The sad, sordid saga of Woody Allen and the Farrows Who Loathe Him moved to a more toxic level Wednesday: One of his sons with Mia Farrow reiterated that Allen never molested his 7-year-old daughter, and added that Farrow physically and emotionally abused all her children for years.
Moses Farrow, 40, a professional family therapist, posted on his blog a lengthy essay, “A Son Speaks Out,” declaring again what he’s said before: That Allen did not abuse his younger sister and Allen’s daughter, Dylan Farrow, in August 1992 at Mia Farrow’s Connecticut home.
“Given the incredibly inaccurate and misleading attacks on my father, Woody Allen, I feel that I can no longer stay silent as he continues to be condemned for a crime he did not commit,” wrote Moses Farrow, who was adopted by Farrow from South Korea in 1980 and later was co-adopted by Allen.
“I was present for everything that transpired in our house before, during, and after the alleged event,” Moses wrote. “Now that the public hysteria of earlier this year has died down a little and I have some hope that the truth can get a fair hearing, I want to share my story.”
His story is that there was no time when nor any place in the house where Allen, now 82, could have spirited Dylan away to molest her. Farrow, enraged by Allen’s affair with another of her adopted daughters, Soon-Yi Previn, now 47, had instructed Moses to keep a close eye on Allen.
“Along with five kids, there were three adults in the house, all of whom had been told for months what a monster Woody was,” writes Moses. “None of us would have allowed Dylan to step away with Woody, even if he tried.”
Having failed to persuade authorities to charge Allen with a crime at the time, Farrow and their daughter, now 32, plus her biological son with Allen, Ronan Farrow, 30, have been trying to damage Allen and his movie career by other means, mostly through jeremiads in the media and via social media.
Allen has always denied he abused his daughter, and her claims and that of her mother’s were investigated by Connecticut authorities decades ago. Their conclusion: Nothing happened. Allen has never been charged.
“Mia reached the end of the legal runway after it was determined that the abuse never occurred,” Moses wrote. “But trial by media thrives on the lack of long-term memory and Twitter requires neither knowledge nor restraint.”
Ronan Farrow (formerly known as Satchel) is the journalist who shared in a Pulitzer Prize this year for his work in uncovering the decades-long alleged sexual misconduct of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, thus empowering the #MeToo movement to call out sexual abuse of women.
Dylan Farrow responded to Moses by tweet, saying his attack on their mother is an attempt to deflect from Dylan’s “credible” accusations, that it contradicts his earlier statements and that it is easily disproved.
“My brother is a troubled person. I’m so sorry he’s doing this,” she tweeted.
Mia Farrow, 73, hasn’t responded to Moses Farrow directly thus far, although Ronan wrote, in a reluctant Twitter post on Thursday, “I hesitated to speak on this only because I didn’t want to draw attention to a smear campaign that has been running since Dylan’s pediatrician first called the police almost 30 years ago. I believe my sister.
A spokesperson for Mia Farrow did not immediately respond to requests for comment from USA Today. A spokesperson for Allen declined to comment.
To those actors who have recently voiced regrets about working with Allen in his movies, Moses wrote they have accepted “the hysteria of Twitter mobs, mindlessly repeating a story examined and discredited 25 years ago.”
“Please consider what I have to say,” he wrote. “After all, I was there — in the house, in the room — and I know both my father and mother and what each is capable of a whole lot better than you.”
While Moses Farrow’s defence of Allen is not new, the specificity of his attack on Mia Farrow’s parenting is, especially coming from a therapist, and especially when it’s aimed at a woman as famous for being a parent as an actress.
He says Farrow’s rage at Allen and Soon-Yi’s betrayal unhinged her. She “brainwashed” her children and he describes her alleged methods of achieving this. He describes dysfunction in her own family (alcoholic, philandering father, convicted child-molester brother, another brother a suicide), and her own betrayal of a close friend by her affair with the friend’s husband.
Even her adopting of multiple children came from a dark place, he writes, given “the reality inside our walls.”
“I witnessed siblings, some blind or physically disabled, dragged down a flight of stairs to be thrown into a bedroom or a closet, then having the door locked from the outside. She even shut my brother Thaddeus, paraplegic from polio, in an outdoor shed overnight as punishment for a minor transgression,” he wrote.
He says Soon-Yi was her most frequent scapegoat because she would push back against her mother. He said his mother once threw a large porcelain centrepiece at her head and that she also beat her with a telephone receiver.
He wrote that she once beat him severely for talking back. “I was defeated, deflated, beaten and beaten down. Mia had stripped me of my voice and my sense of self. It was clear that if I stepped even slightly outside her carefully crafted reality, she would not tolerate it. It was an upbringing that made me, paradoxically, both fiercely loyal and obedient to her, as well as deeply afraid.”
He also directly addressed his sister Dylan, saying that speaking out about the “abuse” inflicted by their mother and “getting away from her” helped him heal.
“And what she has done to you is unbearable. I wish you peace, and the wisdom to understand that devoting your life to helping our mother destroy our father’s reputation is unlikely to bring you closure in any kind of lasting way,” he wrote.
In the end, he appeals to his mother that “enough is enough” and it’s “time for this retribution to end.”
“You once said to me, ‘It’s not healthy to hold onto anger.’ Yet here we are, 26 years later. I’m guessing your next step will be to launch a campaign to discredit me for speaking out. I know it comes with the territory. And it’s a burden I am willing to bear.”