Moses Farrow Sides with Woody Allen, Who Wants NYTimes to Publish His Defense (UPDATED)

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by Anne Thompson
February 5, 2014 2:02 PM
25 Comments
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Woody Allen
Dylan Farrow

The Mia Farrow vs. Woody Allen feud runs bitter and deep.

New MSNBC correspondent Ronan Farrow, who may or may not be related to his mother's ex-boyfriend, sent off a salvo on Twitter as Allen was honored by the Golden Globes. "Missed the Woody Allen tribute - did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?"

Now the scandal has exploded again, with members of the family publicly taking sides in a high stakes media war. UPDATE: Moses Farrow, 36, who was adopted by Mia Farrow and Woody Allen and is now estranged from his mother and close to Allen and his wife Soon-Yi, has responded to his 28-year-old sister Dylan Farrow's Open Letter describing Allen's sex abuse when she was age seven, which ran in Nicholas Kristof's column in last Sunday's New York Times. (He has worked closely with Mia in her foreign aid efforts.) Moses Farrow says that his other has poisoned his sister against Allen. 

"My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister," Moses, 36, tells PEOPLE in the magazine's new issue. "And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi." 

Now Woody Allen wants his day in the court of public opinion. He has asked the Times to publish his rebuttal and the paper told him to submit it to them, subject to editorial considerations. (Of course they will run it.)

The timing is not coincidental. It's the height of Oscar season, as Allen is up for Best Original Screenplay for "Blue Jasmine," Sally Hawkins for Best Supporting Actress and and much-lauded Cate Blanchett for Best Actress. 

Even Kristof maintains that Allen--who was investigated but never prosecuted for this alleged crime-- deserves a presumption of innocence. Custody battles can get murky. 

Moses Farrow

What is the truth here? We may never know. Should we punish Woody Allen the man by refusing to give him awards for his work, as his daughter advocates? Should his art be separated from his deeds? We don't know what he has done, but many folks are uncomfortable with the content of some of his films, such as "Manhattan," in which he dates a 17-year-old Mariel Hemingway, see clip below.

Both sides have detailed their case. Read Woody Allen documentarian Robert Weide's Daily Beast response to the Farrow vs. Allen charges, in which he busts many of the Woody Allen myths out there. For example, he never lived with or was married to Farrow, and he was getting together with his future wife, Columbia student Soon-Yi Previn, Farrow's adopted daughter with Andre Previn, when the alleged Dylan Farrow abuse was supposed to have taken place. Maureen Orth's account of the Mia Farrow side of the story ran in the 1992 Vanity Fair and was revisited last November--in advance of her son's new media career. (See Michael Wolff's astute analysis here.

Ronan and Mia Farrow

UPDATE: Woody Allen is prepping a response, a spokeswoman told Variety:

“Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful. He will be responding very soon. At the time, a thorough investigation was conducted by court appointed independent experts. The experts concluded there was no credible evidence of molestation; that Dylan Farrow had an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality; and that Dylan Farrow had likely been coached by her mother Mia Farrow. No charges were ever filed.”

Put on the spot on the Oscar campaign trail in Santa Barbara, where she received a tribute, Cate Blanchett gracefully answered the obstreperous Jeffrey Wells: "It's obviously been a long and painful situation for the family and I hope they find some resolution and peace." 

Will this scandal have an impact on the Oscar race? Given the largely male Academy's willingness to give Best Actor to Adrien Brody and Best Director to Roman Polanski for his extraordinary holocaust movie "The Pianist" --after he pled guilty to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old minor and fled the country--probably not. 


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25 Comments

  • Charles | February 7, 2014 10:48 PMReply

    If only he were a Catholic priest it would be so easy. He wide immediately be found guilty. But he is a Hollywood money maker so we can't upset that machine.
    The main stream media protects its cesspool rigorously.

  • Debra | February 23, 2014 7:32 PM

    I sort of resent your comment. Not all Catholic Priests of guilty of molesting children. Do you realize how hard it must be now to be a Priest? Do you know that Priests are very cautious around children and the adults of their Parishes in this day and age? It's actually sad when I think about it. There are some really GREAT Priests in my diocese that just sort of keep their distance now, and yet they could be great mentors because they represent everything they're supposed to.

  • Ella | February 7, 2014 11:44 PM

    "Hollywood moneymaker"

    LMFAO

    Get the f--k out of here, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about... "MONEYMAKER" LMAO. Woody Allen, the "moneymaker"... Oh dear god, I'm dying of laughter. "Midnight in Paris" does unusually well at the box-office and suddenly he's a "moneymaker" - Oh God, I can't--. Thanks, really, I needed a good laugh. He's a genius filmmaker, yes... but he is most definitely not a "moneymaker". LOL

  • Steven Kaye | February 6, 2014 1:55 AMReply

    This part from the 8th paragraph cracked me up:

    "Should his art be separated from his deeds?" followed by "We don't know what he has done".

    Hilarious stuff, Anne.

  • Ella | February 5, 2014 4:53 PMReply

    I hope "Blue Jasmine" wins BIG at the Oscars. The more the Farrows trash talk Allen, the less I believe 'em.

    And SHAME on you Mia Farrow for your continued [*& staunch*] support of Roman Polanski (who willfully admitted to drugging and having sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl). And I also wonder how long you'll stay quiet on the fact that your brother, John Charles Villiers-Farrow, is a CONVICTED child molester? I guess you had no problems having little bro Charlie around the kiddies, huh? You stay classy, girl.

    Now excuse me while I binge watch my favorite Allen films (thankfully only a small number involve Mia's mug) starting with "Love and Death".

  • Jim | February 5, 2014 5:28 PM

    Wise words Ella. Love and Death is a delight, let's raise a glass to old nahampkin and the entire fictious universe revolving round Allen. If art really does imitate life lets do our best to observe, contemplate, and perhaps enjoy. Take a further step back and watch Play it Again Sam. Allen did not direct, but it's certainly a great piece of art as well. Wise words indeed. Have a good day.

  • HolyMoses | February 5, 2014 4:06 PMReply

    Do the people claiming Woody used his influence to cover up the investigation remember Michael Jackson? He was far more popular and wealthy than Woody Allen and it didn't do him any good.

    It was good to finally hear from Moses on this front.

    It would also be interesting to know just how much contact Mia's brother, who is in prison on multiple counts of child molestation, had with Mia's children and whether Dylan may have been led to confuse him with Woody. Which brings up another point. In these cases there are usually multiple instances of child molesting. A pedophile doesn't just stop at one. When one Michael Jackson accuser came forward so did many others. No one else has ever accused Allen of child molestation and it's been 20 years.

  • NoMisandryZone | February 5, 2014 3:39 PMReply

    "Given the largely male Academy..." This is hateful and shameful.

  • Randy | February 5, 2014 3:26 PMReply

    I also find it interesting that "Manhattan" features a young Meryl Streep, playing Woody's scorned ex-wife, who writes a tell-all book about their marriage. Another parallel from that film.

  • Smyth | February 5, 2014 5:11 PM

    I find it interesting people love to read into Allen's movies but have ignored The Purple Rose of Cairo where the role he wrote for Farrow is of a woman who reverts to living in a fantasy world rather than face her real life.

  • aovnjia | February 5, 2014 3:21 PMReply

    I like how you end your piece with a bit of biting witty lashing out (sarcastic bullshit) about the male boy club academy being just fine with honoring a rapist (because rape culture). Way to make it as black and white as possible you responsible journalist.

  • Steven | February 5, 2014 9:38 AMReply

    Why does this post's URL refer to the Farrows as a "clan" and not as a "family"? Are we supposed to see them as a band of fierce highlanders crushing the defenseless Woody under their heels? It's bad enough to label the fight as a feud. We may not know for certain who is lying and who is telling the truth (at least enough to get an indictment in a court of law), but this is not a feud. Somebody is guilty and somebody is innocent.

  • Daney | February 3, 2014 10:58 PMReply

    No matter what the truth is, it's uncool mixing business with personal. Even if the s*** is real, it just seems like the Farrow fam doesn't want Woody to win an Oscar. History is not kind to those who carry out personal vendettas in the public forum, and attempt to guilt the public into backing their cause (here's looking at you, Dubya.)

  • Leslie | February 2, 2014 11:16 PMReply

    Woody Allen's 1979 film Manhattan was based on Allen's two year sexual relationship with the 17 year old Stacey Nelkin. For 35 years, Allen has admitted he likes having sex with teenage girls. But we're supposed to be shocked that other hidden parts of his life might be unsavory.

    I am surprised that so many film blogs behave as though Allen is their employer and are ready to pile abuse on the victim. It's no wonder the 7 year old couldn't go to trial. Allen's legal team would have no compunction about destroying her. Look at what they are doing to the adult now.

    I agree with Brian. Allen's movies have told us over and over again that he is guilty. Feeling threatened by a grown up, articulate Ronan Farrow, he made Blue Jasmine, as a smear job on Mia Farrow and a rehearsal for his defense.

  • Brian | February 2, 2014 10:37 PMReply

    Anyone remember Allen's line in BANANAS when an old lady is horrified at catching him buying porno magazines in a newsstand? He claims he's doing a sociological study of perversion and declares, "I'm up to Advanced Child Molesting."
    Anyone see CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS and MATCH POINT? Two films about guilty men getting away with serious crimes. Allen's been TELLING us all along what he's been up to. But no one wants to see the truth because it might interfere with their love of his movies. I stopped going to his movies after MATCH POINT and I'll never see another one.

  • Brian | February 7, 2014 11:52 AM

    @Steven: Thanks for the suggestion. I did read it, but I haven't changed my mind. Ms. Winter has an ax to grind but nothing of substance to add to the argument. She's upset that someone with close ties to Allen would defend him and would not automatically take as gospel a seven-year-old's accusation. We need more than that.

  • perspective | February 5, 2014 3:55 PM

    Context. It would be difficult for a person who was not alive at the time to understand but crimes like child abuse and rape were so far out of the public consciousness that when people made jokes about them it was because it was so far out of the realm of experience for most people, like Helen Keller or dead baby jokes that used to be popular. The poster for Clockwork Orange casually mentions rape as a pastime for the main character. This was not an insensitivity, as it would be viewed today, but a complete lack of personal experience in the matter or social awareness pressure. These are things people never talked about coming at a time, in America, when crime in general was sharply on the rise and censorship becoming more relaxed. While controversial, the original Lolita had an easier time getting made and released in 1962 than the remake did in 1997 when it barely got shown and went straight to cable.

    Did you see Allen's first film Take the Money and Run? Also about a career criminal. Are we to believe he was drawing on his real life experience as a bank robber?

  • Steven | February 5, 2014 9:29 AM

    Read Jessica Winter's analysis in Slate of Weide's article. You'll probably change your mind again.

  • Brian | February 4, 2014 5:41 PM

    I would hate it if someone rushed to judgment against me and now I have to back-pedal after rushing to judgment against Woody. Filmmaker Robert B. Weide (who did a documentary on Woody) posted a piece to The Daily Beast called "The Woody Allen Allegations: Not So Fast" on Jan. 27, 2014, a few days before Dylan Farrow's letter appeared in The New York Times. He offers a thoughtful defense of Allen based on facts from the case, things I confess I didn't know because I never followed the case that closely. Please go to the Daily Beast site and read the piece for yourself.

    In the meantime, here are some useful paragraphs:

    "I know I’m treading a delicate path here, and opening myself up to accusations of “blaming the victim.” However, I’m merely floating scenarios to consider, and you can think what you will. But if Mia’s account is true, it means that in the middle of custody and support negotiations, during which Woody needed to be on his best behavior, in a house belonging to his furious ex-girlfriend, and filled with people seething mad at him, Woody, who is a well-known claustrophobic, decided this would be the ideal time and place to take his daughter into an attic and molest her, quickly, before a house full of children and nannies noticed they were both missing."

    "In the midst of the proceedings, on February 2, 1993, a revealing article appeared in the Los Angeles Times, headlined: “Nanny Casts Doubt on Farrow Charges,” in which former nanny Monica Thompson (whose salary was paid by Allen, since three of the brood were also his) swore in a deposition to Allen’s attorneys that she was pressured by Farrow to support the molestation charges, and the pressure led her to resign her position. Thompson had this to say about the videotape: ““I know that the tape was made over the course of at least two and perhaps three days. I recall Ms. Farrow saying to Dylan at that time, ‘Dylan, what did daddy do… and what did he do next?’ Dylan appeared not to be interested, and Ms. Farrow would stop taping for a while and then continue.”

    "Thompson further revealed a conversation she had with Kristie Groteke, another nanny. “She told me that she felt guilty allowing Ms. Farrow to say those things about Mr. Allen. (Groteke) said the day Mr. Allen spent with the kids, she did not have Dylan out of her sight for longer than five minutes. She did not remember Dylan being without her underwear.”"

    I would urge interested parties to read the whole piece.
    I admit I was ready to believe the worst about Allen based on my "reading" of his films, but that really wasn't fair to him and I feel bad about it now. I wish I could delete my post. Barring that, I'm posting my own rebuttal here.

  • lojack | February 2, 2014 9:53 PMReply

    Hard to believe people are still defending that disgusting creep. They choose to believe a perverted creepy old man who flirted, screwed and married his ex-partners adopted daughter. Gross doesn't begin to define what those two disgusting creatures did. Then this creepy couple were allowed to adopt, WOW! What a wonderful legal system this Country has.

  • Steven Kaye | February 6, 2014 2:00 AM

    Exactly. They went through a stringent adoption vetting process twice. Another point in his defense.

  • Anonymous | February 2, 2014 3:04 PMReply

    I don’t really buy anything Dylan, or whatever she calls herself nowadays, is selling. I’m sorry hun, I just don’t believe you. Not only does it sound like a made-up story (a bit soap opera much, no?) but the timing of this is very, VERY questionable indeed… It’s sort of funny how they’re all slowly piling up on Woody now that Ronan is trying to obtain a serious career in, what, “journalism” was it? Or television? If any of it were true Mia would of taken Woody to court immediately, IF it were true. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. And if any of this IS actually true and she did nothing… hell, she would be more to blame than Woody because then we’d at least know he has a serious sickness and needs help and she’s just… f**kin’ EVIL for doing nothing and for being that WILLFULLY BLIND.

    Without Woody she wouldn’t of had much of a career. He didn’t “reinvigorate” her career, he basically CREATED it. The only major movie she’d done before Woody came along was Rosemary’s Baby (directed by ROMAN POLANSKI, just fyi), at least that’s the only one I can think of just off the top of my head. This whole story just makes me wanna go and binge watch Allen’s best films, starting with BLUE JASMINE, which I think is VERY telling and personal. I kind of imagine Cate’s character in the film as Mia; the second she’s betrayed she goes ape s**t and turns on him, but had NO problems in the good ol’ days with turning a blind eye on things she maybe should of paid more attention to, you know, like a MOB WIFE. Then again, she’s a child hoarder like Brangelina, so, realistically… who can keep up with that many kids? And didn’t she try and use this story during their custody battles over Ronan back in the 1990’s? I wonder why she didn’t fight as hard as she could have if she really believed any of this were true. Why didn’t she try and protect her children, their only biological child together especially? LOL Oh, I forgot that she started hookin’ up with Sinatra when she was in her TEENS and they basically never stopped hookin’ up, so Ronan may not even be Allen’s.

    Mia Farrow ain’t no saint lol.

    /rantover

  • Steven Kaye | February 6, 2014 2:03 AM

    Yep, the accusations were originally vomited up during a child custody case. That alone should indicate to all but the very cretinous that they're all lies.

  • Stacey | February 3, 2014 2:50 PM

    Hard to take anything remotely seriously that ends with the literarily genius "lol".

  • WJS | February 3, 2014 12:03 PM

    Nobody really gives a shit what you think. Does that surprise you? Who are you to tell somebody whether or not they were sexually abused? Maybe you are a creepy old man, too. You guys all seem to feel this obsessive need to defend each other. Disgusting...

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