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Woody Allen denies renewed molestation accusations

Woody Allen denies renewed molestation accusations

Saturday, February 08, 2014, 15:56 GMT+7

Film director Woody Allen defended himself on Friday from newly published accusations by his now-adult adopted daughter that he molested her as a child, calling the allegations "ludicrous" and the product of a bitter custody battle with his former partner, actress Mia Farrow.

An advance copy of Allen's op-ed piece, to be published in the upcoming Sunday edition of the New York Times, was posted online five days after Dylan Farrow, 28, revived and elaborated on the decades-old accusation in her own words in an open letter on the Times' website.

Allen was never arrested or prosecuted after the allegations of sexual abuse against him first surfaced in 1993 and were investigated by state police in Connecticut, where Mia Farrow and her children lived.

He said the accusations originally struck him as "so ludicrous I didn't give it a second thought."

And he quoted findings from a review of the case by the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital, which he said concluded: "It is our expert opinion that Dylan was not sexually abused by Mr. Allen."

He said he agreed with the clinic's findings that Dylan's account was likely the product of "an emotionally vulnerable child who was caught up in a disturbed family" and was "coached or influenced by her mother."

"Of course, I did not molest Dylan," Allen wrote. "I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter's well-being."

Representatives for Mia and Dylan Farrow were not immediately available for comment.

Mia Farrow, now 68, who appeared in more than a dozen of Allen's films, ended a 12-year relationship with the director in 1992 amid revelations that he had an affair with her then-22-year-old adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, whom Allen later married.

Allen has long asserted that Farrow fabricated the molestation claims against him and planted them in Dylan's mind as a ploy to damage him in the custody battle that ensued.

The sex abuse claim against the prolific four-time Oscar winner, famed for such films as "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan," was first revisited by Dylan Farrow and her mother in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine last year.

Scandal renewed at awards season

The actress and her son, Ronan Farrow, renewed attention on the scandal again on Twitter during the telecast of January's Golden Globe Awards, where Allen was given a lifetime achievement honor.

Dylan Farrow then expanded on the molestation accusations in the New York Times last Sunday, asserting that Allen assaulted her in a closet-sized attic of the family home 21 years ago.

She also detailed a pattern of what she said were other instances of sexually inappropriate behavior by Allen toward her over the years.

The resurgent imbroglio comes as Allen stands nominated for best original screenplay at the Oscars on March 2 for his latest film, "Blue Jasmine," which also garnered acting nominations for Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins.

Allen did not suggest his daughter was lying, but rather that she had "come to believe she's been molested" after "many years of indoctrination" by her mother.

He also cited Dylan Farrow's older brother, Moses Farrow, as a character witness in his defense, quoting him from a recent People magazine article asserting that Allen never molested his sister and that their mother "succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him."

Moses Farrow, who was 14 at the time, is now a 36-year-old family therapist.

Reuters

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