Accusations of molestation leveled at Woody Allen by his daughter Dylan Farrow are implanted memories, Allen's lawyer told TODAY Tuesday, speaking for the first time since an open letter by Farrow was published in The New York Times.
"In my view, she's not lying," Elkan Abramowitz said of Farrow. "She truly believes this happened."
In the letter, which was published in full on Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's blog over the weekend, Farrow wrote, "(W)hen I was 7 years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me."
Even though Farrow, 28, believes it happened, it doesn't make it true, said Abramowitz. Instead, he blamed Allen's former long-time lover Mia Farrow for having convinced the then 7-year-old that Allen had molested her.
"(Allen's) reaction is one of overwhelming sadness," said the lawyer. "The idea that (Dylan) was molested was implanted by her mother, and that memory is never going to go away."
Abramowitz said Mia Farrow was furious at Allen for having started up a relationship with then 19-year-old Soon-Yi Previn in 1992. (The actress had adopted Soon-Yi with musician André Previn.) Allen, then 56, and Soon-Yi Previn wed five years later. But during the Farrow-Allen split, the accusations of molestation surfaced, and a custody battle over their biological child Satchel (now Ronan Farrow) and two adopted children erupted.
According to Abramowitz, Connecticut state police had brought in investigators from the sex abuse clinic of Yale-New Haven to investigate. "They determined after a six-month inquiry not only that (the molestation) didn't happen, but that Dylan was coached by her mother," said the lawyer. "And that's important, because everybody now talks about the presumption of innocence. He is innocent." Allen was never charged.
The actor/director did not get custody of the children in the end, and has remained estranged from Dylan. She had stayed out of the spotlight until recently.
Mia Farrow has not yet responded to Abramowitz's interview, but tweeted early on Tuesday morning.
Abramowitz said he also believes the renewed accusations tie in with Allen up for an Academy Award for his "Blue Jasmine" screenplay, and his Golden Globe lifetime achievement award, given in absentia on Jan. 12. "Woody Allen is now riding fairly high," he said. "I believed it revived the anger (Mia) has toward him."
But Allen has no plans to take anyone to court over the renewed accusations. "The case is over," said Abramowitz. "There is no case."
First published February 4 2014, 6:06 AM