Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 May 2015

Woody Allen's daughter makes sex assault claim

Woody Allen
Woody Allen

Woody Allen's daughter has penned an open letter to the famed director, accusing him of sexually assaulting her when she was young.

The 78-year-old director was the subject of a scathing open letter penned by his adopted daughter, Dylan, and published in part by the New York Times on Saturday.

"That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself," she writes, adding that others knew about the abuse.

"That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Each time I saw my abuser's face - on a poster, on a T-shirt, on television - I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart."

Dylan, now 28, made similar allegations in a Vanity Fair interview published in October.

She is now living in Florida, has married and changed her name.

She said she felt compelled to speak out after living in shame and silence for years.

"I was thinking, if I don't speak out, I'll regret it on my death bed," she shares.

"This time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen's acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual assault who have reached out to me. have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don't have to be silent either."

Dylan is Woody's adopted daughter with ex-wife Mia Farrow.

As reports, the actress won custody of their children in 1993 after a bitter custody battle during which Woody had been accused of inappropriately touching Dylan, then seven.

The director said at the time the allegations were made up by his ex out of anger stemming from his affair with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, whom he later married.

Woody had not responded to the claims publicly at press time.

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