Woody Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow spoke in detail about the alleged sexual assault she suffered as a child in an exclusive interview with CBS News, her first time speaking on-camera about the allegations.
For years, Farrow has insisted that her father sexually assaulted her in 1992 when she was seven years old, a claim Allen has denied — and denied again this week in a statement to CBS News.
“I loved my father,” Farrow told CBS News anchor Gayle King.
“I respected him. He was my hero.”
King then asks Farrow to describe the events of the August 1992 day she claims Allen sexually molested her, which Farrow has written about previously in an op-ed in the New York Times.
“I was taken to a small attic crawl space in my mother’s country house in Connecticut by my father. He instructed me to lay down on my stomach and play with my brother’s toy train that was set up,” Farrow said.
“And he sat behind me in the doorway, and as I played with the toy train, I was sexually assaulted… As a 7-year-old I would say, I would have said he touched my private parts …
“As a 32-year-old, [I would say] he touched my labia and my vulva with his finger.”
Farrow explained that after she told her mother Mia Farrow what happened, her mother took her too a doctor. But initially, when the doctor asked Dylan where her father touched her, she pointed to her shoulder.
Farrow said her mother asked her, ‘”Why didn’t you tell the doctor what you told me?” And I told her that I was embarrassed. And then we went back in,” and Farrow claims she told the doctor what really happened.
Allen and Mia Farrow were going through a very high-profile breakup at the time the allegations, following Farrow’s discovery that Allen had been having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi.
At the time, Allen insisted that his estranged partner was putting words in his daughter’s mouth because she was enraged by the affair. In the interview, King showed Farrow a clip of an older interview in which Allen denies the allegations.
In a segment on 60 Minutes, Allen said:
“Isn’t it illogical that I’m going to at the height of a very bitter acrimonious custody fight, drive up to Connecticut where nobody likes me and I’m in house full of enemies – I mean Mia was so enraged at me and she had gotten all the kids to be angry at me – that I’m going to drive up there and suddenly on visitation, pick this moment in my life to become a child molester. It’s just, it’s just incredible. I could if I wanted to be a child molester, I had many opportunities in the past. I could have quietly made a custody settlement with Mia in some way and done it in the future. You know, it’s so insane.”
Farrow became emotional when she saw the 60 Minutes interview.
“He’s lying and he’s been lying for so long,” Farrow said.
“And it is difficult for me to see him and to hear his voice. I’m sorry.”
Farrow expressed her continued frustration at how difficult it has been for her to feel believed, while Allen, until recently, has enjoyed a successful career nearly untouched by the allegations.
“… 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 said.
Allen was never charged with a crime, because Farrow’s family felt it would be too traumatic for her to testify — a decision Farrow now says she regrets. And an early investigation by the hospital and child welfare services found no evidence of abuse. Still, the Connecticut state prosecutor who later investigated the case, Frank Maco, told CBS he questioned the hospital’s report.
Allen issued a lengthy statement to CBS News denying the allegations.
“When this claim was first made more than 25 years ago, it was thoroughly investigated by both the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital and New York State Child Welfare. They both did so for many months and independently 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.
“Dylan’s older brother Moses has said that he witnessed their mother doing exactly that – relentlessly coaching Dylan, trying to drum into her that her father was a dangerous sexual predator. It seems to have worked – and, sadly, I’m sure Dylan truly believes what she says.
“But even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn’t make it any more true today than it was in the past. I never molested my daughter – as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.”
The second part of Farrow’s two-part CBS News interview will air on Friday.
[Feature image: CBS News video screenshot/Dylan Farrow]