As we’ve reported, the documentary about Dylan Farrow‘s allegations of child molestation against Woody Allen may be called Allen v Farrow, like a legal trial, but it’s not set up like one.
That’s due to Woody’s refusal to participate in what his official statement calls a “hatchet job” from HBO — which he points out “has a standing production deal and business relationship with Ronan Farrow.” So all we have now from the filmmaker in defense against the horrifying accusations is what he’s said in the past. Earlier this week, we dove into his 1992 60 Minutes interview in which he made a full denial of any wrongdoing in regards to Dylan — while admitting just about everything about his affair with Soon-Yi Previn, apparently guilt free. He suggested in that sit-down that his ex Mia Farrow had concocted the entire Dylan story and that his daughter must have “been coached methodically” to repeat it.
But another more recent rebuttal from the Midnight In Paris director can be found in his memoir from just last year.
Apropos of Nothing eventually came out last year after a battle with Hachette Book Group due to outcry from Dylan and a subsequent walkout from 75 employees. Eventually it was published by Skyhorse Publishing — which is now, interestingly, threatening legal action against the makers of the documentary for heavily excerpting their audiobook without permission.
While the doc may be using excerpts of Woody Allen reading from chapters in his book about dating Mia and parenting, we’re curious if they’ll use the part where he defends himself against the allegations. What does he say that’s new? Well, it’s along the same lines as the interview; he claims Mia was abusive and coached her daughter into repeating the story of being abused until she believed it. However, there’s the added element of a sort of conspiracy theory to it.
First, let’s rewind to something we know is in the doc…
In old footage from the time, young Dylan tells her mother on camera about two incidents of abuse. In one video, she says he took her to the attic and molested her:
“He said, ‘What about some father-daughter time?’ And then I said, ‘Well, OK.’ We went into your [Mia’s] room and we went into the attic. Then he started telling me weird things. Then he went behind me and touched my privates… I didn’t want him to do it, mama. I didn’t like it… I don’t want to talk about it.”
That location, the attic, is central to Allen’s theory that his entire thing is a hoax concocted by Mia. He says Dory Previn came to him and spelled it all out.
Dory is the ex-wife of Andre Previn, whom Mia was in a long relationship with before Woody. (Andre was the adopted father of Soon-Yi.) After Mia and Andre’s affair split up their marriage, Dory broke down and was temporarily institutionalized.
After coming out she wrote a lot of folk songs about trauma — including one about surviving child molestation called With My Daddy In The Attic.
Allen says Dory reached out to him after the accusations went public to point out the similarities between one of Dylan’s accounts and the song lyrics:
“She alerted me to a song she’d written, the lyric of which referred to some encounter that went on between a little girl and her father in the attic. She told me Mia would sing it, and she was certain that’s what gave Mia the idea to locate a fake molestation accusation she would make in the attic.”
The lyrics include several strange connections, to the point you’d think it was a sick song written about Woody — until you realized it was published in 1970, over 20 years earlier. Lyrics include:
With my Daddy in the attic With my Daddy in the attic That is where My being wants to bed
Door closed on my mama And my sibling competition And my Shirley Temple doll That truly cries
That is where My dark attraction lies With his Madness on the nightstand Placed beside His loaded gun In the terrifying nearness Of his eyes
And oddly enough:
And he’ll play his clarinet When I despair
His clarinet. Wow. In case you didn’t know, Woody is an accomplished jazz clarinet player.
Did Mia really know the song? Well, she knew the album. Another track from it was called Beware of Young Girls, and it was all about her stealing Dory’s man. It was basically a folk music diss track. Mia mentioned being aware of the song in her 1993 custody trial.
But could Mia really have used the song as inspiration the way Dory claims? And convinced Dylan? What mother could do that do their daughter?
Obviously this is hardly proof of Woody’s innocence, but it is an absolutely wild addition to the defense, right??
[Image via C.M. Wiggins/WENN/HBO Max.]