the character assassination of woody allen in the media continues as ignorance and opinion trump facts

I JUST STUMBLED over an article titled “The Woody Allen Story We Need To Stop Forgetting” by Kelsey Miller for the Refinery29 website. (January 13, 2014). First, if you are going to read this posting of mine, please click on over to Ms. Miller’s article and read it in its entirety first. Then come back here and read. So now, the piece opens with this statement:

“In September 1993, Connecticut state’s attorney Frank Maco declared that he would not prosecute Woody Allen in court for the charges of sexual abuse of a child. He did, however, publicly declare that he had both probable cause and evidence that such abuse had taken place.

According to The New York Times, the decision was made to protect the child in question from the publicity and trauma of a court appearance. After all, Dylan Farrow, who’d recently told her mother and pediatrician what had happened in the family’s attic, was only 7-years-old.”

Ms. Miller then proceeds to assume Allen’s guilt and then wring her hands over her liking of Annie hall. The article is rife with assumption and errors. I responded with this comment:

Um, as the old man in Moonstruck declared, “I’m confused.” I went to the article in The New York Times (“Connecticut Prosecutor Won’t File Charges Against Woody Allen” by Melinda Henneberger from September 25, 1993) linked to by Kelsey Miller in her article above and here is what it says:

“Mr. Allen was accused of sexually abusing his daughter last August at Ms. Farrow’s house in Bridgewater, Conn. Six months ago, a team of investigators at Yale-New Haven Hospital concluded that NO SEXUAL ABUSE HAD TAKEN PLACE [emphasis mine] but said both Mr. Allen and Ms. Farrow had disturbed relations with Dylan.

Ms. Alter [Mia Farrow’s attorney] had discounted the report, saying it was incomplete and inaccurate. Mr. Maco [the state attorney mentioned in Ms. Miller’s piece above] said he had requested the hospital study, which described Dylan as a dreamy child who ‘had difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality.’

But [Maco] discounted its findings, saying his own review of investigative reports and medical evaluations had convinced him that he did have enough evidence to take to trial.”

So, if I am reading correctly, the state attorney calls in the experts and doesn’t like their findings, so he dismisses those findings, drops the case—what attorney wouldn’t with the experts saying that NO SEXUAL ABUSE HAD TAKEN PLACE?—and then announces to the press that the accused is guilty anyway?

The article continues: “Mr. Maco’s remarks about the case were criticized by some legal scholars, who said it was an unfair attempt to have it both ways by claiming victory without taking the case to trial.

Stephen Gillers, a professor at New York University Law School and an expert on legal ethics, criticized Mr. Maco, saying, ‘You don’t declare the man guilty and then say you’re not going to prosecute, leaving him to defend himself in the press.’ “

So, did anyone else bother to actually read Ms. Henneberger’s article?

PS: Yale-New Haven Hospital is considered one of the top organization’s in the country in the field of child abuse.

PPS: Woody Allen was never Soon-Yi Previn’s legal step-father. 

It should be noted that the accusations against Allen by Farrow and the revelations from the child did not occur until AFTER Farrow and Allen had broken up acrimoniously and Farrow learned of Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi. Did you know that many non-Western cultures in the world do not have a word for “coincidence” because the concept doesn’t exist for them?

Finally, for something a bit more pleasant concerning Mr. Allen, click on over to “john ford and woody allen.”

The character assassination of Woody Allen

This article is the first in a series of articles lumped together as “the character assassination of woody allen.” Here are the parts so far:

1.  the character assassination of woody allen in the media continues as ignorance and opinion trump facts
2.  if you’re not with me, then you must be against me
3.  the mia-dylan neverending story
why mariel hemingway’s new revelation doesn’t matter


HEADER: The photo at the top of this page is a scene from Everyone Says I Love You. Dismissed by many upon release and since, it is another gem, filled with music and goofiness and beautiful women and love—more or less what we expect from a Woody Allen movie. It features Alan Alda, Goldie Hawn, Ed Norton, Tim Roth, Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, Billy Crudup, and Drew Barrymore, all of whom are expected to sing. In this scene, Allen looks surprisingly like Groucho; Goldie Hawn unsurprisingly does not.




7 Replies to “the character assassination of woody allen in the media continues as ignorance and opinion trump facts”

  1. Just visited “The Woody Allen Story We Need To Stop Forgetting” by Kelsey Miller on the Refinery29 website. I posted a comment there and signed it as “i’mconfused” (which I realize that I did not tell you before). Any way, my comment calls attention to the fact that the source Ms. Miller cited (the NYT piece) stated clearly that NO evidence was found that the boy girl had been abused by anyone. Needless to say, not a single letter writer let alone the article’s author responded to my comment . . .

  2. “Boy”? Which “boy” are you referring to? The fact that you didn’t even know Dylan is a girl shows that you are in fact, confused, and biased in Allen’s favor. . . . I think it’s unconscionable that so many people are giving Allen the benefit of the doubt, but when it comes to Dylan, no such courtesy is granted…not even now. Here’s a suggestion for you, don’t base everything solely on one article; do some research.

  3. Dear JFT11: Thanks for the response! I typed the “Just visited” comment above after being up all night—and I made an error. As you can see, it has been corrected. Thank you for that. Of course, if you had read my main piece (“the character assassination of woody allen . . .”) you would have seen that I had previously identified Dylan as female.

    A shame that you see giving the accused “the benefit of the doubt” to be “unconscionable.” That’s called innocent-until-proven-guilty. Dylan was investigated by what is considered to be perhaps the best organization in the country in this field and NO evidence was found of ANY kind of physical abuse.

    The ellipses (. . .) in your comment was inserted by me: I edited out the other 400 words. I really am not interested in turning my site into a platform for the “Dylan-supporters” or the “Allen-haters.” There are plenty of other places to go for that. When actual evidence of a crime appears (you know, facts), come on back and we can chat.

    Why do you assume that I have read only one article? I have followed this since it began! I read all the newspaper articles way back when. Nothing has changed except the Allen-haters appear to have grown more virulent and less able to read the facts (or lack thereof). Finally, here’s a suggestion: don’t base everything solely on one typo; do some research . . . NEAL

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