Woody Allen calls HBO documentary on abuse allegation 'a hatchet job'

Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn (both left in a file photo) have attacked a new HBO documentary that re-examines a decades-old allegation that he molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.
Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn (both above in a file photo) have attacked a new HBO documentary that re-examines a decades-old allegation that he molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn have attacked a new HBO documentary that re-examines a decades-old allegation that the Oscar-winning film-maker molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, calling the television series "a hatchet job".

HBO debuted the first episode of the four-part documentary series Allen V Farrow on Sunday.

The series includes extensive interviews with Allen's former partner Mia Farrow, 76, and Dylan, 35, who repeated their accusation that Allen sexually assaulted Dylan in 1992 when she was seven years old.

It also contains new material, including interviews with people who knew the family.

Shortly after the first episode aired, a spokesman for Allen, 85, and Previn, 50, issued a statement saying the documentary-makers "had no interest in the truth".

"Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods," the statement said.

"As has been known for decades, these allegations are categorically false," it added.

Allen, the four-time Oscarwinning director of Annie Hall (1977) and other comedies, has repeatedly denied molesting Dylan.

He did not take part in the documentary.

The film-maker has long asserted that Mia Farrow fabricated the molestation claim against him and planted them in Dylan's mind after learning that Allen was having an affair with the actress' then 22-year-old adopted daughter Previn.

Allen has never been arrested or prosecuted over the allegation of sexual abuse, which was first made in 1993.

It was investigated by state police in Connecticut, where Mia Farrow and her children lived.

The new statement from Allen and Previn's spokesman said "multiple agencies" had investigated the allegation at the time "and found that, whatever Dylan Farrow may have been led to believe, absolutely no abuse had ever taken place".

The statement also said it was "sadly unsurprising that the network to air this is HBO - which has a standing production deal and business relationship with Ronan Farrow".

Ronan Farrow is Dylan's brother and he has spoken in support of his sister.

"While this shoddy hit piece may gain attention, it does not change the facts," the statement said.

On Monday, Dylan offered thanks for an "outpouring of support" and included a link to a group that helps people who have been sexually abused.

"Speaking the truth is so difficult, but I hope any fellow survivors who watched last night know they are not alone," she wrote on Twitter. "The truth is something that cannot be changed."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2021, with the headline 'Woody Allen calls HBO documentary on abuse allegation 'a hatchet job''. Subscribe