New MSNBC correspondent Ronan Farrow, who may or may not be related to his mother’s ex-boyfriend, sent off a salvo on Twitter as Allen was honored by the Golden Globes. “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?”
Now the scandal has exploded again, with members of the family publicly taking sides in a high stakes media war. UPDATE: Moses Farrow, 36, who was adopted by Mia Farrow and Woody Allen and is now estranged from his mother and close to Allen and his wife Soon-Yi, has responded to his 28-year-old sister Dylan Farrow’s Open Letter describing Allen’s sex abuse when she was age seven, which ran in Nicholas Kristof’s column in last Sunday’s New York Times. (He has worked closely with Mia in her foreign aid efforts.) Moses Farrow says that his other has poisoned his sister against Allen.
“My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister,” Moses, 36, tells PEOPLE in the magazine’s new issue. “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.”
Now Woody Allen wants his day in the court of public opinion. He has asked the Times to publish his rebuttal and the paper told him to submit it to them, subject to editorial considerations. (Of course they will run it.)
The timing is not coincidental. It’s the height of Oscar season, as Allen is up for Best Original Screenplay for “Blue Jasmine,” Sally Hawkins for Best Supporting Actress and and much-lauded Cate Blanchett for Best Actress.
Even Kristof maintains that Allen–who was investigated but never prosecuted for this alleged crime– deserves a presumption of innocence. Custody battles can get murky.
What is the truth here? We may never know. Should we punish Woody Allen the man by refusing to give him awards for his work, as his daughter advocates? Should his art be separated from his deeds? We don’t know what he has done, but many folks are uncomfortable with the content of some of his films, such as “Manhattan,” in which he dates a 17-year-old Mariel Hemingway, see clip below.
Both sides have detailed their case. Read Woody Allen documentarian Robert Weide’s Daily Beast response to the Farrow vs. Allen charges, in which he busts many of the Woody Allen myths out there. For example, he never lived with or was married to Farrow, and he was getting together with his future wife, Columbia student Soon-Yi Previn, Farrow’s adopted daughter with Andre Previn, when the alleged Dylan Farrow abuse was supposed to have taken place. Maureen Orth’s account of the Mia Farrow side of the story ran in the 1992 Vanity Fair and was revisited last November–in advance of her son’s new media career. (See Michael Wolff’s astute analysis here.)
UPDATE: Woody Allen is prepping a response, a spokeswoman told Variety:
“Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful. He will be responding very soon. At the time, a thorough investigation was conducted by court appointed independent experts. The experts concluded there was no credible evidence of molestation; that Dylan Farrow had an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality; and that Dylan Farrow had likely been coached by her mother Mia Farrow. No charges were ever filed.”
Put on the spot on the Oscar campaign trail in Santa Barbara, where she received a tribute, Cate Blanchett gracefully answered the obstreperous Jeffrey Wells: “It’s obviously been a long and painful situation for the family and I hope they find some resolution and peace.”
Will this scandal have an impact on the Oscar race? Given the largely male Academy’s willingness to give Best Actor to Adrien Brody and Best Director to Roman Polanski for his extraordinary holocaust movie “The Pianist” –after he pled guilty to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old minor and fled the country–probably not.