Wow. This is quite a different story.
Woody Allen doesn’t have many defenders these days, but one voice speaking out may carry a lot of weight — someone who was there the day of the crime for which he’s accused.
Moses Farrow, son of Woody and Mia Farrow, has only briefly spoken out about this in the past, but now he’s written his own account online, one he says he hopes will dispel the “inaccurate and misleading attacks” on his father.
“I was present for everything that transpired in our house before, during, and after the alleged event. Now that the public hysteria of earlier this year has died down a little and I have some hope that the truth can get a fair hearing, I want to share my story.”
Moses, who was 14 at the time, says Mia had warned him and his two younger siblings, Dylan and Satchel (whom you know these days as Ronan Farrow), not to let Woody out of their sight during that afternoon visit:
“She was understandably furious: seven months earlier she had learned that he was in an intimate relationship with my 21-year-old sister Soon-Yi, after discovering Polaroids of her in Woody’s apartment. For months now, she had been drilling it into our heads like a mantra: Woody was “evil,” “a monster,” “the devil,” and Soon-Yi was “dead to us.” This was the constant refrain, whether or not Woody was around. (So often did she repeat it that Satchel would announce to one of our nannies, “My sister is fucking my father.” He had just turned four.) My mother was our only source of information about Woody ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ and she was extremely convincing.”
Moses says Mia actually said Woody was an “excellent father” until she found out about Soon-Yi, at which point “everything changed.”
But he claims it was actually Mia’s suggestion that Woody get to know her adult adopted daughter (not his relation in any legal or blood way, clarifies Moses) that brought them together:
“Woody and Soon-Yi rarely even spoke during her childhood. It was my mother who first suggested, when Soon-Yi was 20, that Woody reach out and spend time with her. He agreed and started taking her to Knicks games. That’s how their romance started. Yes, it was unorthodox, uncomfortable, disruptive to our family and it hurt my mother terribly. But the relationship itself was not nearly as devastating to our family as my mother’s insistence on making this betrayal the center of all our lives from then on.”
But Moses goes on to claim there were issues before that relationship began.
He points not to Woody but to Mia as the alleged source of abuse!
In a brief history of the dysfunction in his family, he expounds:
“There were numerous alcohol-fueled arguments between her parents, and Mia told me that she was the victim of attempted molestation within her own family. Her brother, my uncle John, who visited us many times when we were young, is currently in prison on a conviction of multiple child molestation charges. (My mother has never publicly commented on this or expressed concern about his victims.) My uncle Patrick and his family would often come by, but those visits could end abruptly as Mia and Patrick would often wind up arguing. Patrick would commit suicide in 2009.”
He also touches on Mia’s unspoken earlier years:
“My mother, of course, had her own darkness. She married 50-year-old Frank Sinatra when she was only 21. After they divorced, she moved in to live with her close friend Dory Previn and her husband Andr├â┬⌐. When my mother became pregnant by Andr├â┬⌐, the Previns’ marriage broke up, leading to Dory’s institutionalization. It was never spoken of in our home, of course, and not even known to me until a few years ago. But, as I look at it ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ as a licensed therapist as well as an eyewitness ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ it’s easy to see the seeds of dysfunction that would flourish within our own home.”
All that serves as background to set up Moses’ accusations of straight up child abuse against Mia!
“I’m sure my mother had good intentions in adopting children with disabilities from the direst of circumstances, but the reality inside our walls was very different. It pains me to recall instances in which I witnessed siblings, some blind or physically disabled, dragged down a flight of stairs to be thrown into a bedroom or a closet, then having the door locked from the outside. She even shut my brother Thaddeus, paraplegic from polio, in an outdoor shed overnight as punishment for a minor transgression.”
He says he wasn’t spared either:
“Once, when I was given a new pair of jeans, I thought they would look cool if I cut off a couple of the belt loops. When Mia saw what I had done, she spanked me repeatedly and had me remove all my clothing, saying, “You’re not deserving of any clothes” and making me stand naked in the corner of her room, in front of my older siblings who had just returned from dinner with their father Andr├â┬⌐.”
Moses says Soon-Yi got it most often:
“When Soon-Yi was young, Mia once threw a large porcelain centerpiece at her head. Luckily it missed, but the shattered pieces hit her legs. Years later, Mia beat her with a telephone receiver.”
Moses’ most shocking accusation comes next — that Mia was the cause of his sister’s Tam‘s suicide:
“Most media sources claim my sister Tam died of “heart failure” at the age of 21. In fact, Tam struggled with depression for much of her life, a situation exacerbated by my mother refusing to get her help, insisting that Tam was just “moody.” One afternoon in 2000, after one final fight with Mia, which ended with my mother leaving the house, Tam committed suicide by overdosing on pills. My mother would tell others that the drug overdose was accidental, saying that Tam, who was blind, didn’t know which pills she was taking. But Tam had both an ironclad memory and sense of spatial recognition. And, of course, blindness didn’t impair her ability to count.”
He says his brother Thaddeus witnessed the fight firsthand and told him about it — before he also committed suicide two years ago.
This is all horrifying behavior if true.
But the abuse Moses says he went through leads directly to his version of the accusations against Woody:
“Fighting back was not a viable option. One summer day, Mia accused me of leaving the curtains closed in the TV room. They had been drawn the day before when Dylan and Satchel were watching a movie. She insisted that I had closed them and left them that way. Her friend Casey had come over to visit and while they were in the kitchen, my mother insisted I had shut the curtains. At that point, I couldn’t take it anymore and I lost it, yelling, “You’re lying!” She shot me a look and took me into the bathroom next to the TV room. She hit me uncontrollably all over my body. She slapped me, pushed me backwards and hit me on my chest, shouting, “How dare you say I’m a liar in front of my friend. You’re the pathological liar.” I was defeated, deflated, beaten and beaten down. Mia had stripped me of my voice and my sense of self. It was clear that if I stepped even slightly outside her carefully crafted reality, she would not tolerate it. It was an upbringing that made me, paradoxically, both fiercely loyal and obedient to her, as well as deeply afraid.”
Moses goes on to give his account of the afternoon — and claims what Dylan now says couldn’t possibly have happened:
“As the “man of the house” that day, I had promised to keep an eye out for any trouble, and I was doing just that. I remember where Woody sat in the TV room, and I can picture where Dylan and Satchel were. Not that everybody stayed glued to the same spot, but I deliberately made sure to note everyone’s coming and going. I do remember that Woody would leave the room on occasion, but never with Dylan. He would wander into another room to make a phone call, read the paper, use the bathroom, or step outside to get some air and walk around the large pond on the property.
Along with five kids, there were three adults in the house, all of whom had been told for months what a monster Woody was. None of us would have allowed Dylan to step away with Woody, even if he tried. Casey’s nanny, Alison, would later claim that she walked into the TV room and saw Woody kneeling on the floor with his head in Dylan’s lap on the couch. Really? With all of us in there? And if she had witnessed that, why wouldn’t she have said something immediately to our nanny Kristi? (I also remember some discussion of this act perhaps taking place on the staircase that led to Mia’s room. Again, this would have been in full view of anyone who entered the living room, assuming Woody managed to walk off with Dylan in the first place.) The narrative had to be changed since the only place for anyone to commit an act of depravity in private would have been in a small crawl space off my mother’s upstairs bedroom. By default, the attic became the scene of the alleged assault.
In her widely-circulated 2014 open letter in The New York Times, the adult Dylan suddenly seemed to remember every moment of the alleged assault, writing, “He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.”
It’s a precise and compelling narrative, but there’s a major problem: there was no electric train set in that attic. There was, in fact, no way for kids to play up there, even if we had wanted to. It was an unfinished crawl space, under a steeply-angled gabled roof, with exposed nails and floorboards, billows of fiberglass insulation, filled with mousetraps and droppings and stinking of mothballs, and crammed with trunks full of hand-me-down clothes and my mother’s old wardrobes.
The idea that the space could possibly have accommodated a functioning electric train set, circling around the attic, is ridiculous. One of my brothers did have an elaborate model train set, but it was set up in the boys’ room, a converted garage on the first floor. (Maybe that was the train set my sister thinks she remembers?) Now, whenever I hear Dylan making a public statement about what allegedly happened to her that day when she was barely seven, I can only think of that imaginary train set, which she never brought up during the original investigation or custody hearing. Did somebody suggest to the adult Dylan that such a specific detail would make her story more credible? Or does she really believe she remembers this train “circling around the attic” the same way she says she remembers Woody’s whispered promises of trips to Paris and movie stardom (kind of odd enticements to offer a 7-year-old, rather than a new toy or a doll)? And all this apparently took place while those of us who promised to have our eyes trained on Woody were downstairs, seemingly oblivious to what was happening right above our heads?
Eventually, my mother returned with Casey and her newest adoptees, Tam and baby Isaiah. There were no complaints by the nannies, and nothing odd about Dylan’s behavior. In fact, Woody and Mia went out to dinner that night. After dinner, they returned to Frog Hollow and Woody stayed over in a downstairs bedroom ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ with, apparently, no abnormal behavior by Dylan, and no negative reports from any of the grown-ups.”
Moses’ own theory based on what he witnessed is that Mia coached young Dylan until she didn’t know what was true anymore — a truly disturbing claim.
He also responds to the public perception that Woody has “gotten a pass” all these years, pointing out there was indeed a lengthy investigation — one which cleared his father and fit his memory of his mother:
“At the time, of course, I knew nothing about the six-month criminal investigation conducted by the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale/New Haven Hospital, ordered by the Connecticut state police. But since this allegation was renewed a few years ago, I’ve seen the results of that investigation. It specifically concluded that “Dylan was not abused by Mr. Allen,” that her statements had a “rehearsed quality” and that they were “likely coached or influenced by her mother.” Those conclusions perfectly match my own childhood experience: coaching, influencing, and rehearsing are three words that sum up exactly how my mother tried to raise us. I know that Dylan has recently referred to this brainwashing theory as “spin” by our father ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ but it was nothing of the sort. It was not only the conclusion reached by a state-ordered investigation, it was the reality of life in our household.”
You can read Moses’ full account HERE.
People reached out to Dylan for her response to her brother’s side. In a statement, she calls it “an attempt to deflect from a credible allegation made by an adult woman, by trying to impugn my mother who has only ever been supportive of me and my siblings.”
“It’s easily disproven, contradicts years of his own statements, is beyond hurtful to me personally, and is part of a larger effort to discredit and distract from my assault,” she continued. “My brother is a troubled person. I’m so sorry he’s doing this.”
Is Moses at all credible here? His story is so different from Dylan’s! Could Mia Farrow really be guilty of abuse??
Let us know what you think in the comments (below)!
[Image via Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/Ivan Nikolov/WENN.]