Woody Allen's son brings up again sexual abuse allegations against director

Film director Woody Allen at the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival on on May 11, 2016.
Film director Woody Allen at the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival on on May 11, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

Film director Woody Allen's son reiterated sexual abuse allegations against his father on Wednesday (May 11), the same day that Allen's new film Cafe Society kicked off the Cannes Film Festival.

In a guest column posted online by The Hollywood Reporter minutes before the director and his stars gathered for a press conference, Ronan Farrow resurrected claims that the Allen had molested his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow when she was a child.

He also questioned the festival's continued embrace of the 80-year-old director and accused old-school media of creating "a culture of impunity and silence".

The 28-year-old wrote: "Tonight, the Cannes Film Festival kicks off with a new Woody Allen film. There will be press conferences and a red carpet walk by my father and his wife (my sister, Soon-Yi Previn).

"He'll have his stars at his side - Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg. They can trust that the press won't ask them the tough questions. It's not the time, it's not the place, it's just not done.

"That kind of silence isn't just wrong. It's dangerous. It sends a message to victims that it's not worth the anguish of coming forward.

"It sends a message about who we are as a society, what we'll overlook, who we'll ignore, who matters and who doesn't."

Ronan, a journalist, named several large media outlets in his column, including the Hollywood Reporter itself and the Los Angeles Times, as being part of what he called a "self-perpetuating spin machine" that silences voices like Dylan's in favour of powerful men in the industry like Allen.

Ronan said the time had come to "ask some hard questions", and more work needs to be done to build a culture where women like his sister were no longer treated "as if they are invisible".

Allen has previously denied molesting Dylan, whose adoptive mother is actress Mia Farrow. Ronan is the only biological child of Allen and Mia.

The allegations were first raised in 1992 during Allen's divorce from Mia but were eventually dropped, unresolved, after the pressure on Dylan, who is now 30, reportedly built to the point of concern to both her mother and the court.

The story make headlines again in 2014 when Dylan wrote a piece about her ordeal in the New York Times.

Mia has 14 children - 10 of them adopted, including estranged daughter Soon-Yi Previn, who married Allen in 1997.