy Awards. Though Allen, long an award-show absentee, won't be at the March 2 Oscars, he could win his fifth Oscar for the screenplay to Blue Jasmine. The film's star, Cate Blanchett, is generally considered the front-runner for best actress.

It was the Golden Globes' recent honoring of Allen for its Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award that precipitated Dylan Farrow's op-ed, which was largely aimed at the movie industry and fans of Allen for turning a blind eye to the director's alleged molestation.

But if the endgame of the situation is unclear, Dylan Farrow has suggested she's already accomplished her goal.

"If speaking out about my experience can help others stand up to their tormentors, it will be worth the pain and suffering my father continues to inflict on me," Farrow said in a statement following Allen's op-ed. "I won't let the truth be buried and I won't be silenced."

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...