Did Woody Allen Really Molest Dylan Farrow?

Sex, Family

It seems the entire world is abuzz with the resurgence of the Woody Allen molestation rumors following Dylan Farrow's recent open letter to the director in the New York Times. Farrow painted a horrifying picture of childhood sexual abuse that was silenced by the Hollywood brass. 

Even before the letter was published, Allen had already earned a somewhat undeserved (depending on who you ask) reputation as a creep. Many hold on to the belief that Allen married his own adopted daughter—but that's not exactly the case. Soon-Yi Previn was Mia Farrow's adopted daughter with composer Andre Previn. What's more, Allen and Mia Farrow never lived together, nor were they ever married. Further, Soon-Yi was of age when she and Allen began their relationship (at least publicly). Soon Yi's birth year was actually never documented in Korea, where she was born, but she was believed to be born in either 1970 or 1972, making her either 19 or 21 when she and Allen began seeing each other.

The relationship between Allen and Soon-Yi may seem unrelated to Farrow's accusations, but it does shape the public's perception of the director, making it easier to pile on accusations of abusive behavior.

Allen was never convicted for child molestation, and Farrow's accounts remain unfounded in the eyes of the law and many of Allen's defenders. It's hard to side with either party in this case because the firsthand are all so contradictory and the "facts" are murky. But experts agree on one thing: Dylan Farrow is a victim ... but is she a victim of sexual assault from Woody Allen or mental abuse and manipulation by Mia Farrow?

Psychologist Lisa Kaplin believes that Dylan Farrow was, in fact, a victim of sexual abuse, despite the rebuttals against her. "I do think Dylan is a victim. She was 7, which is certainly old enough to have some version of memories or to at least be aware that something felt very wrong to her," Dr. Kaplin says. Fair enough, but what about Mia Farrow feeding her information? "Regarding coercion by her mother, there doesn't seem to be solid evidence that that is the case and certainly Dylan has had years to recant or to suggest that her mother played a role and she hasn't," said Dr. Kaplin. "Why wouldn't Mia have also tried to coerce her other children to do the same?" 

Speaking of her other children, Moses Farrow, 36, tells People, "My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister. And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi." KEEP READING...

As for Dylan Farrow's retelling of the alleged incident, Dr. Kaplin is defensive of the young woman. "Memory is a very fluid, changing thing. You may remember something differently from one day to the next," Dr. Kaplin says. "Yet the heart of Dylan's story remains the same: her father did things to her that made her very uncomfortable. Trauma and fear play a role in how we remember things. Often we remember them almost as we do a film versus a clear step by step memory," she added. "Details can change for almost all memories even when we think they are so clear. This is particularly true for a child."

With that in mind, Dr. Kaplin doesn't think Mia Farrow was necessarily planting seeds in Dylan Farrow's mind. "I don't think she was used as a pawn by Mia. In almost all respects, it appears that Mia would never do anything to hurt her children. Using Dylan as a pawn in such a way would be truly abusive and there doesn't seem to be evidence that Mia was anything more than protective of her children," Dr. Kaplin emphasized. "Her work around children's safety also suggests a woman who protects children whenever possible. There is literally no evidence (other than Woody's word) to suggest that Mia did this."

Still, Mia Farrow isn't completely innocent. Though she was quick to throw Allen under the bus — and quite possibly rightfully so — she still supports Roman Polanski, who was actually convicted of drugging and raping a minor. This contradiction is a big part of why many have cast doubt on Dylan Farrow's allegations. Dr. Kaplin says, "I truly don't understand how anyone could support Polanski, particularly Mia Farrow. He is a pedophile with evidence against him. Shame on her for her hypocrisy in this situation. It would be one thing to stand with a family member (we often must) but certainly not an acquaintance who is a pedophile."

As for accusations that Mia Farrow and son Ronan, whose MSNBC show is slated to premiere soon, are using the Allen allegations for publicity, Dr. Kaplin doubts that, too, and alleges that those accusations are almost as damaging as the alleged sexual assault itself. "I think the buzz stemmed from the Golden Globe tribute to Woody," Dr. Kaplin says. "None of us want to believe that a talented man such as Woody Allen could be capable of such a horrible crime, yet to deny a victim who has stood by her story for so many years with relative clarity seems particularly wrong. Rape culture victimizes women twice — once the actual rape and then again when we tell her that it didn't really happen to her."