Woody Allen Rips Damning Documentary

HBO film examines child sexual abuse allegations against director
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2021 5:50 PM CST
Woody Allen Calls Abuse Documentary 'Hit Piece'
Woody Allen in New York in 2017.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Just after HBO showed a documentary Sunday night on the accusations of child sexual abuse against Woody Allen, the director issued a statement calling it a "hatchet job." The program, the first of four installments, looks into allegations that Allen molested Dylan Farrow when he was in a relationship with her mother, actress Mia Farrow. "Multiple agencies investigated them at the time and found that, whatever Dylan Farrow may have been led to believe, absolutely no abuse had ever taken place," Allen and his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, said in the statement. The abuse accusations, they said, are "categorically false," Page Six reports. Dylan Farrow, who's now 35, is interviewed in the documentary, by Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick, which includes a home video her mother made of Dylan when she was 7, describing being abused by Allen.

Before it aired, the film had been criticized as one-sided, per the New York Post, and it includes many people—friends, family members, and therapists—saying they'd noticed Allen lavishing inappropriate attention on Dylan, at least. It also looks into how investigators, courts, and the media handled such accusations in the 1990s, per BuzzFeed, and how Allen was able to influence the public narrative for years. Allen isn't interviewed in the film. He and his wife said they weren't approached by the filmmakers until two months ago and given little time to answer, so they declined. Previn, another daughter of Farrow, also figures in the story, and the family; her relationship with Allen probably began in the Farrow family home when she was 16 and he was 42. In the film, Dylan describes conflicts she felt as a child. "I worshipped him," she said. But later: "I remember his breath on me." (Read more Woody Allen stories.)

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