“I think a relationship is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies. Well, what we have on our hands here is a dead shark.”
– Woody Allen
But wasn’t that shark buried and put to rest more than 20 years ago? The ghost of terrible breakups past has returned to haunt Woody Allen, and it’s digging a grave for the “Blue Jasmine” director just in time for Oscar season.
Dylan Farrow wrote an open letter, which was published in The New York Times, stating that Allen, her adoptive father, had sexually assaulted her when she was seven years old. These accusations originated in the early ‘90s, in the midst of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen’s ugly custody battle and breakup.
The charges in the ‘90s against Allen were investigated and dropped. A psychiatric hospital determined that Dylan had been “coached” into telling the story. The lawyer on the case at the time believed there was probable cause but did not prosecute because it would do little to help their young daughter.
This was not your average custody battle or breakup.
Allen had left Farrow for her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, whom Allen went on to marry in 1997. Farrow was furious, and the media was quick to respond. The poor family’s dirty laundry was plastered on every magazine and newspaper in the country.
Moses Farrow, another of Allen and Farrow’s adopted children and a licensed family therapist, spoke in defense of Allen earlier this week to PEOPLE Magazine.
“Of course Woody did not molest my sister,” Moses said. “She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him. The day in question, there were six or seven of us in the house. We were all in public rooms, and no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces.”
Regardless of the validity, this story is conveniently resurfacing just after Allen received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Golden Globes. He is also nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Additionally, he wrote a musical that will hit the Broadway stage later in 2014.
Allen is getting destroyed in the headlines. Will this affect his chances of winning any future awards? Could this destroy his continued presence in the film industry?
It is important that Dylan’s side is represented as well. It takes a lot of courage to come out and talk about a traumatic experience like that. This alleged event seems very real to Farrow.
In her letter she writes:
“I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself.”
It takes courage to face these issues, especially in the public eye. Whether Allen is guilty or not, it is necessary that the public continue to encourage people to speak up about abuse.
Allen’s lawyer released a statement that the acclaimed director is saddened by this story resurfacing and he is concerned for Farrow’s mental health.
The New York Times is currently debating whether they will run Allen’s rebuttal to Farrow in the next few days.