NEW YORK: Dylan Farrow — the estranged, adopted daughter of Hollywood director Woody Allen — trashed her father’s statement discrediting the claims that he molested her.
“He’s lying and he’s been lying for so long,” Farrow told CBS This Morning in the interview that aired Thursday, breaking down into tears when watching a clip of Allen denying the alleged assault.
Allen, 82, attempted to contain a rising backlash Thursday by alleging his ex-lover’s family of “cynically” exploiting the Time’s Up movement to repeat “discredited” child molestation allegations as his tearful daughter accused him of lying.
The disgraced director issued a statement after Farrow revived the detailed claims that he had sexually assaulted her as a seven-year-old girl, at her mother’s Connecticut home in 1992, in her first full television interview.
Now a 32-year-old married mother of a young girl, Farrow said in retrospect she wished the case had gone to trial. “Honestly yes. I do wish that they had,” she told CBS.
A Connecticut state prosecutor at the time had found probable cause to charge Allen but thought Farrow too fragile to face a celebrity trial.
Farrow says her father took her to a small attic crawl space, instructed her to lay down on her stomach and play with her brother’s toy train, while he sat behind in the doorway and touched her private parts.
“He was always touching me, cuddling me and, if I ever said, you know, like I want to go off by myself, he wouldn’t let me,” she told CBS.
“He often asked me to get into bed with him when he had only his underwear on and, sometimes, when only I had my underwear on,” she added.
‘Culture of silence’
The New York judge — who presided over the 1994 custody battle between Allen and Mia Farrow — ruled that the allegations were inconclusive, but, at the same time, lambasted the director as “self-absorbed, untrustworthy, and insensitive”.
In recent weeks, a growing number of actresses — including Greta Gerwig, Rebecca Hall, Ellen Page, and Mira Sorvino — have announced they regret working with Allen.
“I believe Dylan,” Oscar-winner Natalie Portman told Oprah Winfrey in a recent group interview with others who included Reese Witherspoon.
Hall and the actor Timothee Chalamet — who appear in Allen’s upcoming movie A Rainy Day in New York — have announced that they will donate their salaries from the film to charities including the Time’s Up movement.
Farrow has called out celebrities who have starred in Allen’s films but denied to CBS that she was angry with them.
Instead, she expressed hope that they could “maybe hold themselves accountable to how they have perpetuated this culture of — of silence in their industry.”
‘Vulnerable child’, ‘angry mother’
In his statement on Thursday, Allen said both the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital and New York State Child Welfare had “thoroughly investigated” the alleged molestation and “concluded that no molestation had ever taken place”.
“Instead, they found it likely a vulnerable child had been coached to tell the story by her angry mother during a contentious breakup,” he said.
The accusation is not “any more true today than it was in the past” despite how “the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation”, Allen said.
“I never molested my daughter — as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago,” he added.
How is Allen’s story ‘more believable’?
Farrow has stood by her claim, which first surfaced in the wake of her parents’ bitter split when Allen left the actress and activist Mia Farrow for Soon-Yi Previn — her adoptive daughter from a previous marriage who was 21 at the time.
“What I don’t understand is how is this crazy story of me being brainwashed and coached more believable than what I’m saying about being sexually assaulted by my father?” Farrow hit back.
Allen has always denied the allegations — which have never been proven — continues to enjoy a fabulous career.
Nevertheless, the recent sexual harassment firestorm has fueled a growing backlash against Allen, with a growing number of actresses announcing that they regret working with him in recent weeks.
Farrow says it is now time for the world to finally listen to the claims she has stood by for more than two decades.