Dylan Farrow Breaks Silence With Letter About Alleged Woody Allen Sexual Abuse

Truth rating: 10
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By Daniel Gates

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Dylan Farrow has written an open letter accusing her adoptive father, Woody Allen, of sexually assaulting her when she was 7 years old.

Her allegations are not new, but it marks the first time Farrow herself has detailed her story in public.

The New York Times has printed Farrow’s full letter, in which she calls Allen “a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse” and blasts Hollywood for turning a “blind eye” to her torment.

She begins her piece with this (warning: disturbing) memory:

When I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. 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.

Farrow goes on to say that the abuse was long-term, not isolated to that one incident, and that she hid what was happening for a long time.

She writes:

I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal.

Allen was never prosecuted over Farrow’s allegations and has denied wrongdoing in the decades since.

Farrow says:

That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself. That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, ‘who can say what happened,’ to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face – on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television – I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.

When Allen was nominated for an Oscar last month, Farrow decided to speak out:

The survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.

The full text can be read at the Times.

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