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Relatives take sides in Woody Allen case

By Tom Watkins, CNN
updated 12:08 PM EST, Wed February 5, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Moses Farrow: "This was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi"
  • Ronan Farrow: "I love and support my sister and I think her words speak for themselves"
  • Dylan Farrow: "He sexually assaulted me"
  • Letty Aronson: "He feels very badly for Dylan, that she has been so poisoned"

(CNN) -- The renewal over the weekend of an accusation first made more then 20 years ago -- that Woody Allen molested his adopted daughter, Dylan, when she was 7 years old -- has spurred other relatives to line up on one side or the other of the complex family tree.

Moses Farrow -- Dylan's brother, also adopted, and now a 36-year-old family therapist -- backed his father and blamed his mother, actress Mia Farrow. "My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister," Moses Farrow, 36, told People Magazine. "And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi."

He was referring to Soon-Yi Previn, whose relationship with Allen led to the breakup in 1992 of the film director's 12-year relationship with Mia Farrow, who had adopted Soon-Yi with composer Andre Previn.

Soon-Yi Previn was 19; Allen was 56. They married in 1997.

At the time, Mia Farrow accused Allen of having molested Dylan. The charge triggered a custody battle, with Allen going to court to get custody of both of their adopted children and Satchel, their biological son, who now calls himself Ronan Farrow. A police investigation of the allegations ended without charges against Allen.

Ronan Farrow, 26, said in a tweet on Sunday that he backed Dylan Farrow. "I love and support my sister and I think her words speak for themselves," he wrote.

Dylan Farrow, now 28, resurrected the charge in a letter published in New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's blog hours before the Writers Guild Awards ceremony, for which Allen, 78, had been nominated for best screenplay for "Blue Jasmine." He did not win.

Actress Mia Farrow had a long-term relationship with actor/director Woody Allen, whom she met in 1979. She starred in 13 of his films and he was believed to be the father of her son Satchel (shown here as an infant) as well as the acting father of her other children, including adopted daughter Dylan shown here being held by Allen. The couple split in 1992. Actress Mia Farrow had a long-term relationship with actor/director Woody Allen, whom she met in 1979. She starred in 13 of his films and he was believed to be the father of her son Satchel (shown here as an infant) as well as the acting father of her other children, including adopted daughter Dylan shown here being held by Allen. The couple split in 1992.
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"What's your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: When I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house," Farrow wrote. "He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother's electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me."

Kristof also wrote about it in his Sunday column.

Moses Farrow said it never happened. "Of course Woody did not molest my sister," he told the magazine, which said he is estranged from Mia Farrow and close to Allen. "She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him. The day in question, there were six or seven of us in the house. We were all in public rooms and no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces. My mother was conveniently out shopping. I don't know if my sister really believes she was molested or is trying to please her mother. Pleasing my mother was very powerful motivation because to be on her wrong side was horrible."

Dylan has stuck to her story.

"This is such a betrayal to me and my whole family," she told the magazine in response to her brother's comments. "My memories are the truth and they are mine and I will live with that for the rest of my life."

Allen lawyer Elkan Abramowitz told CNN on Tuesday that the matter was exhaustively investigated and authorities determined that Mia Farrow had coached Dylan Farrow. "They also determined that the molestation did not happen," he said.

He told NBC's "Today" on Tuesday that Dylan Farrow may have believed she was telling the truth when she leveled the accusation, but that she is acting on false memories implanted by her mother.

Not true, Dylan Farrow told People. "She never planted false memories in my brain. My memories are mine. I remember them. She was distraught when I told her. When I came forward with my story she was hoping against hope that I had made it up. In one of the most heartbreaking conversations I have ever had, she sat me down and asked me if I was telling the truth. She said that Dad said he didn't do anything. And I said, 'He's lying.'"

In turn, Moses Farrow accused his mother of having treated him badly when he was a child, People reported. "From an early age, my mother demanded obedience and I was often hit as a child," he told the magazine. "She went into unbridled rages if we angered her, which was intimidating at the very least and often horrifying, leaving us not knowing what she would do."

Dylan Farrow disagreed. "I don't know where he gets this about getting beaten," she told the magazine. "We were sent to our rooms sometimes."

She described Moses Farrow as "dead to me," and praised their mother. "My mother is so brave and so courageous and taught me what it means to be strong and brave and tell the truth even in the face of these monstrous lies."

Mia Farrow did not respond to a request for comment from CNN. But she tweeted on Tuesday, "I love my daughter. I will always protect her. A lot of ugliness is going to be aimed at me. But this is not about me, it's about her truth."

Allen's sister, Letty Aronson, told the magazine that the director was devastated by the accusation. "He feels very badly for Dylan, that she has been so poisoned by her mother."

Dylan Farrow described her family in different terms. "We are brave and we are truthful and anyone who says anything otherwise does not know us."

Kristof, who described himself as a friend of Mia and Ronan Farrow, said Dylan Farrow is now happily married and living in Florida.

CNN's Alan Duke, Chelsea J. Carter, Ralph Ellis, Carolyn Sung, Todd Leopold, Sarah Edwards, Michelle Hall, Nischelle Turner and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

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