Dylan Farrow-an open letter…

An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow By DYLAN FARROWdylan-farrow-blog480-v3

What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: 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. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.

For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. 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. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.

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. I didn’t know that my father would use his sexual relationship with my sister to cover up the abuse he inflicted on me. I didn’t know that he would accuse my mother of planting the abuse in my head and call her a liar for defending me. I didn’t know that I would be made to recount my story over and over again, to doctor after doctor, pushed to see if I’d admit I was lying as part of a legal battle I couldn’t possibly understand. At one point, my mother sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I was lying – that I could take it all back. I couldn’t. It was all true. But sexual abuse claims against the powerful stall more easily. There were experts willing to attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child.

After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the “child victim.” Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. 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.

Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. But this time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But 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.

Today, I consider myself lucky. I am happily married. I have the support of my amazing brothers and sisters. I have a mother who found within herself a well of fortitude that saved us from the chaos a predator brought into our home.

But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.

What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?

Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormentor.

Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?

All the above, and the following, were taken from “A note from Nicholas Kristof who said in his column”; In 1993, accusations that Woody Allen had abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, filled the headlines, part of a sensational story about the celebrity split between Allen and his girlfriend, Mia Farrow. This is a case that has been written about endlessly, but this is the first time that Dylan Farrow herself has written about it in public. It’s important to note that Woody Allen was never prosecuted in this case and has consistently denied wrongdoing; he deserves the presumption of innocence. So why publish an account of an old case on my blog? Partly because the Golden Globe lifetime achievement award to Allen ignited a debate about the propriety of the award. Partly because the root issue here isn’t celebrity but sex abuse. And partly because countless people on all sides have written passionately about these events, but we haven’t fully heard from the young woman who was at the heart of them. I’ve written a column about this, but it’s time for the world to hear Dylan’s story in her own words’. 

I agree wholeheartedly with Nicholas Kristof, in that the public has a right to hear from Dylan Farrow; indeed not just the American public, but those from around the world who have added to the coffers of Woody Allen, and that of Hollywood. Personally I have never thought of Woody Allen as a comedy great, or a genius, I have never placed him or his ilk on a pedestal to be admired from afar. Woody Allen was/is a father, and in my mind his duty of care towards his children should have been one of protection, love and guidance, as well as teaching the principles of right and wrong. It would appear that at long last Dylan Farrow has found the courage to speak out openly against her Father, I do truly hope that it brings retribution to the door step of Woody Allen. He can fight the content of the letter, or scurry away, and hide amongst his celebrity friends; in my mind they deserve each other…     Yours Aye.

Who remains angry, and is not yet prepared to turn in!

19 thoughts on “Dylan Farrow-an open letter…

  1. Ex Bootneck….such an attractive young woman so ruthlessly used and exploited by a slug of a man. What I never understood was why women liked him at all. Was it because he looked like such a helpless schlub of a man and appeared so harmless? And they felt sorry for him? He wasn’t even good very looking and every time I looked at him, he gave me the creeps. Now we know why. It explains so much. I wonder even today why women like Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow felt obliged to have a relationship with the man. I guess we’ll always wonder….k

  2. Kristen, as far as Keaton and Farrow are concerned, I believe it falls back on fame, power, and cash in the bank. The same trap as Allen’s new wife has fallen into…

    The man is a poisonous ogre who should be held accountable for his crime, even though the statute of limitation has long passed. Aye.

    • Coffeypot, the worst crime of all is the law of ‘statute of limitation’, which now works in his favour as far as a new prosecution goes. However, his gross act should follow him around like a rotten smell, he should be cast out of society, and shunned by decent people alike.

      Let the celebrity scum who offer him a shoulder to cry on suffer the same fate. Aye.

    • Old NFO, I agree with you, Ploanski is yet another slimy creature from the same stock. Indeed fame, money, power, all equals great influence within Hollywood cuckoo land. The whole of the celebrity culture needs to be soaked in bleach. Aye.

  3. Back in high school I remember my best friend asking me if my father did “things” to me, because her father did those “things” to her. I went straight to my parents, who went straight to my friend’s parents and then the authorities. My friend and her sister came to live with us, because the girl’s mother chose to stay with her husband. The mom did not want to believe the girls.

    A few years ago a good friend of my parents (an 80 yr old man) was jailed after molesting his grand-daughters. My mother asked me if I “could believe it?”. I could; there had always been something that creeped me about the man. My mom did not want to believe it – even after the man confessed. He had been a good friend for years.

    I just watched Barbara Walters on The View say that she did not believe Dylan Farrow, because Woody was “such a nice guy”…She had “interviewed him”, after all.

    No one wants to believe that someone they love, someone they know well, someone who was suppose to protect their children, instead, committed such horrible acts. No one wants to believe a good friend could do this to children, because then they would have to do something about it – like take a stand, lose a friend, refused to make a movie, lose a money deal, etc.

    I believe Dylan. I also think that all those Hollywood types should be ashamed – the same way they shamed Joe Paterno when Sandusky was accused of such crimes. And yet, I understand how hard it is to believe accusations. When you don’t personally know the accused, it is much easier to believe the accusations. But when you know the accused, you just feel sick.

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