In 1993, Connecticut state attorney Frank Maco decided against putting Dylan Farrow on the stand to recount the alleged sexual assault by her filmmaker father Woody Allen. He said he wanted to avoid adding to young Dylan’s trauma.
In Sunday’s second episode of HBO’s four-part “Allen v. Farrow,” viewers finally got to see Dylan, then 7, describe Allen’s alleged actions to her mom Mia Farrow, as the actress recorded the conversation on the video camera she used to make home movies. This footage has been talked about for years but has been kept from the public until now.
On August 4, 1992, Allen came to visit the children at Mia Farrow’s Connecticut home, according to the docuseries. The Oscar-winning director and Farrow, who starred in several of his films, had ended their 12-year-relationship months earlier when she discovered Allen’s collection of nude photographs of her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, who was then a college student.
Allen supposedly arrived while Mia and a family friend, Casey Pascal, were at the store, leaving their children in the care of Mia’s babysitter Kristi Groteke, French tutor Sophie Berge, and Pascal’s babysitter Alison Stickland.
Because of Allen’s previous alleged inappropriate behavior with Dylan (conveyed in the docuseries’ premiere), he was not to be alone with her. When Groteke noticed Dylan was missing, she searched for her throughout the house, according to her 1993 testimony, excerpted for the doc. The sitter testified Dylan was gone for “roughly 20 minutes.”
When Mia arrived home she noticed Dylan wasn’t wearing any underwear, which she initially wrote off as something “a little odd, but it happens,” she says in “Allen v. Farow.” But she changed her mind the next morning after receiving a call from Pascal. Her sitter, Stickland, claimed to have witnessed an interaction between Allen and Dylan that disturbed her.
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“The next morning I called Mia and said Alison said that she saw Dylan sitting on the couch with Woody kneeling on the floor with his head buried in her lap,” Pascal recalls in the documentary. “And she said that she felt that she had walked in on a very adult situation, and she realized it was a child – that it was a child she was seeing – and she was horrified to the core. She said Dylan was staring off into space and Woody’s face was in her lap.”
Dylan affirmed to Mia that the incident happened, inspiring Mia to record her recounting of the alleged abuse for Dylan’s therapist, who was away for the summer.
“He touched my privates, and then he was breathing on my leg,” Dylan tells her mother.
The child says he took her up to the attic, under the guise of quality time.
“‘What about some father-daughter time?’ he said to me. And then I said, ‘Well, OK,'” remembers young Dylan. “We went into your room… and we went into the attic. Then he started telling me weird things… went behind me and touched my privates.”
She says her father told her: “‘Do not move. I have to do this.’ But I wiggled my bum, to see what he was doing, he said, ‘Don’t move! I have to do this. So if you stay still, then… we can go to Paris.'”
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As an adult, Dylan’s recollection of the events is understandably more comprehensive. In a recent interview conducted by the filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, the 35-year-old said: “I remember laying there on my stomach, and my back was to him so I couldn’t see what was going on. I felt trapped.
“He was saying things like: ‘We’re gonna go to Paris together.’ ‘You’re gonna be in all my movies,'” she continues. “Then he sexually assaulted me. I remember just focusing on my brother’s train set, and then he just stopped. He was done. And we just went downstairs.”
Allen has repeatedly denied Dylan’s allegations that he assaulted her in the attic of Farrow’s Connecticut home, and has been defended by famous pals like Diane Keaton, Alec Baldwin and Scarlett Johansson, all of whom appeared in his movies. He has never been charged with any crimes.
In a statement last week, Allen and wife Soon-Yi Previn dismissed “Allen v. Farrow” as fiction.
“These documentarians had no interest in the truth,” the statement reads. “Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods. Woody and Soon-Yi were approached less than two months ago and given only a matter of days ‘to respond.’ Of course, they declined to do so.”
The series continues Sunday (9 EST/PST).
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