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"The heart wants what the heart wants" Mr. Allen said, explaining his decision to take up with the daughter of his spouse.

Yes, it does.  But why did his heart want this?  And why was that the only thing that mattered?

Judging the case of Woody Allen inevitably leads to a single question:  who is the monster? Is it the accused, Mr. Allen?  Is it the ex-wife who repeats the charges relentlessly, Mia Farrow?  Or is it the accuser, Dylan Farrow – then seven years of age, now in her late twenties?

The evidence and arguments are spattered all over the Internet like the debris from a car crash.  Picking through it, I see one powerful clue.  And like it or not (and most of Allen’s supporters do not like it) that clue is Soon-Yi Previn.

Ms. Previn was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and composer Andre Previn.   She was nine years old when Allen started dating her mother.  She was nineteen when she took up with Allen herself.  Or at least, when she moved out from her mother’s house and into her mother’s boyfriend’s house.  Only she and Mr. Allen know when their intimate relationship began.

The alleged molestation of Dylan occured in the months after the Soon-Yi relationship came to light. Allen had separated from Mia (Soon-Yi went with him). The crime is said to have occured during a visit by Allen to see the children (kids Allen had been father to, one way or another) at Farrow’s home.  Dylan reported afterwards a story consistent with molestation.  Farrow took the story to the authorities and the whole nightmare unfolded.  It continues to unfold, more than two decades later.

Allen and his camp paint it as this: Mia Farrow, enraged at the dual betrayal by both her daughter and her spouse, hatched the story of the molestation, coaching little Dylan into repeating the tale.  It was revenge (read Allen’s piece in the New York Times this week as he takes a verbal blow torch to Farrow), pure and simple.  Mr. Allen says simply: he didn’t do it.   Even if he had wanted to, it would have been crazy to do it during the most pitched moment in the separation from Mia, at Mia’s house, in the attic (“I’m a claustrophobe”).

Accusers point to Soon-Yi, if not as an earlier victim of incestuous pedophilia, then as a near-example of it.   Not so, says Allen: he was never her father, never lived with her, never played that role in her life.  She was an adult when they became a couple. If he is guilty of anything, he says, it is simply falling in love.  “The heart wants what the heart wants.”

Truer words were never spoken.  But this pithy aphorism, which speaks to each of us and our own yearnings, fails to explain dimensions of the Allen story which are still troubling – or which ought to be troubling – and which make life uncomfortable for those who would like to believe him.

The first is that while “the heart wants what it wants” that is not, for most of us, a license to just take what we want.  However intense Allen’s ardour for Soon-Yi was then, was he blind to the ramifications of acting on that feeling?  Could a man this intelligent not perceive that taking-up with Soon-Yi wouldn’t just look like a dual betrayal of Mia Farrow, but in fact would be a dual betrayal of her?  Was it nothing to him, that it would tear apart the relationship between mother and daughter, and amongst siblings?   We can only assume that this didn’t matter to him.

Okay, so Woody Allen wasn’t the first man, or the last, to leave his wife for another woman. People fall in love and make hard choices all the time.  That is not a sin, however much it may hurt everyone involved.  But when the all players are entangled by other connections, especially deeply personal ones, these hard choices begin to appear inappropriate.

There is a certain, hard to define yet strong weirdness in crossing over relationship lines.  I knew a lovely young woman who was in a relationship with a nice young man.  They also worked together. Eventually, they broke up.  Some months later, the guy started dating another young woman – in the same office.  Why not? Where else can you meet anyone?   Yet it is said that woman #2 was wrong to take up with the fellow.  This seems harsh, but some people (women, I am told) because those people have a sense  that it was out of bounds: the new couple could have resisted the urge, or waited, or kept it secret for the sake of the first woman’s feelings.  It sounds like an Edith Wharton novel but, whether wrong or right, in the 21st century many people still harbour the reflexive belief that such conduct is offside.  There are boundaries.

And that’s in a workplace.  What must such conduct be like inside a home, inside a family?  Interestingly, Woody Allen of all people examined this in “Hannah and Her Sisters” where Michael Caine is married to Mia but carrying on a roiling affair with her sister, Barbara Hershey; Diane Wiest starts dating Sam Waterston, only to find out best-friend Carrie Fisher has poached him; Woody, who had been married to Mia, eventually takes up with her sister Diane.  Talk about “blurred lines.”   Are there any borders which can contain lust in Woody’s universe?

Apparently not.  “The heart wants what it wants.” But the question that ought to trouble defenders of Woody is this:  why did he want Soon-Yi?  How could he want her?

We have read descriptions of the Allen-Farrow familial relationship which describe Allen as a virtual stranger to Soon-Yi when she was growing up.  If you believe this (and I would like to believe it) he basically never met the girl until she was suddenly a lovely woman.  Maybe.  But Woody Allen “dated” Mia Farrow for over a decade.  Mia was the mom; Woody was at the very least, the occasional dad or kind-of-uncle to her brood (including little Soon-Yi, who we see in just that role during “Hannah and Her Sisters.”)

I am not a psychologist, but it is my experience that most adults, interacting with a child (particularly in a quasi-parental role), do not later lust after them when they grow up.  Your son’s best buddy may grow up to be a handsome dude, ladies, and you may even notice it more than once, but… you’re probably not going to sleep with him.  You probably won’t even imagine sleeping with him, no matter how smokin’ hot he is.  And that’s because somewhere in your brain there is a limiter switch which gets flipped, re-routing the signals between your aesthetic sensibility and your genital sensibility.  Not only do you not do it, you do not feel it.   This switch would appear not to be operating inside the brain of at least one esteemed American film-maker.

It is not about the age of people involved, but their personal connection. People often dwell on the age gap issue when finger-wagging at Woody Allen.  In his 40s, he had a girlfriend in her teens.  He made it a major theme in “Manhattan” too.  He was 56 when he took up with 19 year-old Soon-Yi.   I won’t pretend this isn’t disquieting, but the truth is that if someone is young and beautiful, it is difficult not to notice they are attractive.  Hell, Frank Sinatra was 50 when he married a 21 year-old actress named Mia Farrow (a fact Woody Allen likes to harp on).  Nobody hanged an effigy of Jerry Seinfeld for dating teenaged Shoshanna Lonstein, over 20 years his junior.  And so on.

So while it may feel odd, it is probably not inherently “wrong” to fall for someone so much younger.  But there is definitely something “wrong” with finding someone attractive, to the degree that one might seduce them, after playing a part (even a remote part) in raising them from childhood.  Doing that crosses one of those invisible boundaries.  And it was this transgression on the part of Woody Allen – choosing the daughter of his spouse, a person he had known from her childhood – that made it so much easier for people to believe that Allen could commit other transgressions.

These are the great dividing lines in the debate about Allen.  Sympathizers with Allen will say that being attracted to a much younger person is understandable.   Detractors will say that it reflects an immaturity on his part, or a need for control.  Allen himself has said, very bluntly, that there is no need for “equality” in a relationship (a statement which ought to shock his progressive-minded fans).

Those sympathetic to Allan will say that men leave their spouses, or long-time lovers, all the time.  They break up their homes every day, and not always to ill-effect for the other people involved (an unhappy home is a lousy place to grow up, after all).  Critics point to the fact that Mr. Allen’s urges, “normal” or not, led him to explode not only his relationship, but the relationships woven amongst parents and siblings.  Mr. Allen might have loved those people enough, not to destroy their world.

He didn’t ruin their world, say Allen’s defenders: Mia did, when she launched the rocket of false sexual abuse claims against Allen as vengeance for leaving her.  Nonsense, say the accusers: few  women, and certainly not one who had invested so much love and effort building a family of orphans, would destroy her own child’s life and ravage the lives of her other children, because she was mad at a guy for dumping her.

Allen’s fans and defenders say that his falling in love with Soon-Yi Previn does not signal some inner disturbance inclining Allen to sexualize children.  His detractors and accusers say the opposite:  he met Soon-Yi when she was 9; he was like a father to her.  He was a father to Dylan, too, remember?

Allen and his supporters say that he was not Soon-Yi’s father and so there is no “incestuous” tinge to having sex with her, etc.  Further, having fallen in love with her, it was fine to become her lover and later her husband.  The heart wants what it wants.  Others might say that even if his feeling was not tainted with latent pedophilia, acting on them crossed invisible boundaries among family members.

We are not obliged to make a judgment about this matter (although everyone seems frenetically anxious to do so).  The truth is known to one person surely – Mr. Allen – and very likely known also to his accuser, Dylan Farrow or to Mia Farrow.   I say “very likely” because there is a chance Dylan knows it didn’t happen and has lied to everyone. There is also a chance, we are told, that it did not happen, but the story was planted in Dylan’s brain by her evil and vengeful mother.

So who is the monster?

Did seven year-old Dylan concoct a story of sexual molestation, convince her mother and the police and the prosecutor that it was true, sustain the lie and carry it across the decades into adulthood?

Or did Mia Farrow concoct the story and coach her daughter into repeating it, not just at the time but forever after? And is Farrow so vengeful and low that she would destroy her daughter’s happiness and put her family through a meat-grinder, in order to level a heinous and false accusation against the man who broke up with her?  And is she so talented that she fooled the police and prosecutors who wanted to jail Allen, but didn’t think they could convict him?

Or did Woody Allen, having fallen in love with and seduced a teenager he had known (and helped raise from childhood) – breaking the family to pieces in the process – soon afterwards molest another child in the same family?  

To judge this case, a reasonable person has to decide, which of those three stories seems the most plausible?

As a lifelong admirer of his work – the wit, characters, romance, wisdom and humanity of his films – it is wrenching to think he did this.   In my heart, I feel he cannot be guilty.  Turns out, though, that what the heart wants is not always the only thing that matters.

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Comment Preferences

  •  paging Dr. Frist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherman54, waterstreet2013

    we can only have our opinions as outsiders. I've always been uncomfortable with the "where", rather than the age gap. It shows a lack of imagination on Woody's part.

    Dear NSA: I am only joking.

    by Shahryar on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:45:09 PM PST

    •  Who's the pedophile ??? Mia Farrow's brother. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Serial pedophile, monster, you-name it.

      The actress' younger brother, John Charles Villiers-Farrow, 66, was arrested in Edgewater, Md. on Wednesday on several counts of sex abuse of a minor and two counts of second-degree child abuse and perverted practice. Two men alleging to be his victims informed authorities at the Anne Arundel County Police of the offenses in August, claiming that the abuse happened from 2000 to 2008 when they were between nine and sixteen years old. [2012.]
      One can assume there are other victims. This perp ran with a very wild crowd. He and his friends could have done anything.

      Protecting family is a motive.

      Further, Mia Farrow (Dylan's mother) has stated that Dylan's father could well be Frank Sinatra. Not her husband at the time, who was the conductor Andre Previn. That statement appears in a published interview.

      One can assume a second motive: separating Woody Allen from Dylan Farrow prevented Allen or one of his many friends from arranging a DNA test.

      Transferring a molestation memory from one person to another ??? That is not entirely uncommon. Dylan says that Woody Allen took her up to the attic and put her on her stomach to be molested. But oddly, she does not say that she looked at Allen while it was happening. Or spoke to him.

      Let's beware avoiding contrary evidence. None of this is clear. Not a single part of it.

      "I hesitate to agree with Ted Nugent...."

      by waterstreet2013 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:29:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dylan's story rings true, (10+ / 0-)

    Allen's does not and his "I couldn't have done it because" excuse is pathetic. Pedophiles are invariably serial offenders... hell, even Mia looked like a child when they got married.

    And some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints!

    by SpotTheCat on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:48:35 PM PST

  •  This is also known as Occam's Razor. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherman54, waterstreet2013
    To judge this case, a reasonable person has to decide, which of those three stories seems the most plausible?

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:56:08 PM PST

  •  Wow. There are a lot of words there (9+ / 0-)

    and why are you judging Woody Allen?

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:02:25 PM PST

  •  He-said/she-said thing at this point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherman54, Mr Robert

    If Woody is telling the truth that the intimacy didn't start until she was legally capable of consent, no issue really. Impossible for an outsider to know who's telling the truth, so I won't judge.

  •  I would like to take this diary seriously. (12+ / 0-)

    It is a serious subject worthy of discussion. But it is hard to do so when a very basic piece of information is incorrectly stated and repeated throughout. Mia Farrow and Woody Allen were never married. She was never his spouse. They maintained separate homes. They adopted children together, they cohabited in a broad sense, but they were never married. They were together, as young people like to say, but they didn't even maintain the same address.

    "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

    by Involuntary Exile on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:06:45 PM PST

  •  For starters, it's one-sided to say that Allen (8+ / 0-)

    is responsible for "breaking up the family" when Mia has admitted that she continued to have sex with Sinatra during her relationship with Allen.

    Plus, months before the supposed reason for all of this being back in public attention, Allen's being given a life-time award, Farrow revealed she thinks Sinatra might be the biological father of Ronan.  I don't call talking about this in public as being good parenting, but I'm sure it did make Mia feel better to essentially attack Allen's masculinity.

    Finally, everything I've ever read about pedophiles who would be interested in a 7-year old child indicates that it's very unlikely they would wait until the child was in their late teens to begin a relationship, nor would they continue the relationship when the former child was over 40 years old.

    So while Allen's relationship with his ex-girlfriend's daughter is creepy to most people, it doesn't indicate he's a pedophile.

    In summary, my scorecard:
    Farrow: bad parent
    Allen: bad parent
    Dylan: victim of abuse, either by Allen or by Farrow.  Really have no reason to conclude which one is the perpetrator.

    •  he didn't wait to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      start a relationship with the 7 year old. He is accused of molesting her at age 7.

      His relationship with Soon-Yi started with him in a father / avuncular capacity when she was age 9, and AFAWK progressed to a romantic one when she was around 19, when it was mutually consensual.

      •  But a valid point is there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian S

        Someone who is drawn to young - but adult - women is not likely to also have tendencies to pedophilia with very young children. Most in that latter category have multiple offenses, and no string of adult romantic relationships. Different mental and emotional buttons getting pushed there.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:06:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No. Soon Yi was 21 when she and Allen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        started up -- and out of the house.

        Born in 1970. Holidays of 1991 for the start with Allen.

        They've been together going on 23 years.

        Soon-Yi Previn said in 1992 that she does not, and never did, consider Woody Allen to be her father, stepfather, or father figure; she said she considers André Previn to be her adoptive father. She also commented that "I was never remotely close to Woody. He was someone who was devoted exclusively to his own children and to his work, and we never spent a moment together."
        -- the Wiki entry

        "I hesitate to agree with Ted Nugent...."

        by waterstreet2013 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:09:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  From numerous accounts, Woody groomed Dylan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He suffocated her personal space and was always in her face when she was growing up. A therapist noted the strange behavior to Mia and told her to keep an eye on it.

      Several people (not Mia) observed Woody rubbing suntan lotion down into Dylan's butt crack.

      Several nannies testified that Woody was alone with Dylan on the day of the molestation.

      As per the claustrophobia that is claimed by Woody to allege that he wouldn't be caught in an attic... it wasn't actually an attic. It was a room that ran alongside the upstairs rooms or something like that.

      As for Sinatra and Mia... Mia was actually his wife at one time. And they stayed close after their breakup. Frank Sinatra left her... she didn't leave him. He didn't want her working and she wouldn't agree to those conditions. So, they divorced. But they stayed friends.

      And Mia never married Woody. They were a couple for 12 years, but she never ever crossed the line to pledge her life to him.

      So, you get the nice complications of Mia possibly having a child with her former husband whom she still loved (pledged her life to him at one point in time) and then you have the 12 years of companionship with Woody and raising children with him.

      It does get complicated, but it should not be the nasty slut-shaming and maliciousness that obfuscates the molestation of a little girl.

      One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

      by bronte17 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:11:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know anything about whatever is going on (5+ / 0-)

    besides what shows up on DK (and largely only after I've read pretty much every other more interesting diary onsite) but if the logic is that WA is a monster for taking up with Soon Yi, why isn't Soon Yi likewise a monster for taking up with WA?  Surely she's engaging in the same 'betrayal' of her mother to take up with the guy her mother split up with in bitter acrimony.

    •  I think she was only 19 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lisa, orestes1963

      when Woody took the pornographic nude photos of Soon-Yi spread eagle  and he was in his late 40s or somewhere in his 50s.
      He said that he took the photos because she asked him because she wanted to be a model, and right there, imvho, is questionable about his logic or morals - since when is helping a young woman become a model helped by taking pornographic pictures acceptable?
      Unless of course, Soon Yi specifically told him that she wanted to be a porn model, which I doubt.

      I know far more about this than I care to know, but I will say that this is a good example, at least for me, as to why so very few women and/or young girls pursue cases of rape and sexual abuse, especially against powerful men.
      It's sad all the way around.

      Having said that, I think that Woody Allen lacks a moral compass when it comes to women and girls.

      •  Have you seen these pictures? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        waterstreet2013, wildweasels

        I'm not sure why you're so convinced that the pics were pornographic. Perhaps you find all nude pictures pornographic. The fact that the two have been married for decades now speaks to the legitimacy of their feelings toward one another.

      •  Ah, didn't someone (3+ / 0-)

        (diarist or commenter) say they got together as a couple when she was 19?  Or made it public that they were a couple?  Is there something wrong with two consenting adults taking pornographic pictures of each other?  (Even if they weren't a couple, really.)

        It seems to me you've already entered into the Republican territory of claiming that there should be other limits on what consenting adults do, sexually, other than simply have the requirement that they are consenting adults.  Do you think it should be illegal for 50 year olds to date 19 year olds?  If so, is it just that you want to bump 'adult' up to 21 (which I could certainly see an argument for) or that we should adopt some sliding scale such that two adults could only legally interact sexually if they were within some set age differential at any given time?

        (And since you do know more about it, what does Soon Yi have to say?  Has she come out to say she regrets having gotten together with WA back then?  That he coerced her into that photoshoot?)

        I'll note that I had two professors who got married when, iirc, the older (male) was around twice the age of the female - I think he was 72ish and she 36 at the time, for a 36 year age difference.  They seemed to be fully in love the whole time I knew them, and even had a couple of children.  I also know loving couples who got married when one of them was even younger than 19.

        WA might be a sleaze, might be a child abuser, even a serial pedophile for all I know, but it seems like your comment is taking something he did that you disapprove of, and suggesting that it would be bad no matter who did it.

        Personally, I want the government (and the public) completely out of everyone's bedrooms, unless there actually are complaints being made that one of the participants was A) underage, or B) non-consenting.  So I think it's obviously fair game to investigate allegations of sexual abuse of a minor, but not to say that consensual actions between two adults should be used to judge either of them.

        •  Well, from reading the Vanity Fair (0+ / 0-)

          article from 1992 when they did an in-depth article into it and they quoted both Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, along with several other people who were there, Woody did admit to taking the pictures of Soon Yi and he said at the time it was because she wanted to be a model.
          It was Mia Farrow who said they were pornographic and then when Soon Yi returned home after Mia confronted Woody, according to the article, Soon Yi took the full blame for the relationship.
          It was also stated in the article, by people who were there, that Woody also came to Mia's home and dropped to his knees and begged her forgiveness and promised to never do anything like that again with Soon Yi. He supposedly asked Mia to let it go and asked her to marry him and Mia supposedly slapped him and told him to get out.

          I don't know why you're being so hostile to me, Dr. Erich.
          I'm just stating an opinion on what I read in an article from Vanity Fair from 1992.
          I'm sorry that I commented.
          Hope you have a good evening.

          •  I'm actually not being hostile in the least. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            arizonablue, Mr Robert

            (Or certainly not trying to be.)  I'm trying to nail down a bit of what actually happened, and between whom.

            Your comment didn't make much sense to me, either, so I was trying to figure out what exactly you found objectionable, or how you felt it made WA more likely to have committed some abusive act with Dylan.  So I was trying to get clarification as to exactly what it was that you objected to about what took place.  As I said, I actually think there's a biological argument to be made for raising the divide between minor and adult to 21, for instance.

            I am sorry that you feel sorry to have commented, I really wasn't trying to make a personal attack out of it.

            •  It should be noted the 1992 VF article was slanted (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              to paint Mia Farrow in the most positive possible light, Woody Allen in the most negative possible light, Dylan Farrow as "unquestionably" a victim of sexual molestation, and Soon-Yi Previn (as she then was) as a pitiful little creature of sub-average intelligence (using a third-grade IQ test as "evidence") who was also used and abused by Woody Allen.

              If it's
              Not your body,
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              And it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:02:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  there's more to it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          novapsyche, orestes1963

          than an age difference. Woody and Soon-Yi began a romantic relationship at a time when he was romantically involved with her mother, and he was having dinner with the family most nights as a father figure (several of the children at the table were his, by birth or adoption). The taboo is not the age difference, it's the relationships.

          •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

            (trying to remember what was said in various comments above)

            It sounds like a really complicated 'blended family' setup, and I don't really have enough info to even make a guess as to how WA and SY viewed whatever relationship they had.  I certainly never viewed myself as a father figure towards the kids of women I dated, but then I don't have any kids either, so maybe it's just that I don't see myself as a father, period.

            And though I could easily write a dozen more questions to ask for clarification, I've already written enough comments that I'm bored with the topic anyway.  I never really liked WA movies, I don't care if it turns out he gets convicted for abuse or not, and I've really just been trying to mostly kill time while waiting for more politically oriented diaries to pop up :P

          •  Well, no, the taboo is often cited (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wildweasels, HiKa

            as being that he was so much older than she - Allen-Previn.

            The diarist omits a major detail that I think is actually relevant if people are going to go all judgmental about private affairs about which they know little to nothing which is that Farrow after having taken up with Frank Sinatra when she was 19 and he was more than twice her age - she looked like she was 14 - and then she married him at 21 - she was then summarily dumped by Frank Sinatra quite quickly afterwards - claims in the most recent Fall 2013 article that she continued to sleep with Sinatra even during the time that she was with Woody Allen.  She went as far as to say that Ronan, the son that she claimed was Allen's biological child might be Sinatra's  

            Now, for the record, this stuff is really a big "whatever" for me, BUT in light of the fact that people are running around insisting that Farrow is some sort of saint and that Mia Farrow's claims that Allen's failings were the sole root of their breakup are completely legitimate.

            My take is that they are both screwed up people.  Anyone who missed the fact that Allen is a neurotic mess of a man wasn't paying attention to a single movie they ever saw that he made.  However, Mia Farrow as the actress hasn't worn her heart on her sleeve the same way, but that doesn't make her less of a nutcase.  

            Why in the world would Mia Farrow decide now after all of these years to put the question of one of her children's paternity into question?  It is not without reasonable ground that Allen raises this question in his op-ed response to the allegations being leveled against him.  Farrow could have and should have kept it simple in that Vanity Fair article that was supposedly a vehicle to revisit the allegations against Allen with respect to Dylan.  If her intent was to get justice for her daughter and not to hurt Allen, she would have kept her ongoing affair and Ronan's paternity out of that article.  

            So, why is it a legitimate point on Allen's part?  In those custody battles over the kids that Allen and Mia Farrow went through child support was awarded to Farrow for the kids.

            Also, if Mia Farrow really felt that Allen was such a threat to these kids, she could very easily have taken Ronan out of the equation by getting a paternity test that might well have found Sinatra was indeed the father.  It wasn't like Sinatra could not have afforded to support that child.  Lying about paternity in this case can't be rationalized as a desperate measure to provide for her child or some other excuse like that.  Of course, conveniently Frank Sinatra is dead and has nothing to say because dead people can't respond when they are pulled into a narrative told by the living.

            But let's just assume that Mia Farrow's claim that she was seeing Sinatra throughout her relationship with Allen is true for the sake of argument.  If this story is true, then she was unsatisfied with Allen.  There was likely something missing from their match.  Something in her relationship with Sinatra that took her "where the heart wants to go" perhaps.  But she had this brood of kids and one has to wonder - if one wants to be judgmental - what those kids thought of "Uncle Frank".

            Given Mia Farrow's brother's problem with pedophilia - a problem that has been found to be a legitimate problem in a court of law and a narrative supported by several boys who accused her brother - I'm going to take the leap that most people are afraid to take and say that Mia Farrow knows something about child sexual abuse first hand.  Honestly, her marriage to Sinatra when she looked like she was 14 makes that a pretty easy leap even without a brother who is a pedophile, but that piece of the puzzle is striking to me.  Farrow's intense focus in her humanitarian career on children who are sexually abused and used in sex slavery may be more empathetic than it is sympathetic.  She may suffer from severe PTSD from her own experiences that would drive her to drive her to make accusations like this one that she has made against Allen not necessarily because they tale is "true", but because it makes sense to her given her own life experience.

            OR she picked another pedophile to spend her life with when she found Allen. That's possible, too.  She could be so damaged that her internal compass will guide her towards men who are predators - that's not necessarily her fault - that is easily understood as the remnants of the grooming process continuing to factor into selecting a mate.

            My opinion is that all of these people are a mess, but you can go onto any divorce blog or any custody blog any given day and see this kind of mess played out on a daily basis - and those people aren't movie stars or infamous write/director Hollywood people, they are just people who make a lot of bad decisions collectively and separately that end up putting them in endless negative feedback loops that some escape - but most perpetuate in a system that rarely provides any of the players with an out.

            •  On Ronan (0+ / 0-)

              perhaps he wanted this information re paternity to be public.  I am reminded of Diane Ross's daughter forcing Ross to publicly acknowledge that Gordy Berry is her father.  

              •  There is no definitive statement. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                That's the problem with Mia Farrow's decision to throw this uncertainty out there because it would be easy to determine paternity.

                Allen is well within his rights to ask if she's been misleading the courts and him all of these years.

                Honestly, that admission an indication that Mia Farrow is not playing with a full deck and that she is not at all operating with any sense about legitimate legal guidance she might have in her realm.

                Making the claim that Allen molested one child whilst casually admitting that she doesn't know the paternity of the other over whom they both fought for custody is just really suspect.

                Again, if she thought that Allen was a dangerous guy, she could have easily taken Ronan out of the entire battle back in the early 90s.  I would have at least tried that if those were my kids and I felt that they were threatened.  But 22 years later she just says to a reporter that she isn't sure about the paternity?  That's daft and it undercuts her assertion that she was only ever acting in the best interest of these kids.

            •  Yes, I suspect you're right about Farrow (0+ / 0-)

              Her passivity and her willingness to continue in a relationship with Allen when he behaved like an absolute asshole to her children even setting aside the creepy behavior towards Dylan long before the babysitter discovered Allen with his head in Dylan's crotch....

              A psychologically healthy woman would certainly have shown Allen the door long before that awful day.

        •  I have never heard anyone assert (0+ / 0-)

          that WA's relationship with Soon-yi was criminal or should be criminalized.  The issue has been one of the morality of his actions.  One can disagree on the morality of his actions (I am reminded of Whoopi Goldberg's heinous defense of Roman Polanski:  it wasn't RAPE rape), but it is simple-minded and false to assert that any discussion of sexual morality makes one a republican.    

          •  I'm just about to wander afk, but was actually (0+ / 0-)

            just replying to Lisa above as I saw your reply hit.

            I think if you read a bit more carefully, you might note that I don't specifically say that 'any discussion of sexual morality makes one a Republican', although it certainly is far more prevalent among Republicans, hence my comment about 'territory'.

            Democrats discussed David Vitter's sexual actions, Larry Craig's sexual actions, even Anthony Weiner's.

            'Moral condemnation' of sexual acts between consenting adults, is, however, pretty much the domain of Republicans.  How often do you see Democratic attacks on Republicans for their 'immoral' sexual acts?  I really can't think of any.  Dems generally don't condemn the act, they condemn the hypocrisy that usually goes along with it - people like Henry Hyde being an adulterer, yet persecuting Bill Clinton for the same thing.  Or Craig voting for anti-gay measures.

            •  I guess you missed the moral (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              condemnations of Bill Clinton by Democrats for the affaire Lewinsky.  

              As I typed my comment, I was aware I was not being as precise as I should be by using the word "make."  But I think your two comments do imply that matters of sexual morality are the domain of republicans (with all of the negative associations of republicanism attached, most saliently their discomfort with free sexual expression).  I would concur that moral hypocrisy is the domain of republicans, but that is different than sexual morality.  I am morally offended when teachers have sex with their students even though the student may have attained the age of consent.  Not because I am a sexual prude, but because of the nature of the relationship.  It is on that level that criticism of Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi operates.  You may not have the same moral concerns (which is fine), but to imply that others who do are somehow less moral (or exercise a hyper-sensitive morality) is simple-minded IMO.  

          •  Speaking of Roman Polanski (0+ / 0-)

            I find it strange that Mia Farrow continues to consider him a close friend.

            •  I just learned that in this thread (0+ / 0-)

              I find it troubling.  The greatest test of our morality is in its application to matters close at hand.  It is of little value to tout a moral view, but to ignore that view when it hits close to home.  This is the hypocrisy that so many republicans exhibit.

              •  Something else I found troubling (0+ / 0-)

                is that no one is trying to lead a crusade against child molestation using Roman Polanski as their Horrible Example. Could it be because they already got their man? He has been driven out of Hollywood and has been living and working in Europe for 35 years.

                Polanski is also one of several people who have successfully sued Vanity Fair for libel.

                Wikipedia: Vanity Fair libel case

                In 2004, Polanski sued Vanity Fair magazine in London for libel. A 2002 article in the magazine claimed that Polanski promised he would "make another Sharon Tate out of you" in an attempt to seduce a Scandinavian model while he was travelling to Tate's funeral. He received supporting testimony from Mia Farrow, and Vanity Fair "was unable to prove that the incident occurred." Polanski was awarded £50,000 in damages plus some of his legal costs.[133]

                If it's
                Not your body,
                Then it's
                Not your choice
                And it's
                None of your damn business!

                by TheOtherMaven on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:39:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I have to say, we applaud 18 year old women (0+ / 0-)

        who appear nude or near nude in magazines. Yay, we say!! It is their right, and how dare we judge them for doing what they want with their own bodies!!

        But this 19 year old was forced into taking pictures. Nah. Can't have it both ways. Either she is an adult, or she's not. And at 19, she is considered an adult.

        My dog is a member of Dogs Against Romney: He rides inside.

        by adigal on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:51:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  One simple reason (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is that we, as a society, demand greater responsibility from adults when dealing with teenagers.  We accept that teenagers do not make the best decisions and can be easily influenced by their seniors.  

      If I recall correctly, Soon-Yi was 17 when this relationship started.  Still past the age of consent in NY and CT, but a bit more troubling.  Do you think that high school students who have sex with their teachers are equally at fault as the teacher?  That appears to be your reasoning.

  •  I think woody is sick but not a pedophile (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magster, Catte Nappe, wildweasels

    There is a big difference with falling for your girlfriends teenage daughter and raping a 7 year old who you consider your child. Allen never struck me as the type who would be attracted to a small child, a teenager yes.
    I have no doubt Dylan believes this happened, but Mia could easily have manipulated what happened in her mind and made her believe it.
    I feel bad for this family they are all screwed up. We will never know what realy happened and the media should drop it.

    •  There's a type? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chicago minx

      I have to confess I didn't read this diary as I can see no point to it, but your comment struck a strange note, too. You think there's a "type" who falls for teenagers, and another "type" who rapes younger children?

      I guess I've got some learning to do.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

      by FischFry on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:53:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sexual predation is well studied and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        there is overwhelming consensus amongst those professionals who have studied the disease that pedophiles have distinct preferences.  People who would molest a young child would not typically molest a young teen or child in middle school and vice versa.

        My father who was an attorney defended child molesters for a time during the course of his career - a really long time ago - and when we talked about it when I was about 12 years old, I asked if he wasn't troubled about defending them because I could be their target and he responded by saying, "You are too old for my clients."

        When I was 13 and a man drove up in a Porsche and asked me to suck his dick while I was waiting for the bus to school I told him, "No thank you," and ran like hell back to my house.  My parents were, thankfully, still home getting ready to go to work.  They insisted on calling the police which I really felt uncomfortable about doing.  But they did and the police came and even in the 70s when this was not a well tended to issue, the police that I encountered had a pretty insightful and good response when I talked to me.  Although, they did say that he was probably working his way up to outright abduction rather than just invitations.  After that the school bus stopped in front of my house rather than down the street.

        Anyway, none of this stuff is uncomplicated.  Being the kind of person that I am and because of this incident as well as some others, I spent a lot of time reading about rape and pedophiles from a too young age.  It has always been a thing for me.  Then I had more experiences and also became an adult and saw what people were willing to do to each other when they felt betrayed and a whole new layer of questions and considerations became apparent.

        •  I respect that...and get that bit (0+ / 0-)

          People -- all people -- really do have preferences...sexual impulses that are probably not changeable...certainly not easily so. I was just suggesting that, as true as that is, there's no way that someone from the outside could divine someone else's preferences (other than to see behavior that undeniably expresses and confirms them). That there aren't "types" that an outsider could pick out.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

          by FischFry on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 09:28:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, the thing is that the stronger hypothesis (0+ / 0-)

            that would be more in line with the scientific data about pedophiles with respect to factoring in Soon-Yi as "evidence" that he is a pedophile would be to suggest that his involvement with her and his prior involvement with Mia Farrow was a way for him to have access to young girls.  Meaning that picking adult women that he could control who wanted children gave him the access he would never have without them.

            What does not ring true based on the scientific data is the idea that his attraction to and relationship with Previn because of her age proves that he would victimize a seven year old child.  Previn's age doesn't prove that - nor really does Previn's relationship to Allen's former girlfriend Mia Farrow.

      •  Pedophile, Hebephile, Ephebophile (0+ / 0-)

        These terms have different meanings relating to the physical sexual maturity of the persons preferred type.
        Pedophiles are drawn to prepubescents.
        Hebephiles prefer pubescents.
        Ephebohiles prefer young post-pubescents.
        I leave the rest to your interest and your preferred on-line references.

        To hold to the Olympic "ideal" of excluding politics is to be indifferent to the suffering of other humans - which is itself a political act.

        by HiKa on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:30:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Woody has a family. (5+ / 0-)

      With Soon Yi and two adopted daughters. And in no way do they appear to be "all screwed up". They seem pretty happy. Perhaps the judgers here should move on and judge something else.

    •  there's quite a bit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of evidence from that time -- state police, judge, prosecutor, all of whom believed Woody Allen had at least acted inappropriately. The judge stated that Dylan was in need of protection from him, and the prosecutor explained he didn't bring a case only because the victim was judged to be too fragile to bear up under being a witness.

      It's not accurate to call this a he said / she said when investigations were conducted and his behavior was found to be wrong. He had been court-ordered to not be alone with Dylan before the time of these allegations because he had a documented history of "obsession" with her.

      In his defense, he cleverly only includes the findings of those on his payroll (e.g., Yale psychiatrist who never interviewed Dylan) who, surprise! find him blameless. The more objective findings of the state are not as benign.

    •  He was obsessed with Dylan. (0+ / 0-)

      Don't you think that may sublimate into lust, despite her age?

      He already lacks a moral compass when it comes to not touching folks in the family circle, so I'm asking your opinion.

  •  I see a big male/female divide on the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arizonablue, Preston S, novapsyche

    whole ugly story.  More men seems to be siding with Allen, women with Farrow/Dylan.  

    •  Pretty much. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chicago minx

      It seems that some folks want to reserve the actions of Allen for themselves, if the opportunity should make itself available.

      •  That's not fair (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buddabelly, 4kedtongue, elmo

        This is the kind of ugly innuendo that is far too accepted around these parts.  Attacking the morality or decency of strangers in this manner is simply wrong and should not be tolerated.

        •  But that's par for the course around here now (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          orestes1963, pigpaste

          When it comes to sexual allegations, "progressivism" turns into coercive Groupthink - OF COURSE the accuser must always be totally believed, regardless of any other factors whatsoever; OF COURSE the accused must be made to suffer and to pay for his alleged crime (without any recourse to a court of law, just the Tribunal of Public Opinion), and OF COURSE anyone who disagrees with this, or even questions it, is EVIL, in league with Satan, and must be stoned out of the ranks of "true progressives" by the Righteous.

          It is even made into a gender-based paradigm: "men believe Woody Allen, women believe Dylan Farrow" - when, like most generalizations, that one is much too broad and draws much too rigid conclusions.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:31:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a rightwing /reactionary impulse (0+ / 0-)

            I would think that progressives would be more sensitive to this fact.  I can understand getting heated when discussing sensitive matters, but that does not excuse the unfair  moral condemnation of others for holding a different viewpoint, especially in a space designed to engage discussion.  Being challenged in one's views should be seen as an invitation to bolster, refine or question one's position.  That's the purpose of debate, IMO.  Shutting that kind of debate down by questioning the humanity of one's opponent has a long history, but it is not in the least a progressive one.  

            •  I would add (0+ / 0-)

              that this tendency is not restricted to sexual matters, but to a number of heated issues and some not-so heated ones, such as criticism of elected politicians.

            •  Because pointing out rape apologia... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

     just like being a reactionary wingnut. rolls eyes

              Part of being a progressive is educating yourself on things that matter to certain segments of the, say, women?  Rape culture is not a left/right thing; it is a cultural thing.  There have been certainly some high-profile rape apologia coming from the right, but there are those who are progressives who can be just as bad, especially when it comes to defending men of privilege, such as Woody Allen and Chris Brown.  

              •  No (0+ / 0-)

                You apparently are having difficulty comprehending my point.  If you do not see that attacking the character of someone for disagreeing with you is reactionary, then you have a limited understanding of what it means to be a progressive.  I can disagree with someone's position on these accusations without accusing my opponent of endorsing child molestation.  The problem for those of you who are comfortable with this tactic is that you cannot then turn around and decry others for using the same tactic in other contexts, unless you are a hypocrite.

          •  No, not always (0+ / 0-)

            but this time, in this case, yes.

  •  the other side.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, buffie

    If Allen's version of how the accusation and investigation went down exonerating him, then it's pretty compelling.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:31:27 PM PST

  •  Dylan is the victim (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, buffie

    There is lots of doubt that I've read as to very strong accusations/accounts made against Woody - by equally strong and rational counter-accounts/explanations - but Mia's obvious hatred of him for taking Soon-Li away colours much of what she says and does, which muddies this whole mess, IMHO.

    I think something genuine has impacted Dylan and hope that she can cope+perhaps heal over time.  I'm not convinced it was sexual assault by Woody Allen from what has been reported - but, I'm not in a position to make that clear determination, obviously.  It's just an outside opinion and means nothing.

    Coincidentally, I recently discovered that I'm 2 degrees of separation from Mia Farrow's rather large, immediate family.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:48:49 PM PST

    •  *shrug* (0+ / 0-)

      A seven-year-old can't consent to anything sexual.

      I believe Dylan when she says (even in euphemisms) that Allen penetrated her digitally.  She has everything to lose by making such allegations & nothing to gain.

      •  She is likely telling the truth, as she knows it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The question is, did it really happen - or did Mia convince her as a young child that it happened.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:27:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure if you are putting words into my mouth (0+ / 0-)

        As, I would never imply that statutory rape - sexual contact occurred - is anything but such a thing.  My only question is on the actual nature of anything truly happening in that regard.

        I feel that Dylan truly feels assaulted and I easily believe/support her feelings in this regard.  Whether that means she was actually assaulted or not is a different set of evidence/facts to consider at this point, given the various sorts of conflicting reports made to date.

        If Mia wasn't involved in ways that have been evidenced thus far - and, all things said by Dylan were otherwise the same - I would feel more certain of the accusations being likely to reflect reality.  Monica Thompson (a nanny) left the employ of Mia when she felt things were going horribly skewed to the point of her being asked to support a story she didn't believe was true, which included the other nanny (Kristi Groteke) originally saying that Dylan wasn't out of her sight for more than 5 minutes on the day in question, yet later testifying and writing a "tell-all" style book saying otherwise - an account more or less repeated in Mia's own book.

        Plus, Mia apparently tried to settle with Woody for $5M to drop all sexual assault charges at the time, which doesn't strike me as someone who was mostly concerned with Dylan's having been sexually assaulted.

        As I mentioned, there's enough conflicting reports on this issue that it doesn't seem black/white guilt to assign for Woody, but I do believe that Dylan is in pain and hope she can heal/cope well over time - regardless of what happens to Allen.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:48:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you read that whole newspaper article (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          you linked to?  The part where that sensational claim you made was disputed by Allen Dershowitz, one of the lawyers involved, as entirely false?

          And, of course, since Groteke was warned not to let Dylan out of her sight, I think we can understand why she first attempted to minimize the amount of time the child was missing.

          The court charged with deciding the custody case certainly though quite a few things were clear cut.

          •  Gee, of course I tried to read an article (0+ / 0-)

            to which I linked for reference :)

            Despite Dershowitz's denial, there was still mention that the monies requested were for ". . . Farrow's future movie projects as well as the children's medical and education costs."  Well, of course.

            If Groteke lied about her coverage of Dylan, then what else did she lie about?  Was her tabloid-style book entirely factual, or possibly embellished to help sell copies?  Because, my understanding is that a core chapter of that book revolved around her testimony and was then parroted by Mia's book, so one wonders if any embellishing happened after her initial report of keeping Dylan in plain sight during the day in question.

            Meanwhile, the other nanny who disputed Groteke's updated story of what occurred in a house with many people on that fateful day, has - to my knowledge (and, I decided to look a bit, maybe not enough) - not taken advantage of this situation or history for monetary gain.  Nor have I read that her story has changed.

            Further, the article offers an interesting point that I wondered about when initially seeing reports of this issue, years ago: Mia was apparently worried about Woody's being around young Dylan because of his relationship with her other daughter, Soon-Yi - it seems she was defending all of her daughters to whom Allen had access, after that point.

            The Judge for that custody ruling you linked to made typical decisions of who they decided was more credible or not in accusations towards each other about parenting skills and/or abusiveness - all towards awarding custody one way or another - but, essentially his decision came down to the following:

            . . . Acting Justice Elliott Wilk of New York's State Supreme Court "said it was unlikely that Mr. Allen could be prosecuted for sexual abuse based on the evidence," the newspaper reported. "But while a team of experts concluded that Dylan was not abused, the judge said he found the evidence inconclusive."
            In nasty divorces and custody hearings, all sorts of ugly things come out while the parents try to divvy up the spoils - it's horrible, but we all probably know at least one World War III-scale divorce that's happened.  There's too much coincidence of timing here with the Soon-Yi affair, and too little empirical evidence, for me to decide guilt one way or another as an outside party.  That doesn't mean I like Woody Allen as a person, as he's always come off as self-absorbed and a bit of a mean-spirited schmuck when cornered, but again, I don't know him personally.

            And, I have no skin in this game: again, I feel that Dylan continues to stand out as the clear victim here and hope the best for her, going forward.  I don't feel that anyone should be beating on her or telling her to stop speaking her mind and heart loudly on this issue, especially if it can help lead to a better situation from her perspective.

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:09:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  A couple of points (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Anyone familiar with criminal procedure (and I assure you that Dershowitz is...he teaches it at the Harvard Law School) would know that there would be no way for Farrow to make a child abuse investigation "go away." It's not like a civil lawsuit the complainant can drop. So Allen's lawyer's charge is ridiculous on its face.

              Secondly, it was Allen's lawyers who asked for the meeting. Dershowitz suggests it was a setup, that they were looking for anything that they could use as ammunition in the custody battle.

              I don't see the "5 minutes" vs "15-20" minutes as a lie, as you do. Think about it. As you go about your day, you're doing things, suddenly you notice one of the children you're supposed to be watching isn't around. It's not as though you look at your watch every time Dylan isn't right next to you, and then look at it again every time she comes back into your sight.

              Even if it was only five minutes that Dylan was out of the babysitter's sight, it doesn't take very long to do what Allen is accused of.

              If you read the decision of the child custody court, which are the only facts in this matter that were established according to the rules of evidence, you learn that Farrow's concern about Woody's interest in Dylan long predated her discovery of the nude photos of her other daughter in Allen's apartment. Other adults had noticed that behavior, too, including a therapist (although that therapist did not recognize the inappropriate interest as sexual in nature). Allen was in therapy for this inappropriate behavior.

              To me, the saddest thing about all of this was that the warning signs were there. If only Farrow had listened to her instinct and broken up with Allen years before, none of this horror would have ensued.

              •  What I read about in the concerns of Woody (0+ / 0-)

                and being around Dylan sounded like issues brought up after-the-fact, only when divorce proceedings and others came about - I was looking into timing of the accusations, and it appeared that they became formalized only after the Soon-Yi episode.  Maybe a timeline view would be helpful, in case semi-curious folks like me are far off.

                That article is not the first to mention Mia's elevated concerns since discovering that Woody was romantically involved with her daughter, which also gave me further context in trying to figure out what his prior behaviors were about.

                That is, I considered that some of the claims made about his weird times with Dylan fell into a pattern of being too focused on her - almost to the point of wanting to "own" her and her childhood path, if that makes any sense.  A desperate need to be the most important person, influence and focus of attention in a child's forming life.  I mention it in that manner because I've actually encountered a very similar behavioral pattern and had to uncomfortably bring that up with other adults in more than one case - it was always a relative of someone else's kid.  So, I have somewhat aligned Woody's selfish, obsessive behavior with Dylan as definitely inappropriate and can understand the need for him to have been in therapy for that.

                Was he beyond obsessed with owning her life and wanted complete power over her, to the point of sexual assault?  Again, when I looked at the issues and timing, much of the Soon-Yi episode seemed intertwined to the participants at the time and then I had trouble fully believing some of the testimony of the nanny whose story appeared to change and become suddenly aligned with Mia's.  He had Soon-Yi as someone to obsess over and possibly manipulate (if that was happening in his dynamic with her), so why remain obsessed to the point of raping Dylan on a busy day, with so many people buzzing around?  Emotional issues aren't rational, but it still seems like odd timing, given the other uncertainties in the overall story of that day.

                As for Dershowitz, I honestly don't believe much of what he has to say on personal cases - he's a great manipulator :) .

                This doesn't mean that I take Woody's position at face value, either - it's just that I can see reasonable doubt in this from a court-case perspective.

                Overall, I don't have any issues with your interpretations and perspectives on this affair - they are well-reasoned.

                "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                by wader on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:51:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Her brother says it never happened (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    Her brother Moses has said it never happened and that Mia did everything she could to poison their view of Woody Allen

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:06:42 PM PST

    •  Was he (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in the attic?

      •  Were you? Was Mia? Was Woody? (0+ / 0-)

        None of us has any idea if anyone was every in the attic.

        I watched 49 people be arrested and charged with being part of a child molestation ring in Wenatchee, WA. Some plead to lesser charges and many went to jail.

        Only it never happened. Look it up.

        And I recently read that about 77% of the time when charges like this are introduced for the first time in a custody trial it's made up or unprovable. The timing of coming out with these charges in the middle of a viscous custody battle is a bit convenient.

        O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

        by Kevanlove on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:03:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe you should count the number of (0+ / 0-)

      siblings in the Previn-Farrow clan.  You are speaking of ONE sibling out of how many?  Most of them have either cut Woody out of their lives, or had nothing to do with him in the first place.  Only Soon-Yi and Moses seem to be on speaking terms with him (hell, Woody Allen married Soon-Yi).  

  •  He wouldn't have been permitted to adopt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    two children if the agency believed the allegations were credible.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:07:10 PM PST

  •  A diary worthy of Faux News (5+ / 0-)


  •  There is another interpretation of Farrow's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orestes1963, wildweasels

    belief about the situation...

    A person's fears can lead them to look for proof that confirms their fears... fear leads to suspicions, which leads to asking leading questions to the point that they believe the person they are questioning is holding back or hiding something... False confessions by adults are driven by exactly this kind of mistaken expectation by the interrogator's drive to dig out the "Truth". And drawing out what seems to be real from children using leading questions and suggestions can yield detailed answers that are entirely fictitious.. the child gives the answers that get approval.

    So could this have been what happened to drive the accusations against Woody? The two nannies at the house on the day the abuse supposedly happened deny that it could have occurred... Moses, one of the children adopted by both Woody and Mia has come forward as an adult to say that he never saw Dylan out of sight or away that day (Moses has more recently broken with Mia and is estranged from her and probably most of his adoptive siblings) Moses says essentially for Farrow and her kids loyalty is more important than truth and that sticking with the narrative loyally is paramount...

    So back to Farrow... several months into the split, she and Allen are in the middle of custody battle over Dylan and Moses plus Satchel/Ronan (Allen's alleged natural child who certainly does look the spitting image of Frank Sinatra). Farrow has spent the past months in a seething state and is constantly explaining to the kids how terrible Allen is... Farrow is not even at the house... she is out shopping.

    She later says that she found Dylan with no underwear on under her sun dress... Farrow has been calling Allen's relationship with Soon Yi "Incest" with a "Daughter"... here we have the fear... that somehow this could mean that Allen could have been preying upon her kids... based on what? Farrows anger and fears and perhaps her own guilt (breaking up Dory Previn's marriage with Andre Previn)... her defensiveness over her own pursuit of older men... and finally her own duplicity with Allen, seeing her ex husband Frank Sinatra behind Allen's back and even possibly having a child with Sinatra and telling everyone it was Woody's... The way out of all of this plus denying Allen shared custody of the three children and getting revenge on him for leaving with a younger woman is to believe that Woody is a pedophile monster. But why would she have that fear in the first place?

    Consider the era... this is the early 90s... that was the last part of a decade-long panic over imagined child abuse in day care centers... many were labelled Satanic abuse... and dozens or even a few hundred innocent people were investigated, charged, convicted and jailed after "counselors" and others in the new repressed memory specialist industry claimed to have recovered horrific to the point of comedic abuse stories... it has taken years for all of these unjust bizarre fantasy convictions to be overturned and people released after even decades in some cases...

    So at the time this fear of child abusers was still in the news and on people's minds. Farrow is by all appearances very devoted to her children and part of her need for a large and loving family must stem from some sort of insecurity or issues she has... and insecurity always means fears that never quite go away... it therefore seems reasonable to believe protecting the kids is going to be even more of a constant presence in her mind than with other parents...

    So I postulate that Farrow already had many mixed emotions, ideas and fear in her mind at the time and whether there was missing underwear or not (did she add that to add more urgency or credence than just fears and suspicions based on nothing in particular?)... none of the nannies was aware of this and insist it could not have happened that day without them knowing... so assume that for whatever reason... and it could have been entirely innocent... soiled or wet the child removed them out of embarrassment it triggered the whole series of events after that? or Farrow just added this to the story... Did she proceed to question Dylan at length about what she, Farrow suspected for no reason beyond that she thought it conceivable and her fears made it more real to her as possibility? It is known that Mia eventually made a video of Dylan answering questions posed by Mia about the alleged incident.

    What has come out about the video from nannies who witnessed some of the filming sessions is that the reason it has several breaks is that it was actually filmed over 2 or three days with lengthy time gaps between some parts stopping and starting up again... Dylan is apparently not all that interested during some of the sessions and the implication that Mia was coaching Dylan in between takes seems more than likely and at least one of the nannies has said so.

    Is Farrow making things up? Or is she like the repressed memory experts fooling herself as she unwittingly asks leading questions that suggest the right way to answer?... interrogators who believe they have a guilty person they need to break down do a similar thing but do it more harshly... it is quite different with a "repressed memory expert"... they use gentler means and they are not getting someone they believe is guilty to confess but they do end up being persistent in eliciting bogus information that they truly believe is a hidden truth brought to light.... with her secret fears apparently verified by the responses she suggests to Dylan she makes the video over several days until she has what she believes is damning evidence... that it needs more takes only makes the process seem to Farrow like the careful patient extraction of a truth that is so painful that it is hard to bring it out... that Dylan was apparently not in any distress seems to invalidate that set of notions but regardless Farrow believed she had something that would punish Allen, deny him custody and protect her children...

    A side note: there is a person in Mia's life who was convicted of child abuse... pedophilia... and served time - her own brother. I do not know the timeline of this or whether Mia ever feared he molested her children as well as those he was convicted of and have not read details of this.

    The whole pattern of Farrow's life is hard to take in but with all these strands taken into consideration... in balance it does seem more like the whole mess was Farrows fears and imagination driving her reactions and beliefs.

    Her own personal story has quite a few out of the ordinary details ranging from her relationships with older men married or not, her need for numerous serial adoptions... and other needs and fixations... all within the bounds of normal behavior but still unusual all the same...

    Finally... she is a great personal friend and defender of Roman Polanski (who directed her in "Rosemary's Baby" one of her earliest films)... a man who admits under age sex with a 13 year old including forced anal rape after plying her with drink and drugs... and is reviled by many as a pedophile and defended by others who say his emotional state and personal history are mitigating factors (even the girl, now a middle aged woman forgives him)...

    Even thought there is more than a little evidence in that case... the facts are not denied... while there nothing substantial in the allegations against Woody Allen at all... Mia Farrow defends one and is relentlessly vengeful over the other... In the end one can only say she is unusual in many ways....

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:54:30 PM PST

    •  There are virtually no "facts" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in your comment.

      Here's a link to the findings of the custody case. Those are the facts, established by the rules of evidence in a court of law.

      You claim Farrow is a defender of Polanski. Yes, she testified under subpoena in a libel lawsuit concerning events shortly after the Tate murders, long before Polanski's rape of the 13 year old.  She was required to testify, and testify truthfully. I would hardly call this being a "supporter."

      She did not sign the Hollywood petition in support of Polanski. Woody Allen did.

  •  Mia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    didn't go to the authorities.  The doctor who examined Dylan was required by law to notify the authorities.

    •  And that doesn't seem a bit...odd? (0+ / 0-)

      That Mia Farrow didn't want to go to the authorities, that is? Wouldn't most parents who so much as suspected their child had been molested break all known speed records to police headquarters?

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:10:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are determined to question Mia's motives (0+ / 0-)

        no matter what you are presented with.

        The OP stated that Mia went to the authorities, presumably to attack Woody's reputation.  I corrected the OP with facts from the case.  It does not appear that she intentionally set out to defame Woody.

        Whether or not her behavior is defensible from a maternal standpoint is beside the issue.

  •  Did not 3 doctors say they found no evidence... (0+ / 0-)

    ... to support the claims?

    I see an awful lot of reflexive "guilty verdicts" being delivered in the discussions about this, here and elsewhere.

    And the simple fact is, the statute of limitations has run out, and none of us is ever going to know for sure who did what. Sadly, this young woman had two parents whose stability is somewhat questionable.

    It is just amazing to me how certain people seem to be, one way or the other. This is one of the great tragedies of sexual abuse of usually takes place with no witnesses, and often does not get revealed until years or even decades later, if at all.

    It really is okay not to have reserve judgment on things, to not have an opinion on everything. Especially when, in other discussions, we generally agree with the concept of innocent until proven guilty...AND NONE OF US WERE THERE.

    Ich bin ein Wisconsiner!

    by Apphouse50 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:53:24 PM PST

  •  Sorry, but the thesis of this diary (0+ / 0-)

    that Woody Allen stood in the place of father in the Farrow household simply isn't supported by the facts established in the custody case.

    The evidence there showed that Allen didn't even speak to the Previn children when he was in the Farrow household. Not even so much as "hello."

    This changed in 1990 with respect to Soon Yi.

    Setting the fact that Allen began a sexual relationship with a teenager at the same time (and overlapping with) his sexual relationship with her mother, and setting aside the alleged sexual abuse of Dylan, Woody Allen's behavior as described in this opinion establishes him in my mind as a thoroughly repellent person.

  •  Allen's version of the story (0+ / 0-)

    Courtesy of the NY Times:

  •  I wish people would wrap their heads around this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Oscars, Golden Globes, and so forth, are not, never have been, and were never intended to be "Good Conduct" awards. They mean one thing and one thing only: this performance, or that piece of work, is deserving of recognition. Period.

    Such awards have gone to some real creeps, weirdos, scumbuckets, and other sorts of unsavory characters over the years - not because, but in spite, of what they were and did in private life.

    If it's
    Not your body,
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    And it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:35:45 PM PST

    •  But that's the problem (0+ / 0-)

      Instead of rewarding the scumbags with lifetime achievement awards, that we start shunning them for the assholes that they are?   Regardless of their "art" and "how good it is"?  If we stopped rewarding assholish behavior, society would change for the better by a lot.

      •  If they ever become "Good Conduct" awards, (0+ / 0-)

        they will become meaningless.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:17:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better meaningless than rewarding assholes. (0+ / 0-)

          That would be fine by me.

          •  Burn all Wagner recordings, ban all performances, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, buffie

            don't forget to do the same to Verdi because he cohabited with a woman he wasn't married to. Destroy all paintings by Fra Filippo Lippi - he violated his vows of chastity, abducted and seduced (or raped) a young novice, and had a son by her.

            Destroy the Morte d'Arthur - Sir Thomas Malory was a thug, bully, cattle thief, church-robber and rapist.

            Burn all copies of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll aka Charles L. Dodgson took nude photographs of prepubescent girls.

            Do you see yet where such extreme hyper-Puritanism gets you?

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:31:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not hyper-Puritanism (0+ / 0-)

              Rewarding asshole behavior is empowering to the assholes.  They continue to push boundaries, never stopping their behaviors until it finally does catch up with them, which could take years.  And even then, they never see what they did wrong, but in the meantime, they leave a trail of hurt behind because their behaviors have harmed others.  

              Attitudes like yours is what empowers the system to ignore the harm bullies and sexual predators cause every day and why their victims feel they have to stay silent.

  •  I'm Supposed to Believe (0+ / 0-)

    these allegations yet again being dragged out, just 2-3 months prior to the Academy Awards, where Mr. Allen's current film is up for two awards-- this is all just a coincidence??

    Gimme a break, please.

    "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:20:50 AM PST

    •  The film is up for three Oscars- (0+ / 0-)

      Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay. Woody Allen also has a musical version of his film Bullets Over Broadway in previews, and Ronan Farrow's MSNBC show will begin soon. Interesting coincidence.

      "Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

      by buffie on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:46:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  inapprpriate behavior (0+ / 0-)

    These allegations did not happen in a vacuum. The record shows that Woody Allen engaged in inapropriate behavior toward Dylan since she was an infant and in fact was in treatment for it. He would constantly take her away into separate rooms, away from the rest of the family, was seen with his head in her lap, his finger or thumb in her mouth, a lot of excessive touching and invading her boundaries in general. Is it so hard to believe that at some point he may have touched her private parts? I don't think so. It's all part of the larger picture. And how important is it? Does it matter exactly what part of her body he touched? His ongoing behavior was inappropriate, invasive and harmful enough that the judge found that Dylan had to be protected from it. His demand for custody was also cruel and frivolous; the children had lived in that apartment with Mia and their siblings all their lives and she was their full time caretaker and psychological parent. Yet he put her through this nightmare, tried to take her children  away from her, while having a sexual relationship  with their sister. The custody lawsuit alone was sufficient for me to stop watching his movies. It was cruel, selfish and uncaring. This man is not a good person and does not deserve to be defended.

    •  What are the sources for these allegations? (0+ / 0-)

      Anything that derives from the 1992 Vanity Fair article by Maureen Orth is hearsay - Orth was not present for any of it, was by her own (2013) statement not a personal or family friend, and did not even meet Mia Farrow personally until 2003.

      (It is clear from that article, though, that she was a huge Mia Farrow fan.)

      Where did she get her information?
      Which members of the family, if any, did she actually speak to?
      Which other persons involved did she actually speak to?
      Did she even have any direct sources, or did she mine the newspapers, magazines, and tabloids for every scrap of information she could find that cast Mia Farrow in a positive light and/or placed Woody Allen in a negative one?

      If the Vanity Fair article is being held up as "authoritative" - and it has been - then questions like these really should be asked about it.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:38:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I haven't been following this, this is the first (0+ / 0-)

    read of it. Because I knew it would be a he said/she said. How on earth do you untangle something like this???

    My dog is a member of Dogs Against Romney: He rides inside.

    by adigal on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:54:27 PM PST

    •  There are an awful lot of conflicting accounts, (0+ / 0-)

      sometimes by people with specific axes to grind, sometimes by people who are gleefully dishing the (then) latest dirt, sometimes - but rarely - from sources that actually know something.

      I have to say that the specific allegation that set off the whole mishegass has some factors that seem slightly to greatly askew.

      * Supposedly, Mia Farrow was very insistent that Woody Allen never be left alone with her daughter Dylan. Yet, on a day when he was scheduled to visit, she went shopping rather than stick around and keep an eagle eye on the girl herself. (And this is from a source that went out of its way to be favorable to Ms. Farrow:

      * The relationship between Woody Allen and Mia Farrow had already been strained to the breaking point by his involvement with her adult daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. There were already high tensions, resentments, accusations, and counter-accusations flying back and forth.

      * The Farrow house in the Connecticut countryside had in residence on that day six(?) children, three babysitters/nannies, a French tutor, and others (not counting Mia Farrow, who was out with two more of her children and a longtime friend).

      * The location of the alleged assault was "a small crawl space off the closet of Mia’s bedroom", not - precisely - an "attic" as most retellings have it.

      * The "attic" was dusted for fingerprints and checked for hair samples. I have been unable to find a police report that states what, if anything, they found - although several after-the-fact media accounts (some of them long after the fact) have claimed that hair "consistent with" Allen's was found, and a few have alleged that fingerprints were also (it us unclear whether these accounts have conflated looking for with finding).

      * Moses Farrow was one of the five other children present on that day. He has recently broken with the rest of his family and stated, in an interview published in People magazine, that he now believes the allegations were totally false. He says that no one was off in any "private spaces". He corroborates the statement that his mother was out shopping. And he says that she "drummed it into" him to hate Woody Allen for what she claimed that he did. This has precipitated a probably irreparable breach between brother and sister.

      * Mia Farrow did not go directly to the police. She took Dylan, on her lawyer's advice, to see her pediatrician, and the pediatrician, after examining Dylan (and finding inter alia that she had an intact hymen), informed her that he was legally required to report the child's story to the police (and he did so).

      * One of the babysitters/nannies left her employment and claimed on the witness stand (during the subsequent extended custody hearings) that she had been "pressured" to support the sexual molestation charges. She described the videotaping session(s) conducted by Mia Farrow of her daughter's story as taking "two or three days" because the child seemed "not to be interested" and her mother kept asking leading questions to continue the session(s).

      * The Yale-New Haven Sex Abuse team interviewed Dylan Farrow in nine different sessions and Mia Farrow in ten (during the last of which they reviewed the videotape with her), babysitter Kristie Groteke once, Woody Allen once, and possibly others (the available summary is extremely incomplete). Their conclusions were that Dylan Farrow had not been sexually abused, and that there was at least some reason to think that she might have been influenced if not coached by her mother.

      * Prosecuting attorney Frank Maco stated publicly that there was "probable cause" to charge Allen with the (alleged) crime - but did not do so in order to "protect" the victim (the ethicality of his statement was questioned at the time and has continued to be questioned since).

      * The judge presiding over the custody hearings, during which Woody Allen tried to wrest custody of Moses, Dylan and Ronan from Mia Farrow, denied Allen both custody and most visitation rights. His 33-page statement indicates plainly that one factor influencing his decision was the Allen-Soon-Yi relationship, and that it negatively affected all his perceptions of Allen. He dismissed the Yale-New Haven findings out of hand, claiming that they were "colored by their loyalty to Mr. Allen"(!) and that the summarization which was all that remained available was "sanitized" and therefore "less credible". Nevertheless, he did not go so far as to state that there had been any sexual assault - just that he could not be sure there hadn't been. ; summary,

      * Although Woody Allen has presented himself as originally laughing off the allegations as "ridiculous", the eyewitness testimony of Dr. Susan Coates indicates a very different reaction at the time.  

      Dr. Coates, who had continued to see Mr. Allen as part of Satchel's therapy, broke the news to Mr. Allen of Dylan's allegations a few days [after August 4, 1992]. She described it as "one of the worst moments of my whole life."

      "He sat on the edge of his chair and his eyes were very wide," Dr. Coates recalled. "He said, 'I'm completely flabbergasted. I'm completely flabbergasted.' He said it over and over again."

      Note: this was during those custody hearings, and she was under oath.

      In the final analysis, people will believe whatever they want to believe, for whatever reasons they want to believe it - and nothing will change. Woody Allen is not about to recant his claims of innocence. Dylan and Mia Farrow are not going to give up their claims of his guilt. The family will continue to be torn asunder. And no one knows, or ever will know, what "the truth" really was.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:28:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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