Woody Allen launched a blistering attack on documentary-makers Sunday night after the airing of the first episode of the hard-hitting four-part docuseries Allen v. Farrow, which explores allegations he sexually abused his daughter Dylan Farrow.
A representative for Allen, 85, and his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, 50, slammed the show as a ‘hatchet job’ that is ‘riddled with falsehoods’ in a lengthy statement.
The new documentary series paints a damning picture of the Oscar-winning director, and examines the relationship he had with his young adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow, and the split from her mother Mia.
‘These documentarians had no interest in the truth,’ the statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter read. ‘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. 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.’
Allen claims that he and his wife were approached about the documentary less than two months ago and given ‘only a matter of days’ to respond – but producer Amy Herdy said she had reached out as early as June 2018.
‘I reached out to his rep a few times to try and interview him then – and got crickets back,’ she told Variety, adding that she had confirmed with an assistant that her emails had got through.
The couple also suggests HBO’s business dealings with his estranged son Ronan Farrow are proof that the documentary is biased in his favor.
The statement continued: ‘It is sadly unsurprising that the network to air this is HBO – which has a standing production deal and business relationship with Ronan Farrow.
‘While this shoddy hit piece may gain attention, it does not change the facts.’
Ronan, an investigative journalist with The New Yorker who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work uncovering sexual assault allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, signed a multi-film production deal with HBO in 2018.
The three-year agreement will have Ronan producing and fronting a series of investigative documentary specials for the cable powerhouse.
Allen declined to be interviewed for the docuseries, though excerpts from his 2020 memoir are cited as a contrast to the allegations. The film includes Allen’s voice as he narrates the audio book version of the memoir, Apropos of Nothing.
Dylan has accused Allen of sexually abusing her in August 1992, when she was only seven years old – an allegation he has always denied.
The documentary draws a line between the alleged abuse of Dylan and Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, who is now his wife.
In the film, Mia said the ‘pornographic’ photos of Soon-Yi that she found in Allen’s Manhattan apartment were so explicit that only Hustler magazine would agree to publish them.
The Rosemary’s Baby actress, 76, also revealed that she regards her 12-year relationship with Allen as ‘the great regret of my life.’
Allen has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. Authorities in Connecticut and New York looked into the claims and decided not to prosecute Allen.
The explosive documentary by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering includes interviews and never-before-seen footage of the family in the years leading up to the couple’s acrimonious split and the famed director’s marriage to Farrow’s adopted daughter.
‘I remember struggling to breathe,’ Farrow said, recalling her reaction after she found a stack of polaroid photos of Previn, who was a 21-year-old college student at the time, inside Allen’s New York City apartment on January 13, 1992.
Allen was 56 years old when he acknowledged having an affair with Soon-Yi.
‘It was my own child,’ Farrow said of her reaction to seeing the pictures.
Farrow said she took the photos and put them in her pocket and left Allen’s apartment.
‘I don’t think I could push the elevator button,’ she recalled. ‘I was just like shaking.’
Farrow said that she went back to her apartment with Ronan. She then saw Soon-Yi at home.
‘What pictures?’ Soon-Yi is said to have responded to Farrow.
‘The pictures that Woody took,’ Farrow said she replied.
Farrow said that they both broke down in tears. She tried to reassure her adopted daughter that it wasn’t her fault, according to the documentary.
‘She was just beside herself,’ Farrow said of Soon-Yi.
A friend of Farrow interviewed in the documentary said that the actress was ‘forgiving’ of Soon-Yi because she felt that she was so young she would have ‘no idea how to resist [Allen’s] overtures.’
Soon afterward, Allen arrived at the apartment.
‘Get out, get out!’ Farrow recalled telling her boyfriend. ‘You gotta get out.’
Farrow said Allen was at the apartment for four hours ‘just talking and talking and talking.’
‘I’m in love with Soon-Yi,’ Farrow recalled Allen telling her. ‘I would marry her.’
Then Farrow said that her boyfriend told her: ‘No, I just said that. It was something I thought of in the car. I thought it would make it better if I said… put it that way.
Farrow said: ‘It was all of that for four hours.’
Allen is said to have told his girlfriend, Mia: ‘I just made a mistake. I lost control.’
‘I didn’t know what to think,’ Mia said in the docuseries. ‘I just needed him to get out.’
Dylan, who was six years old at the time, said that when she came home that day she saw her mother crying while standing in the doorway of Soon-Yi’s bedroom while Soon-Yi was on the floor, also in tears.
Mia said that she consulted a therapist who coached her on how to tell her two young children what had taken place.
‘I remember my mom told me and Ronan: “Daddy took naked pictures of Soon-Yi”,’ Dylan said.
‘That was sort of the first instance that I thought, “Oh, it’s not just me”.’
Earlier in the episode, Mia told the filmmakers of her relationship with Allen: ‘That’s the great regret of my life, that I wasn’t perceptive enough.
She added: ‘I brought this guy into my family. There’s nothing I can do to take that away.’
Mia also said she understood why many of Allen’s fans find it difficult to believe the explosive claims made against one of Hollywood’s most renowned directors.
‘I get why people can’t believe it because who on Earth could believe that of Woody Allen?’ Mia said.
‘I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. Everybody admired Woody so much, loved him, and I did too.’
Mia adopted Soon-Yi Previn from an orphanage in Korea in 1977 with her former husband, composer André Previn.
Previn was 21 years old when news broke of the affair and the subsequent family conflict morphed into a media frenzy that topped national headlines. Allen and Previn have now been married more than 20 years.
In 1993, Mia Farrow won custody of the couple’s three children: Dylan, Moses and Ronan.
Allen was denied all visitation rights with Dylan.
Mia Farrow shot to fame thanks to her performance in Roman Polanski’s 1968 horror movie Rosemary’s Baby.
Two years later, after moving in with Andrew Previn and his wife Dory, she got pregnant with Previn’s twins.
Mia married Previn and had another son Fletcher Previn.
In total Mia gave birth to four children and adopted 10 for a total of 14 children between 1970 and 1995.
Three of them have since died. Lark Previn fell into a life of drugs and died of AIDS at 35, and Thaddeus Wilk Farrow committed suicide at age 27 in 2016.
A third, Tam, who was blind is said to have died of an accidental overdose in 2000, but Mia’s son Moses contends that she too killed herself deliberately.
Dylan, now 35, speaks in detail on camera for the first time about the alleged abuse and in a home video shot by Mia in 1992, the then-7-year-old says Allen told her ‘Do not move, I have to do this,’ as he ‘touched her private parts’ in the attic of Frog Hollow, Farrow’s rambling home in Bridgewater, Connecticut on August 4 1992.
The alleged abuse occurred seven months after Mia had discovered Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi.
Despite their growing enmity she still let him inside her house and left him with her children and nannies while she went on a shopping spree.
She even told Moses, her oldest adopted son, to keep an eye on Allen to make sure he didn’t do anything inappropriate.
Moses was 14 at the time.
Farrow’s children are split about what happened. Ronan Farrow – the only biological child of Allen and Farrow – strongly supports his mother.
Moses turned against her with a scathing essay in 2018, in which he said Mia had drilled into the children’s heads that Allen was ‘evil,’ ‘a monster,’ ‘the devil,’ and Soon-Yi was ‘dead to us.’
‘My mother was our only source of information about Woody — and she was extremely convincing,’ wrote Moses, now 43.
He said Woody and Soon-Yi hardly knew each other until shortly before their affair started in 1991.
Soon-Yi herself said Woody was never a father-figure, just her mother’s boyfriend. She also accused Mia of having violent rages, even hitting her across the head with a chair, causing her to lose partial hearing.
Moses wrote: ‘It was my mother who first suggested, when Soon-Yi was 20, that Woody reach out and spend time with her. He agreed and started taking her to Knicks games. That’s how their romance started.
‘Yes, it was unorthodox, uncomfortable, disruptive to our family and it hurt my mother terribly. But the relationship itself was not nearly as devastating to our family as my mother’s insistence on making this betrayal the center of all our lives from then on.’
Allen has always maintained his innocence, claiming that Dylan either fabricated the abuse allegation or was coached by Mia because of her jealousy about his relationship with Soon-Yi.
Authorities in Connecticut found there was probable cause to charge Allen with first- and fourth-degree sexual abuse for penetrating Dylan both vaginally and anally but decided against charging him ‘to avoid the unjustifiable risk of exposing a child to the rigors and uncertainties of a questionable prosecution.’
Among the accusations against Allen was that he rubbed lotion between Dylan’s buttocks and he kissed her all over so much that her body was wet with his slobber.
He allegedly slept in the same bed as her wearing just jockey shorts and would have her suck on his finger.
Dylan is said to have asked her mother: ‘Why does daddy act like a boyfriend to me?’ and when the children were playing a game of Robin Hood, she took the role of Maid Marion but insisted that the boys were all Friar Tuck not Robin because ‘I don’t want any boyfriends or love games.’
Mia tried to warn Woody away from Dylan, sticking a note on his door saying he had ‘molded one daughter and now had his eye on another.’
Moses ridiculed his sister’s account that Allen told her to lay on her stomach and play with her brother’s electric train set.
‘Then he sexually assaulted me,’ claimed Dylan. ‘He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies.’
‘I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.’
Moses said: ‘It’s a precise and compelling narrative, but there’s a major problem: there was no electric train set in that attic. There was, in fact, no way for kids to play up there, even if we had wanted to.
‘It was an unfinished crawl space, under a steeply angled gabled roof, with exposed nails and floorboards, billows of fiberglass insulation, filled with mousetraps and droppings and stinking of mothballs, and crammed with trunks full of hand-me-down clothes and my mother’s old wardrobes.
‘The idea that the space could possibly have accommodated a functioning electric train set, circling around the attic, is ridiculous.’
But Ronan takes the exact opposite position to his older brother.
When the Golden Globes honored Allen with a montage of his work in 2014, Ronan tweeted: ‘Missed the Woody Allen tribute — did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?’
Two years later he wrote in the Hollywood Reporter: ‘I believe my sister. This was always true as a brother who trusted her, and, even at 5 years old, was troubled by our father’s strange behavior around her: climbing into her bed in the middle of the night, forcing her to suck his thumb — behavior that had prompted him to enter into therapy focused on his inappropriate conduct with children prior to the allegations.
‘But more importantly, I’ve approached the case as an attorney and a reporter, and found her allegations to be credible. The facts are persuasive and well documented.’
Whatever the truth, Allen’s career has now crashed — although it took years for it to happen. After he was first accused of assaulting Dylan he was nominated for nine Oscars, winning one for best original screenplay for 2012’s Midnight in Paris.
But over the past couple of years, he has found it increasingly difficult to get funding or distribution for his movies and other projects. Amazon pulled out of a $54 million, four-picture deal. Hachette dropped his memoir.
He told The Mail on Sunday last year: ‘I don’t feel vindicated because that is to imply I was concerned and — I don’t wish to seem callous — but I am not. Of course, I am aware I am the subject of gossip and scandal, but I cannot let it bother me. I live my life. I work. I play jazz. I watch sports. I see my friends. I don’t look up and I don’t read anything.’
Former model who features in explosive new Woody Allen documentary says the Hollywood director seduced her when she was 16… and he was 41
By Barbara McMahon for the Daily Mail
Christina Engelhardt was only 16 when she first met Woody Allen in a New York restaurant.
At the time, she was a blonde high school student with green eyes, a figure that had won her a few modelling contracts and a dream in her heart of being famous.
He was 41, had already had a hit with the film Sleeper and would soon release Annie Hall and Manhattan, two of his greatest films.
In the latter he played a middle-aged man in a relationship with a 17-year-old high school girl, played by actress Mariel Hemingway, who was then aged 16.
Only now, four decades after the film premiered, can Christina see the cruel irony of the storyline that captivated generations.
‘The film always reminded me of how he played with characters in his movies, and how he played with me,’ says Christina today.
For after that first restaurant rendezvous, she claims she went on to have a clandestine eight-year relationship with the Hollywood director, under the nose of — and indeed, she says, with the full but reluctant knowledge of — his then long-term partner, Mia Farrow.
Allen never mentioned her young age —despite their 25-year age gap — and from the beginning he laid down rules that they would not discuss his work and would meet only at his place.
Christina feels it was a crude and cruel introduction to the world of relationships for a young girl and, for many years, she refused to see herself as a victim.
Young, ambitious, starstruck and entirely smitten with her famous ‘boyfriend’, it’s only now, as an adult, that she says she can see how she was manipulated.
‘The fact that I was a teenager was never mentioned, and that was actually very clever because it made me feel adult-like.
‘He would ask me questions — what did I think about this and what did I think about that — and I was thrilled that he wanted my opinion.
‘To me, that was exciting, to be seen not just for being attractive. I thought he cared for my mind as well as my body,’ she says, ruefully. ‘But he never took me out to dinner or on a date, not once.’
Christina, now an attractive and bubbly 61-year-old divorced mother of two adult daughters, is one of the voices in a new HBO documentary, Allen v Farrow, which chronicles troubling claims about the Hollywood legend’s sexual history.
It brings fresh scrutiny to some of the serious allegations that have been levelled against him for decades and examines his apparent predilection for young women.
Secretly made over three years by respected filmmakers known for uncovering new evidence and aggressively holding alleged sexual predators to account, the documentary has led to questions about whether this will finally see the director hounded out of Hollywood for good, and his films shunned for ever.
The four hour-long instalments examines his marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, the Korean-born adopted daughter of his former partner Mia Farrow whom he met when she was ten and accusations — which Allen has always denied — that he molested another of Farrow’s adopted daughters, Dylan, when she was seven.
In particular, Allen v Farrow allows Dylan, now a 35-year-old mother of two, to tell her side of a deeply troubling story, claiming that a little girl never received justice and the film director has not been fully held to account.
It also highlights what ‘girlfriends’ such as Christina have long claimed — which is that the Oscar-winning director’s interest in portraying deep infatuations between teenage girls and older men in his films mirrored his penchant for young women in real life.
Christina tells me how she would regularly take a two-hour bus trip from her parents’ home in New Jersey for ‘dates’ with the esteemed director at his home — but, by her account, their relationship was far from any young girl’s dream of romance.
‘I never once stayed overnight. It was only for a couple of hours, including sex. A glass of wine, a little chit-chat, a game of chess and some sex. Then it was always, “OK. Time to go. Next time, you’re in the city, let me know.” ’
The vulnerable teenager said she was hurt and confused by the secret nature of their relationship, evidenced by the fact that Allen wouldn’t even take her out for a meal. Read from source….