Hot Poppin' Culture News From New York City

Woody Allen Abuse Defense: The Ice Cream Cone Made Her Do It

Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn. (Photo:  Getty)

Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn. (Photo: Getty)

Woody Allen addresses allegations that he molested step-daughter Dylan Farrow in a Sunday New York Times opinion piece that is as lengthy as it is unconvincing in rebuttal of her letter to The Times a week ago.

His credibility is not only strained by what he said, but what he didn’t say in the 1,858-word article.

But first, let’s get one bit of empathy for Allen out of the way. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to prove a negative.

How can he convince anyone that he didn’t molest Dylan? If it never happened, as he says, what possible evidence could there be to support him, except his own vehement denials?

But Allen is his own worst witness.

What was he thinking, for example, when he flippantly attributed the basis for Dylan’s very serious allegations to an ice cream treat?

“Dylan told the doctor she had not been molested. Mia then took Dylan out for ice cream, and when she came back with her the child had changed her story,” he writes.

Is he serious? Maybe it was a sundae with nuts, chocolate syrup, walnuts and cherries. Even so, at 7, Dylan had to have some idea about the gravity of what she was saying.

Would she really viciously smear her father for some ice cream?

Then he invokes the “Who Me?” defense.

He was 56 at the time and had never been accused of child molestation before, he notes. The fact is, the vast majority of child molesters are never caught and do not have criminal records, according to the FBI.

He also notes, at length, how ridiculous it is to suggest he would molest Dylan in a small attic when he is obviously claustrophobic. He also makes it sound like the allegations involved a one-off incident.

In fact, the abuse had been ongoing, according to Dylan. “These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known.”

At the time, Allen also cites the fact that he was in the “blissful early stages of a happy new relationship,” but fails to mention that Soon-Yi Previn was still in her teens when they started dating.

Soon-Yi was adopted by Mia and composer Andre Previn at age 8 in 1978, and she was 10 when Woody and Mia started dating in 1980.

That means Allen and Soon-Yi clearly had an established parent-child relationship lasting years, before they developed “blissful” feelings for each other. What does that say about his character?

He also never addresses his possession of nude photos of Soon-Yi, discovered by Mia in his apartment.

Finally, he asserts the “it’s not me, it’s her” defense, which has worked so well for him for all these years.

Oddly, he expresses hurt for having his character assailed, yet engages in the most vicious character assassination against Mia.

How convenient for his embittered ex-partner to raise the allegations “in the midst of a terribly acrimonious breakup, with great enmity between us and a custody battle slowly gathering energy,” he argues.

But what mother wouldn’t be outraged if she found out one of her children had been molested? And, who wouldn’t harbor bitter feelings forever, really, if the molester went unpunished? That’s not really so out of character.

He makes a lot out of the fact that he took a lie detector test and passed (she refused), but has never addressed the fact a babysitter witnessed him acting in an untoward manner with Dylan.

Update: Farrow was never asked to take a lie detector test by prosecutors, according to Vanity Fair. Allen refused a state police request to take one, and hired a private operator to conduct the test.

The fact that he interjects Ronan Farrow into the mix, questions his paternity and by extension Mia’s faithfulness and moral character is nothing less than ad hominem character assassination.

But this isn’t about Mia Farrow. It is, and always has been, about Dylan Farrow. Yet Allen brushes off her allegations (once again) by deflecting blame back at Mia.

“If from the age of 7 a vulnerable child is taught by a strong mother to hate her father because he is a monster who abused her, is it so inconceivable that after many years of this indoctrination the image of me Mia wanted to establish had taken root?” he writes.

Can whatever influence her mother had over her years ago, possibly be just as strong today?

After all, Dylan is 28, married, living away from her mother, and feeling healthy, for the first time in her life, she says. She makes clear it was her own decision to speak out in detail about what happened, not her mother’s.

Allen also goes on to address, in a fairly straight-forward way, the findings of the Yale-New Haven Hospital medical team and the judge’s reaction to him. Read the judge’s opinion here. But to suggest the Connecticut district attorney was “champing at the bit to prosecute a celebrity case” is clearly a stretch.

Then-State’s Attorney Frank Maco said at the time he had “probable cause” to prosecute Allen, but was reluctant to do so because of the emotional toll it would take on Dylan, whom he judged to be very fragile.

As for Dylan’s state of mind at the time, it’s really no great surprise that she had difficulty articulating what happened. “I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters,” she writes.

“When I asked my mother if her dad did to her what Woody Allen did to me, I honestly did not know the answer. I also didn’t know the firestorm it would trigger,” she adds.

In the end, however, the passage of time is in Allen’s favor, just as the confusion of a young child, repeated character assassination and his celebrity status have worked in his favor all these years.

He concludes by saying this is his final word on the matter. But after all that’s happened in the past two weeks, the final word will ultimately rest with the public.

That’s about as much justice as Dylan can hope for at this point.

Subscribe To TheImproper's Email Newsletters, Free!