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Mia culpa: Woody Allen's son comes to his defence


Mia culpa: Woody Allen's son comes to his defence

Painting a bleak picture of 'fatal family dysfunction', Moses Farrow says his mother was the parent really to blame

Harriet Alexander

An adopted son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow has sprung to his father’s defence, insisting Allen never molested his sister.
Moses Farrow, 39, has maintained a low profile amid the accusations surrounding his father, and the publicity caused by the work of his brother Ronan, a crusading journalist who will soon be presented with a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
But, describing himself as “a very private person”, Farrow published a 4,650-word blog post on Wednesday to tell his version of events.
“Given the incredibly inaccurate and misleading attacks on my father, Woody Allen, I feel that I can no longer stay silent as he continues to be condemned for a crime he did not commit,” he wrote.
“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.”
Allen was accused by his daughter Dylan in 2014 of sexually assaulting her when she was seven. She is supported by her brother Ronan and mother, and the accusations have gathered increased attention given the #MeToo scandal, and her brother's role in it.
Moses, born in Korea in 1978, was afflicted with cerebral palsy and abandoned in a telephone booth, to be adopted by Farrow when he was two.
In 1985 she adopted Dylan. Ronan, Farrow and Allen’s only biological child, was born in 1987, and in 1992 Allen became Dylan's adoptive parent as well.
Now a family therapist, Moses depicts a traumatic childhood at the family home in Connecticut, in which his mother created an atmosphere “in which I felt the constant need to gain her trust and approval”.
He accepted that Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi, Farrow’s adopted daughter, caused immense trauma in the family. But he insisted the real problem did not come from his film-director father.
“The fatal dysfunction within my childhood home had nothing to do with Woody,” he writes. “It began long before he entered the picture and came straight from a deep and persistent darkness within the Farrow family.”
Moses noted that his grandfather, a celebrated film director, was an alcoholic and a “serial philanderer”. Mia Farrow’s brother John, he writes, is in prison, sentenced in 2013 to 25 years for multiple child molestation charges.
He writes: “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 André. When my mother became pregnant by André, the Previns’ marriage broke up, leading to Dory’s institutionalisation.
“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 – as a licensed therapist as well as an eyewitness – it’s easy to see the seeds of dysfunction that would flourish within our own home.”
Moses accuses his mother of slapping him for moving a tape measure – something he insisted he did not do – and being spanked and forced to stand naked in front of his siblings as punishment for cutting the belt loops off his new jeans.
His brother Thaddeus committed suicide at 27 in 2016, shooting himself in his car. His sister Lark “wound up on a path of self-destruction”, he writes, struggled with addiction, and eventually died in poverty from Aids-related causes in 2008 at the age of 35.
Another sister, Tam, died in 2000 – a death Farrow insists was an accidental overdose by her blind daughter, but which Moses claims was suicide.
Moses insists that his sister Dylan could not have been abused by Allen in August 1992 because the other siblings were all present in the house, and watching him closely, having been warned by Farrow that he was “a monster” once his relationship with Soon-Yi became known.
He also pours scorn on Dylan’s account of being abused in the attic and lying on her back watching a model train set, insisting that there was no train set in the attic, only in the boys’ room in the garage.
He claimed he felt under pressure to denounce Allen, writing that going along with Farrow’s wishes was “the biggest regret of my life”.
“During the custody hearing, my mother kept stressing how we needed to stick together as a family.  Frightened and beaten down, I, too, played my part. I even wrote a letter condemning Woody, saying that he had done something horrible and unforgivable, and had broken my dreams. I even read the letter for the news media that were now regularly gathered at the end of our driveway, knowing that doing so would earn my mother’s approval.
“That public denouncement of my father remains the biggest regret of my life.”
Moses eventually reconnected with his father when he was in his late twenties, becoming estranged from his mother in the process.
Dylan has previously said Moses is “dead to me”, after he spoke to People magazine in 2014. She dismissed his recollections as “irrelevant”.
Moses also spoke to the author of a book on Allen’s films, published in October.
On Wednesday, he addressed his sister: “My healing began only after getting away from her. And what she has done to you is unbearable. I wish you peace, and the wisdom to understand that devoting your life to helping our mother destroy our father’s reputation is unlikely to bring you closure in any kind of lasting way.”
He said he was prepared for his mother to “launch a campaign to discredit me for speaking out”, adding: “I know it comes with the territory. And it’s a burden I am willing to bear.”
Farrow’s representatives declined to comment.
– © The Daily Telegraph

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