The Woody Allen Controversy Reader: Why Maureen Orth’s “10 Undeniable Facts About The Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation” Is Complete Bunk.
When debating the allegations by Dylan Farrow that Woody Allen had molested her on a single occasion in August 1992, many people in support of Dylan’s claims simply link to a 2014 article written by Maureen Orth entitled “10 Undeniable Facts About The Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation”. In their minds, Orth’s article provides dispositive proof of Allen’s guilt without the need to examine any other evidence.
But there is one big problem — Orth’s article is complete bunk. It is a distorted exercise of full-on mendaciousness from beginning to end. The facts she cites as “undeniable” are either flat-out false, entirely deniable, or misleading and irrelevant due to the fact that Orth purposely omits other, more important facts that cast doubt on the allegations.
Each one of her ten false, misleading or irrelevant claims takes a separate, essay-length response to address, so please do not feel compelled to read this all in one setting. Feel free to revisit this rebuttal for each one of Orth’s distortions that you encounter and appropriately educate yourself with the fuller set of facts as needed when you come across each particular point or issue.
If you wish to read about why each one of Orth’s claims is either false, misleading or irrelevant in isolation, you can find separate, self-contained excerpts of this essay here (though only by reading the rebuttal of all 10 of her false “undeniable facts” in conjunction will you be able to fully appreciate just how dishonest her essay is):
I would also strongly encourage you to not only read the text of this response, but also click on each of the varied links that present the evidence and other sources of information in the case. Only then will you be more fully educated about the true nature of this controversy.
(I should stress that this hardly intended as a comprehensive account of the debate over the Woody Allen allegations. No single source or essay could hope to be so, given its complexities. I merely intend to provide enough specific resources to address and counteract the specific points Orth highlights in her deeply disingenuous piece.)
Oftentimes, the information found in the linked source that I intend to emphasize will only be found as a smaller snippet in a much larger text. In such cases, I actively encourage the reader to read the full documents in context in order to obtain an ever greater knowledge of the issue here. More education on an issue is something that nobody should fear if they are confident of their positions, and most of the disingenuous or false arguments in this debate stem from people who purposely dole out only partial information divorced from its larger, proper context. (That, in fact, is the crux of Orth’s transgressions here, as I hope to demonstrate below.)
For a few, select facts discussed below, I am indebted to the work and research of Nadie Lo Dijo and others who wish to remain anonymous. This essay, I hope, both expands on the issues that they have previously highlighted, and also addresses many other forgotten issues, facts and salient points that have still yet to be noted by those who caution against a rush to judgment in the debate over Woody Allen.
Let’s now take Orth’s claims one-by-one.
CLAIM # 1
1. Mia never went to the police about the allegation of sexual abuse. Her lawyer told her on August 5, 1992, to take the seven-year-old Dylan to a pediatrician, who was bound by law to report Dylan’s story of sexual violation to law enforcement and did so on August 6.
Let’s assume this is true (Orth is never clear on who her sources are for each allegation in her essay). How is that even remotely relevant to helping assess the believability of the allegations against Allen?
At best, Orth seems to imply that this is relevant to show that Mia never sought to make the allegations public. But this too is irrelevant since she didn’t need to make the allegations public in order to still gain leverage in what was, at the time, still a private custody dispute.
None of this changes the undeniable fact that the Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Child Sexual Abuse Clinic in Connecticut concluded that Dylan’s claims against Allen were made up fantasies and that Mia may have had a hand in coaching her.
None of this changes the fact that the allegations came only after Mia Farrow became furious with Allen for beginning a romantic relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, and thus had ample motive to seek revenge.
None of this changes the undeniable fact that Dylan’s own brother Moses, describes his own experience with Mia Farrow as one of “brainwashing” and has always believed that Dylan was coached by Mia based on his observations of her.
None of this changes the undeniable fact that Dylan’s own nanny, Monica Thompson, said in a sworn statement that it took Farrow two or three days to videotape Dylan making the accusations, that she would “stop taping for a while and then continue”, and that Dylan appeared to be completely uninterested in the process at times.
But there is an even more intuitive reason for the explanation behind Mia’s decision to take Dylan to a doctor before having them report things to the police — If Mia knew that she was planting a false story in her child’s mind and coaching her to make false statements against Allen, then Mia was certainly aware that she could be charged with a crime for knowingly filing a false police report had she gone to the police directly.
In fact, Connecticut law makes it a crime specifically “to have knowingly made a false report of child abuse”.
To avoid that scenario, all she had to do was get Dylan to say a few key phrases to her doctor (which took multiple attempts, since Dylan first pointed to her shoulders when asked where she had been touched. It was only when Mia took Dylan out of the office and they were alone and unaccounted for, that Dylan returned and said that she had been touched in her privates). Farrow then knew that the doctor was obligated by law to do her dirty work for her. This would give her a degree of deniability in terms of helping to perpetrate a fraud on the police.
So to effectuate her scheme of falsely accusing Allen without getting into trouble personally, Farrow first told her attorney Eleanor Alter. Alter then advised Farrow to take Dylan to a doctor.
The doctor, Vadakkekara Kavirajan of New Milford, Conn., was the regular physician for Farrow’s children and the one that she took Dylan to when needing a middleman to isolate her from the possibility of making a false charge.
Dr. Kavirajan regretfully passed away on February 10th, 2016, but it was notable that the only thing he ever had to say regarding the Dylan case was the general observation that if a parent or child makes a complaint of abuse, he is required, by state law, to report the case to the state’s Child Protection Bureau. He emphasized what the law required him to do under the circumstances, but refused to discuss it further.
We even know from Farrow’s own testimony that the doctor visits concluded that there was absolutely no physical evidence that Dylan had been abused. On that critical point, all sources are in agreement.
So to reiterate the timeline here:
August 5th — After months of contentious custody negotiations, Allen and Farrow prepare to sign an agreement the following day whereby Allen would pay $6,000 a month in child support along with visitation rights with his kids (Moses, Dylan and Ronan).
That same day (August 5th), the claims are first made that Allen had molested Dylan the previous day (on August 4th). Mia Farrow then immediately calls her attorney, Eleanor Alter, who tells Farrow to take Dylan to a pediatrician (Dr. Kavirajan), which she does that same day (August 5th).
Dylan refuses to tell Dr. Kavirajan that she had been molested, merely gesturing to her shoulder when asked where Allen had touched her.
Also that same day, Farrow also begins to tape Dylan (who appeared “not to be interested”) making statements accusing Allen of molestation — starting and stopping the tape when she could get Dylan to state something incriminating.
(It is admittedly unclear if Farrow’s call to Dr. Coates and the start of her videotaping Dylan began before the first visit to Dr. Kavirajan, or afterwards.)
August 6th — The signing of the custody agreement that Allen and Farrow had been negotiating contentiously for months does not take place. After first failing to get Dylan to admit to Dr. Kavirajan that Allen had molested her, and after videotaping her to capture instances of Dylan making such claims, Farrow brings Dylan back to Kavirajan for a second visit.
It is only during this second visit (after plenty of time had lapsed, allowing Farrow to coach Dylan as necessary) that Dylan tells Kavirajan that Allen had touched her inappropriately.
Upon returning from Dr. Kavirajan on the second trip, Farrow tells Dylan’s nanny Monica Thompson, “everything is OK now — everything is set.” Thompson also noted that Farrow seemed “very happy and excited for herself.”
No wonder that Dr. Kavirajan was reluctant to say anything else besides the fact that he was obligated by law to report any such allegations to the police, regardless of what he may have privately believed himself.
After the second visit to Dr. Kavirajan, Farrow also called psychologist Dr. Susan Coates to tell her that Dylan had accused Allen of molesting her. (Dr. Coates would later say of the conversation, “I was puzzled, because in that conversation she was very calm. I did not understand her calm.”)
Orth’s own story claims that Kavirajan found no physical evidence of abuse by examining Dylan and finding that “she was intact”. He then “called his lawyer and then told Mia he was bound by law to report Dylan’s story to the police.”
Why would a doctor think to call his lawyer before reporting this claim to police, unless he himself had serious, personal doubts about the veracity of the allegations and needed to know what he was still obligated to do despite his misgivings?
It was this same legal obligation that compelled Dr. Coates, who evaluated Dylan, to also inform the New York City Child Welfare Administration after she heard Farrow’s strangely calm allegation that Dylan had been molested. She was compelled to do this despite concluding that Allen had never acted in a sexual manner towards Dylan and that she was easily “taken over by fantasy”.
Naturally, this is what ultimately led to a separate, second investigation against Allen in New York, in addition to the concurrent investigation in Connecticut.
As with the Connecticut investigation, the New York investigation concluded that the allegations were unfounded.
The bottom line is that the fact that Mia went to doctors and lawyers before the police were alerted to accusations has no bearing whatsoever on the credibility of the accusations themselves.
Mia surely knew that the end result would culminate in an investigation by officials to be used in court against Allen in her custody battle, regardless of the specific timeline trajectory of how the investigation got started.
Farrow’s own attorney was the one who advised her to take Dylan to her pediatrician. If it turns out that Mia was responsible for coaching Dylan to say what she did, then the chronology of when or through what route the police became involved in the investigation is entirely irrelevant.
Gail Collins said it best, back in 1992, the day after Allen held a press conference to denounce Farrow in her accusations concerning Dylan:
We have come to a point in this country where the idea of one parent making up a charge of sexual abuse to gain points in a court case does not sound all that far-fetched.
This kind of thing happens every day. Our legal system has become so warped that divorce lawyers are now using child abuse charges as their favorite assault weapon.
“Every client seems to have a friend whose lawyer is doing it,” says Louis I. Newman, a veteran divorce attorney with Moore, Wohl and Newman. “I’ve had clients walk in and say flat out: `Why can’t we claim my husband is abusing the child?’ “
The people who play this game throw a shadow over all the spouses who make child-abuse claims in good conscience.
For instance, the Allen case began when Farrow took her young daughter to a pediatrician and asked him to check for signs of sexual abuse. This is exactly what any right-thinking parent would do if she was concerned about possible molestation.
It is also what slick divorce lawyers tell their clients to do when they want to put the child-abuse card into play.
(Newsday, Aug. 19, 1992, pg. 4; emphasis added.)
CLAIM # 2
2. Allen had been in therapy for alleged inappropriate behavior toward Dylan with a child psychologist before the abuse allegation was presented to the authorities or made public. Mia Farrow had instructed her babysitters that Allen was never to be left alone with Dylan.
There are two statements here. And with each one, Orth very disingenuously leaves out critical facts that make these observations far less ominous and incriminatory than she wants you to believe.
The critical fact about the first statement that Orth deliberately ignores is that the psychologist she refers to, Dr. Susan Coates, specifically said that the “inappropriate behavior” had nothing to do with sexual misconduct.
Coates’ exact quote on the witness stand in the custody trial between Allen and Farrow regarding Allen’s relationship with Dylan was as follows (emphasis added):
“I did not see it as sexual, but I saw it as inappropriately intense because it excluded everybody else, and it placed a demand on a child for a kind of acknowledgment that I felt should not be placed on a child.”
Coates further testified that she advised Allen to stop giving the girl “excessive amounts of attention.” (See Newsday, Apr. 2, 1993, pg. 22.) It is that form of “inappropriate behavior” that was at issue, not sexually inappropriate behavior.
Coates emphatically said that she never saw Allen behaving in a sexual way towards his daughter. (It should also be noted that Coates was specifically hired as Dylan’s therapist — not Allen’s.)
The United Press International reported the following with regards to Coates’s sworn testimony:
Questioned as to whether Farrow ever told the psychiatrist that Allen had stroked Dylan ‘to the point of arousal’ and pinned the child down on the bed by her arms, the grim-faced [Coates] answered a brusque ‘No!’ to both questions.
Coates testified that Allen’s relationship with Dylan was ‘inappropriately intense’ but denied that it was ‘romantic.’
‘Mr. Allen focused on Dylan because he felt Miss Farrow was obsessed with Satchel,’ she testified.
She said Allen once told her another of Farrow’s adopted children, Fletcher Previn, now 18, slept with his mother in the same bed until he was seven.
‘Miss Farrow later confirmed this in an argument with me,’ Coates said. ‘She said she felt there was a cultural difference about whether it was okay for a child to sleep in the same bed with his mother, but that Fletcher had slept with her and he was fine.’
Coates conclusions concerning Allen’s relationship with Dylan were supported by psychiatrist Kathryn Prescott, Allen’s therapist who had been treating him for 21 years by the time his custody battle took place.
Prescott wrote a letter in August 1992 that was introduced into evidence which stated that Allen had been in therapy for 33 of his 58 years and that Allen’s psychological profile “was definitely not that of a sexual offender" and that “[t]here has never been any suggestion that Mr. Allen was suffering from a sexual perversion / deviant sexual behavior”.
Prescott wrote, “I have never uncovered, discovered any material concerning Mr. Allen which would suggest that he has ever been interested in or engaged in sexual activity with children of either sex." (See Newsday, April 20, 1993, pg. 1.)
This was the emphatic conclusion of a psychiatric expert who had been studying Allen for over two decades.
So the very therapy that Orth cites specifically concluded that the “inappropriate conduct” by Allen had nothing to do with sexual misbehavior. It instead related to Allen ignoring the other children in the household, thus placing undue emotional pressures on Dylan.
For Orth to omit that fact and simply using the vague words “inappropriate behavior” when discussing allegations of sexual abuse against Allen is particularly loathsome and disingenuous on her part. Her words and the deliberate omissions which accompany them constitute nothing less than a conscious lie on her part.
(Allen’s overeagerness as new father was also not confined to Dylan. A report from Newsday on August 15, 1992, pg. 4, recounts the following anecdote that took place in 1990:
One woman, whose children attended the same pre-school as Satchel, recalls the first day of school about two years ago when Allen had to be rigorously coaxed by the teacher to leave the boy.
“The teachers said to him `Mister Allen, you’re upsetting the other parents. You’re going to have to break away,’ “ recalled the woman, who asked that her name not be used. “Woody told them `Satchel has no problem breaking away. I do.’
“He was a wreck,” the woman recalled. “You could tell he just adores that boy.”
Then, according to the woman, the distressed Allen remarked to her that he was disappointed “Mia wasn’t there on his son’s first day at school.”
For the next four hours, other parents and nannies sipped coffee at nearby cafes, but not Allen. Instead, he paced in front of the school, the non-denominational Park Avenue Christian School in Manhattan.
It was this type of illustrative behavior by Allen that was criticized as being “inappropriate” — not behavior that was sexually inappropriate.)
Orth also fails to note the fact that Allen has been in therapy for most of his life, at his own choosing. He was not ordered into therapy specifically to navigate his new role as a father. It was a natural, voluntary outgrowth of his approach to his various challenges.
Orth’s slander here is not only grossly unfair to Allen, but also has the collateral danger of casting suspicions against any and all parents who might otherwise be inclined to seek therapy to help themselves be better parents. If seeking therapy to better one’s parenting were to result in unfounded suspicions of child abuse, who would bother to seek such help?
Of course Allen was hardly the only one in therapy at the time for “inappropriate behavior”. Do you know who else was? Dylan Farrow.
Dylan began seeing Dr. Nancy Schultz in April of 1991 and continued her therapy weekly for nearly a year-and-a-half until September 1992.
Do you know why Mia Farrow placed Dylan into therapy? Because she was “having trouble telling the difference between reality and fantasy”. (Newsday, Sept. 17, 1992, pg. 6; See also Gainsville Sun, Sept. 18, 1992, pg. 6C, which cites Newsday’s reporting.)
One source said, “It had become trouble for her and the family sought help.” (Newsday, Sept. 17, 1992. pg. 6.)
Schultz “described Dylan’s tentative ties to reality long before her parents began feuding over Allen’s love affair with Soon-Yi.”
It was only shortly after Schultz began to doubt the claim that Allen molested Dylan that Farrow fired her — but not before both Dylan and Ronan put glue in her hair, cut her dress up, and told her to go away. (Later in the custody trial, Schultz testified that she did not believe Dylan had been sexually abused.)
Are we to presume that both the timing of Schultz’s firing and the sudden change of behavior towards her - not only by Dylan but also by Ronan - was just a coincidence, having no connection to Farrow’s influence over her children? Apparently Orth wants you to think so.
If we are to put weight on the “undeniable fact” that Allen was in therapy for “inappropriate behavior,” specifically described as non-sexual, should we not place equal weight on the “undeniable fact” that Dylan was in therapy for “having trouble telling the difference between reality and fantasy”? The regrettable tactic of “therapy shaming” which Orth engages here works both ways.
“Mia Farrow had instructed her babysitters that Allen was never to be left alone with Dylan.”
The key fact here that Orth leaves out is that Farrow told the babysitters this only after she found out about Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi Previn. By that time, Farrow was determined to set Allen up on a charge of child molestation in order to exact revenge. Hence she went about planting the seeds of “warnings” to witnesses while she went about coaching Dylan what to say over a 2–3 day period. At least that is what Monica Thompson, one of the babysitters herself, claimed:
“Ms. Farrow set the stage to report the incident involving Dylan,” Thompson charged. “For several weeks, Ms. Farrow insisted that Mr. Allen not be left alone with Dylan and wanted me to be with them at all times.”
The nanny said that on several occasions the actress “asked me if I would be ‘on her side.’ Ms. Farrow has tried to get me to say that I would support her with these accusations.”
Thompson said in a deposition that it took the actress two or three days to videotape Dylan making the accusations. At times the youngster appeared not to be interested in the process, the nanny said in sworn affidavits taken by Allen’s attorneys.
“I know that the tape was made over the course of at least two and perhaps three days,” Thompson said. “I was present when Ms. Farrow made a portion of that tape outdoors. I recall Ms. Farrow saying to Dylan at that time, ‘Dylan, what did daddy do . . . and what did he do next?’
“Dylan appeared not to be interested, and Ms. Farrow would stop taping for a while and then continue.”
There were no such warnings given to anyone before Farrow discovered Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi. It was only after Farrow realized that she was being dumped for her adopted daughter who was of legal and consenting age that Farrow began to issue such “warnings” about Allen being left alone with Dylan.
After the Soon-Yi affair was discovered, Farrow had even gone so far as to already explicitly label Allen as a child molester by writing a note on his bathroom door that stated: “Child molestor [sic] at Birthday Party! Molded and abused one sister[.] Now focused on youngest sister[.] Family disgusted[.]”
Farrow wrote this during Dylan’s birthday party celebrations in July 1992, weeks before the accusations regarding Dylan. She apparently managed to psychically predict a future case of molestation weeks before it supposedly happened.
(Dylan’s nanny Kristi Groteke claims that Farrow in fact only began using the word “molest” against Allen with regards to his consensual affair with Soon-Yi on “the advice of a child psychologist” whom she does not identify. A development that caused Groteke to think to herself, “I don’t get it. Unless it’s rape, you don’t sexually abuse a twenty-one-year-old girl. That’s a strange choice of words.” See “Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 79.)
Even then, why does Orth not question why Farrow would even still allow Allen in her house at all if she honestly felt that he would pose a danger to her children? If one has a genuine belief that a person poses a threat to one’s kids by being a molester and sexual predator, what person says its still ok to hang around the kids, as long as there is a babysitter to chaperone them?
The obvious answer is that Farrow never held such genuine beliefs. It was all just part of her plan to lay the groundwork and set Allen up with false accusations over the course of a number of weeks.
Ironically, these very “warnings”, far from casting credibility on the accusations, actually make them less believable.
Farrow had put Allen on notice back in July 1992 that she considered him a child molester — even going so far as to “predict” that Dylan would specifically be the next victim. Then, weeks later in August, as she was conveniently out of the house shopping, she warns the babysitters that Allen was not to be left alone with Dylan (singling Dylan out by name). Yet she does nothing to stop Allen from visiting her house that Allen had no claim to or inherent right to enter. Despite Farrow’s “belief” that Allen is a molester and threat to her kids, she does nothing to stop him from visiting them while she is out of the house.
And it is only during a 10 to 20 minute window, when Allen knew that everyone in the house had been put on alert, and when Farrow herself could have returned at any minute, that Allen at this specific time and place was somehow uncontrollably compelled to drag Dylan up to the attic crawlspace where he quickly molested her for the first and only time in his life — engaging in an act that would have landed him in jail while destroying his career and reputation, with not even a rumor or whisper of any other instance of sexual abuse in his life before or since.
So using Occam’s Razor, what is the more likely scenario here? That Allen used a 20-minute window to molest a child for the first and only time in his life in a house full of people that he knew had been warned about him ahead of time? Or that his vengeful ex-girlfriend in the midst of a custody dispute was actively trying to set him up on a false charge?
Any rational observer understands just how unlikely and facially ridiculous the first scenario is.
Even Farrow’s own nanny (Kristi Groteke) who was present the day the molestation was supposed to have occurred has expressed doubts about the whole scenario.
Groteke was one of the people in the house on the day in question and has remained a loyal supporter of Farrow’s.
Here are a few relevant passages she wrote in her book “Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal” (co-written in 1994 with Marjorie Rosen, published by Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc.) relating to her experiences in this matter:
“I should have been more confident. I had been in witness preparation for about two weeks before I testified…I was terrified that I couldn’t do it and would let Mia down.
[A]n hour before I was supposed to testify, as I sat between Mia’s friend Casey Pascal, and her children’s French tutor Sophie Berge, who were also about to take the stand, my composure evaporated. After all, I was about to recount the events of August 4, 1992, the summer afternoon when, under my lapsed vigilance, Woody spent between ten and twenty minutes alone with his adopted daughter Dylan and during that time allegedly sexually molested her. And, to tell the truth, in my heart I hadn’t the foggiest notion of whether or not that molestation ever took place.
…I feared that I might trip things up for Mia, and I didn’t want to. I feared that I would incriminate Woody without ever really being certain of what he had done. (I didn’t want to do that either.)”
Note the fact that Groteke admits to being coached for two full weeks by Farrow’s legal team (an unusually long time to coach a mere witness who claims not to have seen any wrongdoing that day). She of course also admits, as Farrow’s own friend, that she had no idea if any molestation actually took place. Her friendship with Mia and not wanting to “let Mia down” rather than simply telling the truth of what she witnessed apparently stopped short of actual perjury.
The next relevant passage from Groteke’s book comes on pgs. 109–110 when she recounts the first time that Farrow specifically warned her about Allen:
On that humid June morning six months after Mia discovered the Soon-Yi affair, and only moments after she had told me about it, she announced that Woody was about to pay a visit later that day. And for the first time she gave me a new kind of instruction: “From now on, Kristi, I want you to keep a very close eye on him when he’s with Dylan. I want you to follow him around and be very careful, because I’m suspicious of his behavior when he’s with her.”
I didn’t know any reason to be suspicious, nor did I really believe that Woody was capable of doing anything salacious, so I took it perhaps more casually than I should have. I figured that Mia had a right to be upset with him; at that moment, she had a right to be wary.
Still, the business of taking sides and spying on my boss was sticky. Although I was employed by Mia and sympathized with her, back in 1992 I was being paid by Woody. So the first day he arrived in Bridgewater after Mia’s confidential revelation to me, I watched his limo pull up in the gravel driveway and felt sick to my stomach. I would rather not have known about his relationship with Soon-Yi. Now I was required to police him, and I didn’t want to do it.
I stood in the kitchen as Woody walked into the house, and for a moment I was paralyzed. Usually when he arrived, I would gather the children calling, “Daddy’s here! Daddy’s here,” and then I’d bring them over to him. But not this day. On this warm, golden June afternoon I let him find the kids on his own. And then I began to follow them around.
Immediately I sensed that he knew that I knew. We kept making eye contact. Woody would look at me, I would look at him, and then he would avert his eyes. My discomfort was acute. Neither of us, however, said a word.
After Woody’s betrayal with Soon-Yi, Mia would always say to me, “You be careful, Kristi. He’s flirting with you he likes you. Watch out, or you’re next.” But I frankly never sensed that kind of danger.
Groteke here admits that the instruction from Mia came only after the revelation that Allen had been having an affair with Soon-Yi, that she (Groteke) herself had no reason to be suspicious of Allen or sensed any kind of danger (despite Farrow’s warnings that she “was next”), and yet was now “required to police” him. It also confirms the obvious: That Farrow still allowed Allen to regularly visit her house with her kids despite her warnings and beliefs that he is supposedly a threat to them.
Yet Allen’s accusers would still have you believe that he would choose a time and place to apparently molest his daughter the one and only time in his life when he knew he was actively being policed by everyone in the house.
Again, what is the more likely scenario? That Allen picked the most “policed” moment to quickly drag his daughter up to the attic for 20 minutes to molest her? Or that Farrow, stung by the Soon-Yi affair, began to plot her revenge by hatching a scheme to set Allen up on false charges?
Again, in the following weeks after her explicit warning to Groteke, Farrow would again put everyone on notice that she already considered Allen to be a molester by attaching a hate-filled note to his bathroom door labeling him as such, after already sending him a Valentine’s card earlier that year with the family picture stabbed multiple times.
Dr. Coates testified that during this time, Farrow “felt variously that Mr. Allen should be killed, she would like to kill him, or that she would like to stab his eyes out.”
Coates further said that Farrow had called Allen “a moral tumbleweed,” “satanic” and “evil,” and told her, “Somebody has to find a way to stop him.” (Newsday, March 30, 1993, pg. 7.)
Do you still think Orth’s theory is the likely one?
Even nanny Groteke voiced her own doubts, given the obvious signs that Farrow was setting up ahead of time to eventually charge Allen with abuse. Here is what she writes on pgs. 128–129 in her book, “Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal” (the emphasis here is contained in the original text):
…I felt responsible for the events of August 4, since Dylan was in my care that afternoon. Still, I had been puzzled by the vigilance with which Mia herself had been watching for signs of molestation; it had sometimes seemed as if she were willing the incident to happen. For instance, take the child-molester note that she tacked onto the bathroom door after Dylan’s birthday party. Of course, Mia said that she was referring to Soon-Yi. In light of events to come, her accusation seems eerily prophetic. But of what? Of Woody’s actions? Of her own vindictive need to make the punishment fit the crime?
On August 4, the day in question, Mia had gone out clothes shopping to New Milford with Tam and Isaiah, and Woody had driven up from Manhattan to play with Satchel and Dylan. Not long before his arrival, Mia’s friend, Casey [Pascal], also came by with her three children and baby-sitter, Alison Stickland, in tow. I was present, and so was Sophie Bergé, the French tutor, who baby-sat all that summer as well. The truth is, when we retraced our steps that day, there were only fifteen to twenty minutes in which Dylan was out of my sight, Sophie’s, Casey’s, or Alison’s. Of course, those are the suspect “twenty minutes” when, Mia alleges, the molestation must have occurred.
Please note this critical fact: Dylan’s own nanny admits that Allen was in her sight the entire time on the day in question, except for, at most, 20 minutes. And even these “missing” 20 minutes (when Allen supposedly quickly rushed Dylan up to the attic to molest her for the first and only time in his life, in a house full of people) is fully accounted for by Dylan’s brother Moses.
Moses states: “ 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.” [emphasis added]
Even Groteke, who remained a supporter of Farrow and a critic of Allen, admits that Farrow’s actions leading up to August 4th, 1992 seemed actively “willing the incident to happen”.
She called Farrow’s note to Allen branding him a molester weeks before in July 1992 “eerily prophetic”.
Apparently it was just as “eerily prophetic” when Dory Previn wrote her song in 1970 entitled, “With My Daddy In The Attic”, concerning a story of child abuse incest in an attic by a father who plays the clarinet, just like Woody Allen does. An astonishing coincidence, no?
(In case you didn’t know, Farrow had an affair with composer Andre Previn while he had been married to Dory, effectively stealing Previn away from her when Farrow became pregnant with twins — Matthew and Sascha. The affair caused Dory Previn to suffer a nervous breakdown where she was institutionalized and forced to undergo electroshock therapy.
Dory Previn released and album afterwards that featured the songs “Beware of Young Girls” in direct reference to Farrow and “With My Daddy In The Attic”.
This was in 1970 — a full decade before Woody Allen even met Mia Farrow. Yet Dory Previn proved to be just as “eerily prophetic” by predicting that the clarinet playing ex-boyfriend of the person who stole her husband from her would somehow molest his own daughter in an attic.
Just as it was “eerily prophetic” when Groteke read the note in July 1992 where Farrow brands Allen as a molester weeks before the alleged molestation occurred. So that makes two amazing “prophecies”. What are the odds of such amazing coincidences both occurring in the same case? 1 in 5?
Just as it was also “eerily prophetic” when Farrow’s own brother was actually arrested, convicted and sentenced for sexually abusing two boys multiple times over the course of several years. Farrow has never spoken about it, so we don’t know how much contact he might have had with his nieces and nephews or if they might have projected his behaviors towards others. But this case seems undeniably full of extraordinary “coincidences”.)
According to Groteke, from her vantage point, “everything seemed normal on August 4” (“Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 129). It was only when she was asked by Farrow after the fact to recount if she ever let Dylan out of her sight that she admitted that she couldn’t remember seeing her for “twenty minutes”. She didn’t tell Farrow that anything strange happened that day. Instead, she was only asked by Farrow to “retrace her steps” after the fact when Farrow was determined to make an accusation against Allen.
That is why Groteke even puts the “twenty minutes” in quotes and states “when Mia alleges the molestation must have occurred”, since nothing in Groteke’s own experience that day suggests that anything did actually occur.
That is why Groteke herself speculates that maybe this accusation was strictly about Farrow’s “vindictive need to make the punishment fit the crime” for Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi.
Keep in mind that these accusations took place in 1992, during a stretch of history when America was in still the throws of a moral panic over child molestation cases that turned out to be patently false.
For Orth to deliberately omit all of this vital context is an outrageous example of her slanted agitprop.
CLAIM # 3
3. Allen refused to take a polygraph administered by the Connecticut state police. Instead, he took one from someone hired by his legal team. The Connecticut state police refused to accept the test as evidence. The state attorney, Frank Maco, says that Mia was never asked to take a lie-detector test during the investigation.
Utter nonsense. Allen was never asked to take a polygraph by the Connecticut state police, as Allen’s attorney at the time confirmed. Orth refuses to specifically name even one source to back up what she refers to as an “undeniable fact”.
However, Allen did voluntarily submit to a lie detector test that was administered by one of the most respected polygraph examiners in the nation — Paul Minor, who had been the chief polygraph examiner for both the Army and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Minor had also been responsible for administering the polygraph test for Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings as well as many others who had specifically been accused of sexual crimes.
Allen volunteered to take the test the week of August 14th, 1992, almost immediately after the allegations against him went public. The following week, one of Allen’s attorneys announced to the press that he had passed it.
“The Connecticut state police refused to accept the test as evidence.”
No kidding. Do you know why? Because polygraph tests are never admissible as evidence in court. Ever.
So of course police “refused to accept the test as evidence”. No matter who administered the test under whatever the circumstances were or what the outcome was, police are forbidden from “accepting” polygraph tests as “evidence”.
Orth surely knows this and it only serves as yet another example of her disingenuous word games.
Informally however, such tests can influence how vigorously and where investigators might focus an ongoing investigation. Thus Allen’s passing of his lie detector test still unquestionably added to the other wealth of evidence casting doubt on the claims, which is why he was never charged in the first place.
It is also important to point out the fact that, to the extent that polygraph tests are unreliable as evidence, it is far more common for them to show “false positives” (meaning situations where innocent people wrongly fail the test) rather than rarer instance of a “false negative” (situations where undeniably guilty people still end up passing the test). That is naturally why defense attorneys usually advise their clients not to take such tests, even if they believe them to be innocent.
Ask yourself this question: If Allen had taken the test under the exact same circumstances that he did and failed it, would Allen’s critics still be criticizing it as unreliable or noting the fact that the police refused to accept it as “evidence”? Of course not. They would be using it as Exhibit A as their “proof” of Allen’s guilt. But because it conflicts with their preconceived assumptions of guilt, they feel free to dismiss it.
The hypocrisy here is astounding.
“The state attorney, Frank Maco, says that Mia was never asked to take a lie-detector test during the investigation.”
Again — this is another lie. Mia wasn’t asked to take a lie detector test by Maco or police authorities (just as Allen hadn’t been asked), but she most certainly was asked to take such a test by Allen himself. Mia refused to do so.
So the only true undeniable fact in this instance that we can all agree on is that Allen took and passed a lie detector test, while Mia Farrow refused to take one.
CLAIM # 4
4. Allen subsequently lost four exhaustive court battles — a lawsuit, a disciplinary charge against the prosecutor, and two appeals — and was made to pay more than $1 million in Mia’s legal fees. Judge Elliott Wilk, the presiding judge in Allen’s custody suit against Farrow, concluded that there is “no credible evidence to support Mr. Allen’s contention that Ms. Farrow coached Dylan or that Ms. Farrow acted upon a desire for revenge against him for seducing Soon-Yi.”
It is true that Allen lost his court battle for custody of his children, which included two appeals. The reasoning behind those decisions was predicated on the fact that Allen was an unfit parent and that visitation with Dylan would not be in her best interest in light of the fact that he had a continued relationship with her sibling Soon-Yi Previn (whom he eventually married).
What those decisions did not do is suggest that Allen molested Dylan or provide any evidence of such. Don’t believe me? Read the decisions for yourself in their entirety.
First the initial lawsuit.
Then the first appeal.
And the second appeal.
Keep in mind that while Mia Farrow had initially adopted Dylan as an infant in 1985, and Moses as a two-year-old in 1980, Allen himself only adopted them at (Mia’s own urging) years later in 1991 when Dylan was 6 and Moses was 13. He was only considered their adoptive father for a few months before their battle for custody began, so its hardly surprising that this would cut in favor of Farrow in a custody battle.
It is also unsurprising that Allen was made to pay Farrow’s legal fees in the dispute and has absolutely no relevance to the allegation that he is somehow a child molester. For those unfamiliar with the law and custody disputes, the wealthier party is almost always asked to pay the legal fees of the less wealthy party — especially when the less wealthy party is the one that wins primary custody.
Courts routinely adopt this rule due to the assumption that the parent with custody will need the extra money to take care of the kids.
In fact, section 237(b) of New York’s Domestic Relations law now explicitly states that in cases involving the custody or visitation of a child, there shall be a “rebuttable presumption” that counsel fees shall be awarded to the “less monied” parent. This is in keeping with long held principles used by the courts to prevent wealthier parties from asserting purely economic leverage in trying to gain an advantage in the court system when domestic disputes are involved.
In this case, the “less monied” parent would have been Farrow (certainly well off, but not as wealthy as Allen).
So Orth’s subtle implication that Allen must have done something really wrong in order to be forced to pay his ex-girlfriend’s legal fees is just another instance of her disingenuousness by refusing to explain the full context of the facts and the law.
(Ironically, Farrow and her attorney, Eleanor B. Alter ended up parting ways over a fee dispute in her case with Allen.)
The fact that Allen “lost” by failing in his ultimate goal to get a formal suspension or disbarment of Frank Maco for his unethical behavior as a prosecutor doesn’t mean that Maco was vindicated for his dubious actions.
A disciplinary panel found in no uncertain terms that Maco’s behavior was cause for “grave concern” and may have prejudiced the legal battle between Allen and Farrow. They found that Maco’s conduct “was inappropriate, unsolicited and potentially prejudicial.”
Experts in legal ethics agree that Maco clearly violated a legal code of conduct, despite the fact that the disciplinary panel chose not to formally punish him.
As Kate Stith, a law professor at Yale University and a former Federal prosecutor admits, it’s extremely rare that fellow attorneys will severely discipline one of their own for ethical violations — choosing mere admonishments for first time offenses instead. So the fact that Allen didn’t get the specific punishment he was seeking hardly exonerates Maco, nor does it reflect on the credibility of the accusation regarding Dylan in any way.
Orth further writes:
Judge Elliott Wilk, the presiding judge in Allen’s custody suit against Farrow, concluded that there is “no credible evidence to support Mr. Allen’s contention that Ms. Farrow coached Dylan or that Ms. Farrow acted upon a desire for revenge against him for seducing Soon-Yi.”
It’s true that Judge Wilk wrote that statement on page 20 of his ruling. And it’s also true that his statement is objectively false. There is a wealth of credible evidence to suggest as much. The fact that a single judge claims otherwise without describing the full amount of evidence in an objective manner reflects more on that judge’s own bias, rather than the objective reality of the evidence.
What is the actual evidence that suggests that Dylan was coached by Mia Farrow that Wilk either completely ignored in his decision or was unaware of at the time of his ruling? Let’s go over it.
First, naturally, there is the conclusion of Dr. Julia Hamilton (Ph.D. in social work) and Jennifer Sawyer (Masters degree in social work) of the Yale-New Haven Child Sexual Abuse Clinic who interviewed Dylan extensively and suspected that she had been coached. Their report summarized the fact that Dylan “told the story in a manner that was overly thoughtful and controlling. There was no spontaneity in her statements, and a rehearsed quality was suggested in how she spoke.”
Keep in mind that these are experts hired by prosecutor Maco himself, whose jobs focused exclusively on investigations regarding child sexual abuse — hardly the kind of people who would be predisposed to discount the testimony of a child unless their experience caused a red-flag to be raised for them.
(The New York Times report on his testimony says that Leventhal personally interviewed Dylan nine times. Though it should be noted that the report summary itself states that the specific interviews with Dylan were in fact conducted by Hamilton and Sawyer, suggesting that Leventhal’s testimony may have incorporated their expert findings into his own observations, though this reporting discrepancy has never been fully accounted for. The New York Times has never issued any correction to this report and thus presumably stands by it.)
In summarizing the collective findings of his team of experts (in addition to direct interviews with both Allen and Farrow as well as viewing the tape of Dylan in the direct presence of Farrow), Leventhal testified that it was “very striking” that each time Dylan spoke of the abuse, she coupled it with “one, her father’s relationship with Soon-Yi, and two, the fact that it was her poor mother, her poor mother,” who had lost a career in Mr. Allen’s films.
“It’s quite possible — as a matter of fact, we think it’s medically probable — that she stuck to that story over time because of the intense relationship she had with her mother,” Leventhal said.
Even before the claim of abuse was made in August of 1992, he said, “The view of Mr. Allen as an evil and awful and terrible man permeated the household. The view that he had molested Soon-Yi and was a potential molester of Dylan permeated the household”, and thus served as a way of imprinting the story on to Dylan who most wanted to please her demanding mother.
Levenathal said another reason he doubted her story was that she changed important points from one interview to another, like where Allen had touched her. Another reason, he said, was that the child’s accounts had “a rehearsed quality.” At one point, he said she told him, “I like to cheat on my stories.”
That’s only the conclusion of the experts at the Yale-New Haven hospital that Connecticut police and prosecutors specifically chose to investigate the case. Then there are the statements of Monica Thompson, a nanny who testified that she witnessed Mia Farrow trying to get Dylan to make the specific accusations against Allen on tape, but that the process took days because Dylan seemed nonchalant about the efforts.
As recounted in the LA Times:
“Thompson said in a deposition that it took the actress two or three days to videotape Dylan making the accusations. At times the youngster appeared not to be interested in the process, the nanny said in sworn affidavits taken by Allen’s attorneys.
“I know that the tape was made over the course of at least two and perhaps three days,” Thompson said. “I was present when Ms. Farrow made a portion of that tape outdoors. I recall Ms. Farrow saying to Dylan at that time, ‘Dylan, what did daddy do . . . and what did he do next?’
“Dylan appeared not to be interested, and Ms. Farrow would stop taping for a while and then continue.”
Thompson further testified that “Dylan had her head hanging down and did not seem interested in the conversation.”
Thompson also said the day after the alleged incident, when she got to work, the actress took Dylan to the doctor.
“When they arrived home, Farrow said Dylan had been ‘afraid to talk to the doctor.’ On Thursday, she took Dylan back to the doctor. When they arrived home, Farrow told me that ‘everything is OK now — everything is set.’ ”
Thompson told Allen’s lawyers that Farrow, upon returning from the second doctor’s visit, seemed “very happy and excited for herself.”
On the day of the alleged incident, Thompson told Dylan’s other nanny, Kristi Groteke, “I don’t think anything happened. I think Mia is exaggerating. She’s trying to make you feel bad for not staying with Dylan the entire day.” (Source: Groteke’s book “Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 126.)
Still agree with Judge Wilk that there is “no credible evidence” that Dylan was coached? Ok then, let’s now move on to the statements of Mia Farrow herself, who was forced to admit that the her videotaped “confession” by Dylan had many “stops and starts” in it and that the first time she took Dylan to a doctor to reiterate her claims, Dylan refused to claim any form of molestation — claiming that Allen merely patted her shoulder instead.
According to the New York Times report, Farrow had to take Dylan away for four days before taking her to a second doctor.
By the time Farrow took Dylan to the second doctor visit (with enough time in between for any potential coaching or influence that would have been necessary), Dylan finally referred to her private areas in suggesting where Allen had touched her.
As indicated above, Dr. Kavirajan was duty bound to report Dylan’s statements to the police (regardless of whether he personally believed her or not), but found absolutely no physical evidence on Dylan’s body to suggest that she had been the victim of abuse, as Farrow herself was forced to admit.
There are no accounts of what Farrow said to Dylan or vice versa during the time between the first doctor visit when Dylan originally denied being molested, and the second doctor visit when she changed her story.
It was only after the second doctor visit (which occurred after an extended time that Farrow had alone with Dylan, and after the videotape made over the course of days, with stops and starts in it) that Farrow returned home and said to nanny Monica Thompson, “everything is OK now — everything is set.” in a “happy and excited” manner.
Not suspicious at all, is it? But according to Judge Wilk, apparently none of this demonstrates “credible evidence” of coaching.
As to the contents of the “start and stop” videotape that Farrow made of Dylan, we know that it was shot in eleven segments shot at different times in different places, one nude in a bathtub, others outside showing Dylan topless.
This fact (among many others) caused prosecutor Linda Fairstein, who has dedicated most of her life to putting away predators as director of the first sex crimes unit in the United States, to doubt the veracity of Dylan’s claims.
As Fairstein recounts in her interview with author Eric Lax:
“[It] sounded to me like one of the craziest things I’d ever heard. On every level, it’s the last thing you would do. First of all, videotaping her naked while asking again and again about what happened. Why are you exposing your child to these videos that someday will possibly be in the hands of the public or in the courtroom? That fact alone set off every alarm.”, Fairstein said.
Fairstein cites studies that have been done over the past twenty years on “How suggestible children are. Dylan’s been told a story, and there’s only one person left to please. Daddy’s already been thrown out of the picture. How frightening. Like any kid, you’re wanting to be with, if not two parents, the one parent. So I don’t imagine from that point on she was free to tell any other story. If you believe as I do that the allegation is false, then it is the fault of the woman who created the allegation who has mortally wounded this child.
“I was in the district attorney’s office thirty years, and this was my specialty for twenty-eight of them, so there were thousands of abuse cases in which I had a direct or supervisory role. I have no reason to believe this event happened.”
Still convinced that Judge Wilk was right when he said that there is “no credible evidence to support Mr. Allen’s contention that Ms. Farrow coached Dylan”? Ok then, what about the testimony of retired New York Police Lt. Richard Marcus, formerly head of the Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit?
He said in his long experience, most reports by children that they had been sexually abused were definitely ‘founded.’
However, in Dylan’s specific case, it was a very different story.
He reviewed the tape Farrow made of Dylan accounting and found it “rehearsed”.
“I concluded that the child lacked credibility in that the manner in which the questions were asked (by Farrow) and the statements that were elicited did not convince me that the incident had, in fact, taken place,” Marcus said.
Marcus said that such leading questions as, “What did he do? Did he take your underpants off” and such statements as, “After touching you, he said…” smacked of “prompting or reminding the child of what she said previously.”
He described it as a form of “rehearsal” so that subsequent investigators “will start with a very worked-over trail.”
Marcus said it was the first time in his experience that a mother had taped her child to obtain evidence in an abuse case and he found it “violated the principles of objective investigation.”
Still not convinced? Then what about the testimony of Dr. Anne Meltzer, a psychologist and a sex abuse expert who had already testified in over 200 trials by the time she testified in Allen’s trial in 1993?
She called the tape flawed because it was made by “a person who was biased, not an objective professional interviewer.” She said in all of her hundreds of trials, Farrow’s tape was the first she had ever encountered where the tape was made by a parent.
She also noted how unusual it was for a child to talk about molestation so soon after it occurred.
Again, Wilk completely ignores this testimony, not even bothering to mention Meltzer’s name in his decision, let alone explaining why her testimony held no credibility in his eyes.
It’s clear from his own comments on the bench during the trial that Wilk’s decision was driven by his bias against Allen for having an affair with Soon-Yi — something Wilk deeply disapproved of, so he had to come up with an excuse to flatly ignore all of the evidence suggesting that Dylan had in fact been coached by her mother.
Wilk was widely known as a traditionalist when it came to cases involving divorce, child custody or domestic relationships.
Newsday quoted a divorce lawyer as saying, “[Wilk is] not the kind of judge I’d want to confess adultery to. I’d confess a terrorist act, like blowing up the World Trade Center, but not adultery.” (See Newsday, June 8, 1993, pg. 107.)
(By the way, you might be even more surprised to know that Mia, in her zeal to have Allen publicly branded as a child molester, actually leaked her own videotape of Dylan’s accusations to the TV news media at the time. This would be the same tape that she made of Dylan nude in the bathtub and topless outside with all the “starts and stops” in it.
Let me repeat this to allow it to sink in — Mia Farrow made a videotape of her daughter in the nude and at other times had her point to her crotch, then deliberately leaked this tape to the news media during the week of August 20th, 1992. That is how “protective” she is of Dylan.
And yet, incredibly, despite this fact, Judge Wilk actually stated on pg. 21 of his decision that he didn’t believe that Farrow “would have exposed her daughter and her other children to the consequences of the Connecticut investigation and this litigation if she did not believe the possible truth of Dylan’s accusation”.
This would be the same Mia Farrow who actively used her other children as pawns to give “exclusive interviews” to the press in the hopes that the press would tell them there whereabouts of Soon-Yi after she fled Farrow’s beatings of her. As recounted in the British Press:
“Joanna Molloy, the New York Post’s Woody-and-Mia correspondent, was astonished on Wednesday when Lark Previn, 19, one of the adopted Vietnamese children, appeared at her desk offering an exclusive interview in exchange for information about Soon-Yi’s whereabouts. Her mother had sent her, Lark told Ms Molloy.”
But apparently in Judge Wilk’s mind, Farrow is the kind of mother who would never subject her children to undue pressures of investigations out of concern for their well being and privacy.)
When asked why she had made the videotape before going to authorities, Mia Farrow said on the witness stand that she had begun to videotape Dylan because “I wanted this documented, because it had happened before.”
But Dylan has never claimed that this “happened before”. One of the key curiosities in the case is that Allen has only been accused one single time regrading one single incident (something that is very unusual with cases of genuine sexual predators, who often have high rates of recidivist activity). So why would Farrow make this claim on the stand?
If it had happened before, that would necessarily mean that Farrow allowed Allen to be with Dylan, knowing that he had already molested her. And it would also mean that this previous incident has never, ever found its way into the rumor mill regarding Allen’s behavior. Does that sound credible to you?
Still not convinced that Dylan wasn’t coached? Ok then. Let’s now turn to the statements of Moses Farrow — Woody and Mia’s adopted son, who was in the house at the time, and who recounts how Mia’s abusive nature towards her children shaped their obedience and responses.
Author Eric Lax provides additional evidence that Dylan was coached by Mia by speaking to Moses as well as sources who visited the Mia’s household regularly:
Around the time of the custody trial in 1993, a person who went often to the Farrow home found Dylan crying one day. The story has been confirmed with someone else who often visited. “Dylan asked me, ‘Is it okay to lie?’ She felt she didn’t want to lie and wondered, What would God think? She wanted an Attic Kids doll, but Mia forbade it. This was shortly before Dylan was to speak with someone connected with the trial. She said, ‘Mom wants me to say something I don’t want to say.’ Then the next week she had the Attic Kids doll with a yellow dress. I asked, ‘What happened?’ She said, ‘I did what my mom asked.’”
The story does not surprise Moses, who adds, “This, I can speak to with confidence. Mia’s ability and intent to mold her children to do her bidding was matched by her living in constant fear her secrets of abusive parenting would be divulged and the reputation she built as the loving mother of a large brood of adopted kids would be destroyed. My biggest fear was that we would be rejected, excommunicated rather, from her and the family. I lived in constant threat of this happening. As an adopted child, there is no bigger fear than to lose your family.”
Moses Farrow himself is even more direct in providing first-hand, eyewitness evidence that Dylan was coached by being there at the time. He has stated on social media: “So many times I saw my mother try to convince her that she was abused — and it has worked. Some day, I hope Dylan can escape from my mother, confront the truth and begin her own healing. #truthislouder”
He has stated unambiguously that he was able to observe the movements of both Allen and Dylan in Farrow’s house during the day in question that the abuse was supposed to have taken place, and that it was logistically impossible for it to have happened since one or both of them were in his sight the entire time.
The current views of Moses Farrow become even more remarkable when you read the full text of the letter he allegedly wrote to Allen during the custody trial in 1993. Here is the full text of the letter sent to Allen when Moses was 15 years old.
I know what you ’re trying to do to Mom and Dylan and Satchel, I know what you want, you want to bring Mom to court, and take Dylan and Satchel away from her and us, I don’t know who will win, but I do know that you can’t force me to live with you. . . . You have changed over the last months, you have become more hostile and anxious. All you want is the trust and relationship you had in the beginning of the time, you can’t have those worthy things because you have done a horrible, unforgivable, needy, ugly, stupid thing which I hope you will not forgive yourself for doing.
You probably think that Mom is telling me to say these things like before, but she didn’t, these are my thoughts and feelings toward you . . . If you take us to court, you are the one who is going to be sorry. I hope you get so humiliated that you commit suicide. And about seeing me for lunch, you can just forget about that. You brought these things to yourself, we didn’t do anything wrong. Mom is a GREAT mother, and she always finds the time and patience to play with us. All you did is spoil the little ones, Dylan and Satchel. You tried to communicate with me, but you were going too fast for me, I couldn’t let you just yet, I almost gave in to you, but your needs interfered with that. . . . Everyone knows not to have an affair with your son’s sister, including that sister, but you have a special way to get that sister to think that that is okay. Unfortunately Soon-Yi, who was that sister, hadn’t had a serious relationship before and probably thought that, okay, this is a great chance to see what a serious relationship is like. That’s probably why she did it. I just want you to know that I don’t consider you my father anymore. It was a great feeling having a father, but you smashed that feeling and dream with a single act.
I HOPE YOU ARE PROUD TO CRUSH YOUR SON’S DREAM.
[Source: “Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pgs. 107–108.]
Allen immediately accused Farrow of putting Moses up to writing the letter and coaching him to say what he said. With some of the specific phrasing used, it’s easy to discern why, especially in light of his remarkable about-face today.
The sentence that reads “You probably think that Mom is telling me to say these things like before, but she didn’t, these are my thoughts and feelings toward you” is particularly curious coming from a 15-year-old, evincing a conscious knowledge that it comes across as forced and coached (“telling me to say these things like before”, with a desperate need to try and dispel the notion with a peremptory denial.
Moses now claims that this was all part of his coaching and brainwashing by Farrow to learn to hate Allen. If this is true, is it so much of a stretch to think that Dylan may have been brainwashed as well?
Moses also said: “What breaks my heart the most is while I know that my sister, Dylan, believes what she says, I also know from my own experience, that it simply never happened.”
So let’s be as clear as possible here: To deny the possibility that Dylan was coached and brainwashed by her mother to make false accusations against Woody Allen is to necessarily call Moses Farrow a liar and deny his own claims of abuse. You cannot simultaneously believe both people at the same time.
For those who would now self-righteously claim that we should always believe those who allege abuse without regard to any evidence that may cast doubt on such claims, it is incumbent on them to somehow explain why those same rules do not apply to Moses Farrow.
Judge Wilk obviously did not hear the current statements of Moses at the time he wrote his decision. But regardless of whether or not he would have found a way to dismiss Moses’s statements, its clear that the notion of there being “no credible evidence” that Mia Farrow coached Dylan is no longer valid (especially when it was never valid to begin with).
Then there is the curious fact that, in her claims Allen molested her, Dylan emphasizes the point that Allen told her that they would “go to Paris”, implying a scenario where he would somehow whisk her away, alone, to a foreign country where he could have his way with her without any intrusions.
In fact, Kristi Groteke admits that both Allen and Farrow routinely discussed taking everybody in Farrow’s household and moving to Paris — periodic discussions that everyone there was aware of.
Groteke said, “Amazingly enough, the very night before she discovered the photos, Mia said, she had been sitting in her living room with Fletcher, Woody, and Soon-Yi, and they had all been chatting animatedly about pulling up their Manhattan roots and moving to Paris, where they had vacationed in the summer of 1990. Woody spoke about how exciting such a change would be for all of them…” (“Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 81)
Groteke also goes on to describe what Dylan said to the Yale-New Haven team and what Farrow in turn said to Dylan during this time:
Dylan, at one of her first sessions, told the Yale team: “I love my mother. That’s all I have to say. I love my mother and I hate my dad.” She confided that she had begun to feel this after she learned about Woody’s affair with Soon-Yi. “I’m like, why me?” she said. “Why do I have to solve this problem?” On October 2 Mia admitted to the Yale team that she had told Dylan: “If you don’t want Daddy to be your daddy anymore, he doesn’t have to be.” Throughout the grim days of that fall and winter, she would, in fact, constantly reassure Dylan with these same words.
Then on October 30, Dylan dropped a little bomb in New Haven: She recanted her testimony. When Mia brought her for her session that day, Mia explained to the social workers that Dylan had not wanted to come. In addition, as Mia testified, Dylan had earlier confided to her that Woody “didn’t do anything; nothing happened.” Later that afternoon, however, Dylan reversed herself and denied her denial.
The Yale-New Haven Report had concluded, among other things, that: 1) Dylan was so enmeshed with her mother that she felt herself to be “her mother’s problem solver,” and, 2) Dylan’s telling about the touching could be construed as a way to protect her mother and banish her father.
(“Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 168. Note how Groteke admits that Dylan only began to feel hatred for Allen specifically “after she learned about Woody’s affair with Soon-Yi”. )
Then there is Groteke’s description of how Dylan described Allen, and the specific reason for her hatred:
Mara Thorpe, the court-appointed guardian for Dylan and Moses, was interviewing the family. “How do you feel about Woody Allen?” she asked Dylan. As an answer, Dylan marched over to the window, where a pink vase full of dried roses sat. She took the roses out of the vase and clutched them to her chest as she lay down on the floor like a slain princess being prepared for burial. And she said in a serious little voice, “Woody Allen killed me.”…Last spring we drove by Woody’s apartment, and [Dylan] said, “Oooh, oooh, Woody Allen lives here.” And I asked her, “What is it about Woody Allen?” She replied, again with tremendous gravity, “He took my sister away.”
(“Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 174. Note the fact that she refers to him as “Woody Allen”, rather than “daddy” or similar term. Also note the reason she gives for her hatred — not molestation, but rather the fact that “he took my sister away”, the same motivation for hatred that her mother had.)
Then there is this tidbit that Groteke recounts as well:
On November 12, Andre [Previn] came to visit, and the next day Dylan announced to the Yale-New Haven team, “Andre is my new daddy.” Had she been coached? Was she renouncing Woody as a way of pleasing her mother? Or as a way of pushing all the Woody-associated unpleasantness out of her life?
(“Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 194)
Groteke also quotes from the testimony of Dr. Stephen Herman, a clinical psychiatrist called to testify on Farrow’s behalf in the custody case:
Dr. Herman noted that it was “unfortunate” that Mia, and not an objective and trained evaluator, videotaped Dylan’s testimony, mainly because the way she focused on specific things could possibly “set a tone for a child about how to answer. I think it could raise anxieties of a child.” In short, he said, “I don’t think it helps matters, I think it complicates matters.”
(“Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 169)
Wilk did not even see fit to include Herman’s observation in his decision.
Wilk also completely dismissed the testimony of Richard Marcus, a former Lieutenant with the New York Police Department’s Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit and an expert on child abuse investigations.
Here is an excerpt from Marcus’s testimony (reprinted on pg. 3 in the April 7, 1993 edition of Newsday) that Wilk cavalierly dismisses out of hand (under questioning by Allen’s attorney, Elkan Abramowitz):
Q: Give us your opinion in respect to Dylan and her responses on the video.
A: My opinion is the video violates the principle of objective questioning.
Q: What is the basis for your opinion?
A (referring to a transcript of the video): Page 3, Line 13: It starts off OK, but before the child can respond . . . Mia Farrow asks, `How did he touch you? With what?’
Q: Continue with the basis for your opinion.
A: Page 8, Lines 7 and 8: Mia Farrow asks, `And what did he do? Did he take your underpants off?’ Here on Page 8, again 17 and 18: . . . `And after he was touching you, he said,’ — to me that smacks of prompting, trying to remind the child of what she said previously . . . Page 10, Lines 23, 24, 25: `So when you went into the attic . . . you just forgot it, you just didn’t have any on, is that it?’
Q: What is the significance of that?
A: Of course, it’s leading. It’s trying to remind the child of something she may have missed saying earlier, as if you were refreshing her recollection. On Page 18, Lines 17 and 18: `And it still hurts you?’ Again, that’s a leading question and in a way reinforcing the child’s prior comments.
Q: Directing your attention to Page 14, Line 20: Is that another example of a leading question?
A: I’m sorry. Yes. `Did he stick his whole finger in?’
Q: What is your opinion on the validity of the charges based on your viewing of the video?
A: It’s my conclusion the child lacked credibility. In the manner in which the questions were asked, the answers did not convince me that the incident had taken place.
As to this exchange and everything else Marcus said on the stand, Wilk can only respond with self-serving, conclusory statement that he “did not find his testimony to be insightful.”
These on the record sources ought to be more than convincing enough, but it should also be noted that there are still other sources on the Internet who claim to have been friends with Mia and Dylan and now insist (in admittedly uncharitable terms) that Dylan was brainwashed as a child and commonly told lies.
So now let’s return to Judge Wilk’s remarkable statement that there is “no credible evidence to support Mr. Allen’s contention that Ms. Farrow coached Dylan or that Ms. Farrow acted upon a desire for revenge against him for seducing Soon-Yi.”
Read Judge Wilk’s decision again in its entirety.
If you can, try to locate and quote where he destroys or even casts a modicum of doubt on the credibility of all of the direct witnesses and sources listed above (most of which, he never even bothers to mention in his decision).
Hint: You won’t be able to, because he never does.
It is simply astonishing that a judge can see a clinical psychologist take the stand to testify that “she warned Woody Allen that she feared for his safety because of threats made by Mia Farrow” and then claim that there is “no credible evidence” that “Farrow acted upon a desire for revenge against him for seducing Soon-Yi”.
And yet, that is exactly the testimony that Judge Wilk heard directly.
It is completely astonishing that a judge can objectively recount the facts that “In February 1992, Ms. Farrow gave Mr. Allen a family picture Valentine with skewers through the hearts of the children and a knife through the heart of Ms. Farrow. She also defaced and destroyed several photographs of Mr. Allen and of Soon-Yi.” and then in nearly the same breath of his decision declare without any evidentiary support, “I do not view the Valentine’s Day card, the note affixed to the bathroom door in Connecticut, or the destruction of photographs as anything more than expressions of Ms. Farrow’s understandable anger and her ability to communicate her distress by word and symbol rather than by action.” — thus irrationally concluding that Farrow did not act out of “a desire for revenge”.
Yet that is precisely what Wilk wrote in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
It simply defies rational belief that Wilk can acknowledge the existence of this image and yet conclude that revenge played no part of Farrow’s motivations.
Despite the considerable evidence suggesting as much, you still aren’t required to ultimately conclude or believe that Dylan was actively coached by Farrow. However, as a rational thinking person, you are required to believe that Judge Wilk’s preposterous proclamation that there is “no credible evidence to support Mr. Allen’s contention that Ms. Farrow coached Dylan” is objectively false. The credible evidence may not fully convince you personally as a subjective proposition, but it is objectively false and a complete denial of reality to suggest that such credible evidence simply doesn’t exist, even if you don’t happen to find it conclusive.
Likewise, it also objectively false that there is “no credible evidence” to suggest that Mia Farrow acted out of a desire for revenge against Allen for dumping her in favor of Soon-Yi. Naturally, it’s impossible to look directly into Farrow’s mind. But to deny the objective reality of the existence of the credible evidence listed above is akin to denying that we landed on the Moon.
So why did Wilk say what he did in the face of overwhelming evidence that contradicts his proclamations? Only he can say. But it is clear from the very tone of his decision that he personally despised Allen for having an affair with Soon-Yi, and thus was determined to minimize the significance of any evidence that might suggest that Farrow herself was an unfit parent.
His bias against Allen for the Soon-Yi affair was apparent well before the trial had concluded, interjecting his personal views during the questioning of the witnesses. His bias was so apparent at the time that even the press felt compelled to report on it at the time.
Perhaps Judge Wilk was also improperly influenced by his wife, attorney Betty Levinson, who has demonstrated her own bias in the Allen case and would have no doubt severely berated her husband at home for ruling against the side of a mother and child who claimed victim status, despite whatever the evidence was. Read her thoughts for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
Perhaps he was also improperly influenced by Frank Maco, who unethically faxed Wilk and another judge his statement that he had “probable cause” to charge Allen without detailing any evidence against him in the hopes of affecting Allen’s custody suits, which again, caused him to be admonished for his unethical behavior.
Ultimately, determining Wilk’s state of mind is pure speculation, but anyone who has actually practiced law for any significant length of time will tell you that there are plenty of biased judges out there, and some are just plain stupid. Every lawyer with significant experience will tell you this if you get them to open up with candor. The bottom line is that it’s not their position as judges that ultimately give them authority, but rather, it is the strength of their reasoning in their decision-making that gives them authority by earning people’s respect.
Orth’s lazy reasoning here does nothing more than appeal to naked authority: A judge said it, so it must be true. Don’t bother to study the actual evidence. Don’t bother to read the full decision in context and assess if it is valid or not. Just respect the fact that a judge made a proclamation and take his word for it simply and purely because he is a judge.
That is what Orth’s argument amounts to. It is both a dishonest and lazy argument.
Even the Appeals Court (which ultimately upheld the ruling that gave custody to Farrow and found the abuse allegations “inconclusive”) had the integrity to state: “Unlike [Judge Wilk], we do not consider the conclusions reached by Doctors Coates and Schultz and by the Yale-New Haven team, to be totally unpersuasive.”
Orth manages to conveniently leave out that inconvenient truth.
Once again, you are not required by the wealth of credible evidence listed above to definitively conclude that Mia coached Dylan and acted out of revenge for the Soon-Yi affair. But you are required to admit that Judge Wilk was objectively wrong in stating that no such credible evidence even exists. It does exist, and always has. If you deny the fact that this evidence exists and has always existed, then you might as well deny the fact of gravity.
CLAIM # 5
5. In his 33-page decision, Judge Wilk found that Mr. Allen’s behavior toward Dylan was “grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her.” The judge also recounts Farrow’s misgivings regarding Allen’s behavior toward Dylan from the time she was between two and three years old. According to the judge’s decision, Farrow told Allen, “You look at her [Dylan] in a sexual way. You fondled her . . . You don’t give her any breathing room. You look at her when she’s naked.”
Once again, according to Dr. Coates’ testimony that Wilk himself cites in making the “grossly inappropriate” remark, the so-called “grossly inappropriate” behavior was never alleged to be of a sexual nature. Allen was “never observed him acting in a sexual way toward her”. (See Claim # 2 section above.)
The “grossly inappropriate” behavior and steps for “protection” are all in reference to Wilk’s personal judgment and revulsion about Allen’s affair with Dylan’s adult and adopted sister, Soon-Yi.
It is not an “undeniable fact” that, during a time when Dylan was between two and three years old, Allen “looked at Dylan in a sexual way” or “fondled” her. Rather, it is an undeniable fact that Farrow merely made that accusation against Allen. There is a huge difference between those two scenarios.
If Farrow’s statements actually were true, think about the implications for a moment. That would necessarily mean that Mia Farrow knew that Allen harbored sexual feelings towards her two-to-three-year-old infant daughter, and yet still actively encouraged him to spend time with her daughter for the next four years, eventually convincing him to adopt her in 1991.
If you believe Farrow’s statement, then there is no getting around that conclusion. The only way to discount the possibility that Farrow actively encouraged someone she seriously thought to be a pedophile into spending more time with her infant daughter is to consider the other obvious conclusion: That Farrow simply made up this claim to exact revenge on Allen for a host of other resentments.
Furthermore, Orth disingenuously omits a further crucial admission by Farrow on the witness stand when she was asked under oath if she had indeed imputed sexual motives to Allen’s smothering of Dylan. Rather than proffer a simple affirmation, Farrow parsed her words with the following, exceedingly qualified response:
“My word was inappropriate. It was the whole quality of it. Relentless and overpowering. It was his neediness expressing itself to Dylan rather than her needs to him.” (See Newsday, Mar. 26, 1993, pg. 13.)
Still on the witness stand, Farrow gave a concrete example of what she described as “inapproriate” behavior:
“[Allen] would pin [Dylan’s] arms to the bed, and she would rock her head from side to side to avoid his gaze. He would hold her down until he got what he wanted — a gaze, a good night, or whatever.” (Newsday, March 30, 1993, pg. 7.)
Farrow said that Dr. Coates put a stop to this.
From this scenario, the fabulist Orth incredibly tries to paint a portrait of sexual abuse in the mind of the reader.
So even Farrow’s own testimony suggests that whatever “inappropriate” actions Allen took towards Dylan, it was not sexual in nature. Rather, it was merely overbearing in a way that placed undue pressure on Dylan, who shared a house with several other children who did not receive such attentions.
(Orth also conveniently omits the fact that, under cross-examination on the witness stand, Farrow admitted to falsely accusing Allen of being a homosexual and of sexually abusing their son Ronan when he was 5-years-old. See also Newsday, March 27, 1993, pg. 6.)
We happen to know that Farrow herself also looks at her children when they are naked. Moses confirmed as much:
“[S]he spanked me repeatedly — as was her way — and had me remove all my clothes saying, ‘You’re not deserving of any clothes.’ Then she had me stand naked in the corner of her room.”
It is also an “undeniable fact” that in on pg. 20 of his 33-page decision, Judge Wilk states: “The evidence at trial established that Ms. Farrow is a caring and loving mother who has provided a home for both her biological and her adopted children. There is no credible evidence that she unfairly distinguished among her children or that she favored some at the expense of others.”
How serious is one to take Judge Wilk’s decision when he can make any number of claims that fly in the face of overwhelming evidence?
How can he make the claim that Farrow is a “caring and loving mother” when there are direct accounts of beatings and child abuse by both Moses and Soon-Yi?
As Soon-Yi stated, “Mia was always very hot-tempered and given to rages which terrified all the kids. They can’t speak freely because they’re still dependent on her. But they could really tell stories and I’m sure one day will. It’s true Mia was violent with me and I have conclusive proof…”
Newsday reported on August 21, 1992, that Soon-Yi had told friends that Farrow had hit her, screamed at her, cut up her clothing, “berated and punched her, and hit her with a chair”, and had locked her in her room for days. Even Farrow’s own publicist, John Springer, refused to deny it outright, stating instead, “Maybe she did yell at her. Maybe she did. I have no idea.”
Soon-Yi reportedly had to see a doctor after the incident. (See Newsday, March 26, 1993, pg. 7.)
Newsday, citing friends close to Allen, also reported the following on November 18, 1992: “The friends repeat charges that Farrow was not an ideal mother. They say Farrow threatened to send Soon-Yi, who was slow learning to speak English, back to her orphanage, that she did not exercise control over her older children’s lives, and that she favored her biological children over her adopted children. Soon-Yi, friends said, was the only one to challenge her mother.”
Soon-Yi herself offered more details on the abuse after she finally came forward after decades of silence.
How can Wilk make that claim in light of testimony from Jane Read Martin , an “industry friend” to Mia Farrow, Allen’s assistant, and associate producer of their film “Alice”, who said in the custody hearing that Farrow showed favoritism to her biological children and that adopted children like her daughter Lark was simply used as a “scullery maid” who “did most of the chores” before contracting HIV from a drug habit and eventually dying from it on Christmas day?
Martin said that Farrow treated the 19-year-old Lark “like a pack mule”, adding that “she was treated unfairly, relegated to pushing the stroller, lugging diaper bags and babysitting for the children.”
She further testified that when the family vacationed in Helsinki in 1988, Farrow seemed unconcerned when her son Moses fell and hurt himself.
“It was as though she couldn’t have cared less,” Martin said. “It was Mr. Allen who noticed and had me get some medical attention for him and take him to this first-aid stand.” (Newsday Apr. 6, 1993. pg. 4.)
One household insider said that it was a family joke at the time that Lark “would one day write the ‘Mommy Dearest’ of the family.” (Newsday, Aug. 21, 1992, pg. 2.)
How can Wilk make that claim when Martin’s testimony was backed up and confirmed by Farrow’s own nanny, Monica Thompson, who said that the actress gave her biological children more gifts and possessions and depended on her adopted children to do the household work?
This would be the same Monica Thompson who swore in her affidavit that she witnessed Farrow slap Moses across the face because he could not find the dog’s leash.
Thompson further said, “The other children were horrified and told their mother that it could not have been Moses who lost the leash. Farrow told the children that it was not their place to comment on the incident. The children were scared of their mother and did not like to confide in her because they were afraid of what her reactions might be.”
“It was more like a foster home with all those kids,” Thompson said. “I noticed that the adopted kids did most of the chores — the cooking and the shopping — and her biological kids didn’t do much.”
How can Wilk make that claim when Farrow has been credibly accused of brainwashing her children to hate Allen?
The same Mia Farrow who trotted off to Vietnam in late 1991 to adopt another boy, Sanjay, took him back to America, but later “pawned him off to another family” after eventually finding out from a doctor that he might be mentally disabled, which didn’t suit her?
(This fact is also recounted on pgs. 65–67 of Kristi Groteke’s “Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, trying to portray a more sympathetic account of Farrow’s behavior.)
In fact, Groteke’s book and other sources suggest that Farrow had a near reflexive habit of trying to adopt children during times of stress in her own life, as a way of trying to focus her own attentions elsewhere — regardless of the wisdom of the timing of bringing another child into the household or concerns about putting the child’s welfare first.
Again, keep in mind that Groteke’s account is from someone who is overtly sympathetic to Farrow and her experience with Allen. But it still manages to give you a sense of the mindset at play with all of the other evidence regarding her deceased and alienated children.
Farrow’s drive was described as “an obsession to adopt more than anyone can handle.” (Newsday, Aug. 20, 1992, pg. 106)
It was this very mindset that motivated Allen to seek custody of his three children. It wasn’t as “punishment” for Farrow, but rather the fact that he didn’t believe that Farrow could possibly be a proper mother to his own children when she already had her hands full with so many others.
As columnist Liz Smith wrote at the time of the custody battle: “My own assumption, verified by [an unnamed] source, is that Woody believes his case lies in stressing the obsessive nature of Mia’s ongoing need to keep adopting, when she already has 11. (Even though some of these “children” are now grown and out of the nest; Soon-Yi for example.) The nature of Woody’s complaint was his concern that she was spreading herself too thin as a mother.” (Newsday, Aug. 18, 1992, pg. 11)
Dennis Dugan’s separate column on pg. 2 of that same issue of Newsday also reported: “[Allen’s defenders] charge that Farrow wanted to adopt two more orphans and was serious about using artificial insemination for another child. That would raise the family size to 14 and they say that Allen’s concern over the neglect of some children as the family grew led to the lawsuit he launched Thursday.”
Even then, other sources claim that Allen was still originally willing to concede custody rights to Farrow upfront. It was only when his visitation rights were threatened that Allen felt compelled to file suit. (Newsday, Aug. 21, 1992, pg. 2.)
Regardless of whether you sympathize with or admire Farrow’s motivations here, it is incontrovertible that her household more resembled a foster home than a traditional family, and that each new addition put strains on the other children who required additional domestic help to care for.
The cautions against collecting foreign-born children primarily for their use as personal, emotional salves and psychological band-aids was one of the many reasons why there used to be law limiting the number of such adoptions (especially when there continued to be a need to adopt domestic-born children). And that is naturally why Farrow was specifically the one who used her star power and influence to overturn the law in 1977. (Groteke claims that, ironically, Farrow also had a strong hand in helping to overturn a federal law the prevented unmarried couples from adopting children together, thus allowing Allen to co-adopt some of her children without marrying her. See “Mia & Woody: Love & Betrayal”, pg. 253. It is admittedly unclear which federal law she was referring to.)
Farrow would continue to make questionably timed adoptions even over the objections of the rest of her family.)
How can Wilk make the claim that he did regarding Farrow’s parenting in light of statements from Farrow’s own children that directly contradict it, such as Soon-Yi’s observation: “I don’t think you can raise 11 (and soon she will have 13) children with sufficient love and care. Take it from one who’s lived through it-it can’t be done. Some of us got neglected, some got smothered. Anyhow, there’s problems. I could say many devastating things about Mia, but I will only do it if I must in a court.”
Much like his incredible statement that there is “no credible evidence” that Farrow coached Dylan or acted out of a desire of revenge for the Soon-Yi affair, Judge Wilk’s statement that the evidence established that “Ms. Farrow is a caring and loving mother” with “no credible evidence that she unfairly distinguished among her children or that she favored some at the expense of others” defies belief in light of the overwhelming evidence that he doesn’t even bother to list, let alone refute.
Judicial decisions should command respect only to the extent that they provide evidence behind their reasoning. Judge Wilk provides none. It is argument purely by authority, rather than proof and a rational consideration of the evidence.
Elliott Wilk is a judge. You aren’t. So if he declares something without cataloguing the evidence or reasoning behind it, you should just blindly accept it and move on.
That is the essence of Orth’s deeply disingenuous argument.
(The fact that Wilk made these statements in the face of an avalanche of contradicting evidence becomes even more bizarre when you realize that, before rendering his decision, he had “urged in private that the two sides reach an agreement” or personal settlement without requiring him to decide the matter.)
Before issuing his ruling, Wilk admitted in his own courtroom that he considered himself “the least qualified person” to determine whether Allen actually molested Dylan.
Newsday reported the following on April 28, 1993:
Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Elliot Wilk has listened to weeks of testimony from a dizzying assortment of psychiatrists and family therapists who debated the credibility of the sex abuse charges.
But with no physical evidence to work with, Wilk asked how to sift through the myriad of conflicting expert opinions.
“How do I make a decision if I don’t know what the facts are?” Wilk asked the witness, child therapist Dr. Stephen Herman.
“You’re supposed to decide what the facts are,” Dr. Herman replied. “You aren’t going to know when you make your decision whether Dylan was or wasn’t abused.”
“As the least qualified person to do that, that’s my role,” Wilk replied.
It seems clear from the evidence that Wilk had a visceral reaction to the Allen/Soon-Yi affair, which offended his personal sensibilities, and he thus let it color his ruling and interpretation of the facts accordingly.
CLAIM # 6
6. Dylan’s claim of abuse was consistent with the testimony of three adults who were present that day. On the day of the alleged assault, a babysitter of a friend told police and gave sworn testimony that Allen and Dylan went missing for 15 or 20 minutes, while she was at the house. Another babysitter told police and also swore in court that on that same day, she saw Allen with his head on Dylan’s lap facing her body, while Dylan sat on a couch “staring vacantly in the direction of a television set.” A French tutor for the family told police and testified that that day she found Dylan was not wearing underpants under her sundress. The first babysitter also testified she did not tell Farrow that Allen and Dylan had gone missing until after Dylan made her statements. These sworn accounts contradict Moses Farrow’s recollection of that day in People magazine.
Let’s start with the critical fact that Orth purposely ignores here — the fact that Monica Thompson testified that one of these witnesses recanted her testimony.
Nanny Monica Thompson said in her sworn deposition that Kristie Groteke, Dylan’s baby-sitter, told her “that she felt guilty allowing Ms. Farrow to say those things about Mr. Allen. (Groteke) said the day Mr. Allen spent with the kids, she did not have Dylan out of her sight for longer than five minutes. She did not remember Dylan being without her underwear.”
“Ms. Farrow set the stage to report the incident involving Dylan,” Thompson charged. “For several weeks, Ms. Farrow insisted that Mr. Allen not be left alone with Dylan and wanted me to be with them at all times.”
What’s more, Groteke herself admits in her own book (“Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”) that she told Thompson all of this, that Mia had been lying and that she didn’t remember ever leaving Dylan alone with Allen. (Groteke now claims that she only said this to “humor” Thompson, but she never denied that she said it.)
This would be the same Krisit Groteke who was coached by Farrow’s legal team for two full weeks before testifying. (See the Claim # 2 section above.)
It is also worth noting that Thompson said that Farrow pressured her to “be on her side”.
But let’s assume for the moment that Groteke hadn’t confessed to Thompson about recanting her claims and that everything they said was true and that none of it was contradicted by Moses Farrow, who was also a witness that day, as Orth concedes.
The only reason that any of this behavior is even remotely suspicious is if you assume guilt from the start. If you do not make that assumption, all of these behaviors are entirely innocuous.
That is why Groteke herself said in her book, “From my point of view, even-thing seemed normal on August 4”. She didn’t even remember Allen or Dylan as missing at the time. It wasn’t until Mia had told them about the abuse claim that they (at Farrow’s urging) retraced their steps and decided that they couldn’t account for Allen’s whereabouts for 15 or 20 minutes and had only assumed that they had been outside (despite supposedly given strict instructions by Farrow to not leave Allen alone with any of the children — a dictate that only came after she realized that Allen was having his affair with Soon-Yi).
A father placing his head on his child’s lap to get her attention while that child is dressed is only suspicious after you suspect them of child abuse and assume guilt. If that is evidence of abuse, then untold numbers of parents need to be locked up.
Likewise, in a household teaming at times with at least 9 children that one of the nanny’s themselves described as a “foster home” where it is impossible to keep track of all the children all of the time, it is not unusual for one of those young children to forget to put on underwear beneath a dress that otherwise covered her.
This is the essence of a witch-hunt mentality.
Not only is the testimony both unreliable and irrelevant in establishing guilt, but it is the very presence of the babysitters and nannies that day that establishes considerable doubt about the accusations.
Let’s start by cataloguing all of the people who were there at Mia’s house that day (August 4, 1992):
Satchel (Ronan) Farrow
Casey Pascal’s three children (Pascal was a childhood friend of Mia Farrow’s)
Alison Stickland (babysitter to Casey Pascal’s three children)
Kristi Groteke (nanny to Mia Farrow’s children)
Sophie Berge (babysitter and French tutor to Farrow’s children)
Moses Farrow *
Casey Pascal (?) **
(* Moses insists he was there and recollects that “there were six or seven of us in the house”, though Mia claims in her memoirs that Moses had been out of the house walking outside by himself at the time. How she would know that is unclear, since she herself admits to being gone shopping with her children Tam and Isaiah. As a result, its rational to conclude that Moses was there, absent other sources that can place him outside for the entirety of the afternoon.)
(** Kristi Groteke claims Casey Pascal herself was with them in house that afternoon, as recounted in pgs. 128–129 of “Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, though other sources claim that Pascal had actually joined Farrow to go shopping, including pg. 10 of the court ruling that awarded Farrow custody in her dispute with Allen. The interesting discrepancy casts doubt on either Groteke’s account or the court’s own account of what transpired that day.)
At the very least, everyone is in agreement that there were at least three other adults and four other children in the house at the time besides Dylan and Allen themselves (even if you choose to discount the notion that Moses was there too).
And as Orth herself boasts, the babysitters were expressly put on warning and told not to leave Allen alone with Dylan. (See the Claim # 2 section above which describes when and just how closely Allen was being watched after Farrow discovered his affair with Soon-Yi, and how Allen was fully aware of the suspicion he was put under as a form of punishment for his affair.)
This is the scenario that you would have to believe in order to find the allegations against Allen to be credible: That Allen, for the first and only time in his life, decided to molest his daughter in a very short window of time (less than 20 minutes) when the house was full of people — including three adults who were already told to be on guard and view Allen with suspicion.
(Curiously, Farrow did not take any steps to prevent Allen from entering her house altogether on that date, despite the fact that she allegedly considered him to already be a threat and knew that he would be visiting that day. These facts only makes sense in the context of her wanting him to be around her kids for the express purpose of setting him up and concocting the allegations.)
Allen himself testified that he merely went to the bathroom during the disputed time. Since this is the only time that Groteke couldn’t account for his whereabouts, you would have to not only believe in the ridiculous scenario of Allen using a short window of less than 20 minutes in a house full of suspicious people to quickly molest his daughter for the first and only time in his life (knowing that his career and life would be over if he was caught), but you would also have to believe that he never went to the bathroom once during his visit (unless you want to postulate that he both went to the bathroom and then quickly dragged Dylan up to the attic crawlspace without her crying or anyone noticing, and then molesting her before returning just as quickly and stealthily — all in less than 20 minutes).
“On the day of the alleged assault, a babysitter of a friend told police and gave sworn testimony that Allen and Dylan went missing for 15 or 20 minutes, while she was at the house.”
This is false, since the babysitter never spoke to the police or gave any sworn testimony the day of the alleged assault — only weeks and months afterwards. The day of the alleged assault (August 4, 1992), nobody spoke to the police, least of all Mia Farrow. She was too busy trying to videotape Dylan into confessing that she had been abused — a process that took two or three days with many fits and starts since Dylan wouldn’t cooperate.
As Orth herself points out, the police hadn’t even been contacted until after Mia took Dylan to her second doctor visit (the second visit being necessary since Dylan refused to make any claim of abuse the first time after no physical indications of abuse had been found). (See Claim # 1 section above.)
So instead of the obvious falsehood that “On the day of the alleged assault, a babysitter of a friend told police and gave sworn testimony that Allen and Dylan went missing for 15 or 20 minutes, while she was at the house” what Orth should have written is: “A babysitter, who wrote in her own book that ‘everything seemed normal’ that day, later told police and gave sworn testimony after two weeks of coaching by Farrow’s attorneys, that, on the day of the alleged assault while she was at the house, Allen and Dylan went missing for 15 or 20 minutes. She recounted this fact only after Farrow asked her to retrace her steps and pressured those working for her to be on ‘her side’.”
“Another babysitter told police and also swore in court that on that same day, she saw Allen with his head on Dylan’s lap facing her body, while Dylan sat on a couch “staring vacantly in the direction of a television set.”
The sitter, Alison Stickland, is the only one who claims to have seen this, which, if true, is proof of noting and only suspicious if you irrationally assume up front that the person kneeling is a dangerous pedophile.
Moses Farrow completely destroys the facially ridiculous notion that Allen would choose to molest Dylan in full view of everyone in house full of witnesses, as Orth implies here.
He writes: “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.”
Still not convinced of how ridiculous Orth’s argument is on its face? OK — Let’s say for the moment that we weren’t talking about Allen, but that a report had come out that Tom Hanks or Michael Landon had once knelt down to talk to his 7-year-old daughter with his head near or on her lap, facing her, while she “vacantly stared” at the nearby television set that was playing?
Would you consider this act to be so suspicious that you would thus assume that Hanks or Landon were likely pedophiles? Or would you assume that it was a concerned father who was trying to get the attention of his daughter who was too caught up in her television show?
There is nothing suspicious about a concerned parent kneeling down to talk to his child while she is sitting in order to get her attention — especially doing so when that person knows that the house is full of people who have been warned to keep on eye on him as punishment for dumping the owner of the house.
And furthermore, everyone is agreed that Dylan was clothed at the time — wearing a dress.
You cannot divorce Stickland’s account or any of the babysitters’ testimonies from the all other evidence and the larger context that they appear in.
It is also important to note that Stickland wasn’t concerned enough to tell Farrow, Pascal or anyone else about what she witnessed when Farrow had returned from her shopping trip that day. Stickland only told Pascal about it late that evening, and Pascal in turn only informed Farrow about the following day (August 5th, 1992), rather than immediately rushing to express her concern to Farrow.
By that time, Farrow, who had already branded Allen a child molester in her note to him weeks before and had previously asked the staff to watch over him like a hawk, was already asking the others to retrace their steps to see if there was any block of time when Allen was out of their sight. This was during the time when she was asking others if they would be “on her side”.
In other words, this information first came to Farrow from one of her best and most loyal friends whom she has known since childhood when she was actively and consciously trying to compile a list of any kind of behaviors that would paint Allen in the worst possible light — continuing to allow him in to her home after labeling him as a molester so that some form of remotely plausible scenario could be constructed without an alibi.
This obvious scenario was explicitly confirmed by nanny Monica Thompson, who said, “Ms. Farrow set the stage to report the incident involving Dylan. For several weeks, Ms. Farrow insisted that Mr. Allen not be left alone with Dylan and wanted me to be with them at all times.”
Question: If Farrow had never warned the staff to keep on eye on Allen, if she hadn’t already previously branded him a child molester weeks before the allegations, if she hadn’t pressured the staff to be “on her side” and try and recount the events of August 4th after the fact when she had conveniently been out shopping, if she hadn’t previously been in a such a state of suicidal rage over the Soon-Yi incident that she wrote out a suicide note to Allen before contemplating jumping off his balcony but had instead been singing Allen’s praises as a father and romantic partner, if she hadn’t previously threatened Allen by stating in anger that “you took my daughter, and I’m gonna take yours”, if she hadn’t already told a therapist that Allen was “satanic and evil” while imploring her to “find a way to stop him” before later telling others “everything is OK now — everything is set” in a “happy and excited” manner after getting a doctor to call police authorities, would any of Allen’s actions that day been considered even remotely suspicious enough for anyone to have mentioned anything about them to Farrow?
The answer is intuitively obvious.
“A French tutor for the family told police and testified that that day she found Dylan was not wearing underpants under her sundress.”
Even if we were to assume that what Sophie Berge (the French tutor) said was true and not just concocted to help Farrow after she asked her help to “be on her side” and recount anything that might have been suspicious after the fact, there is still far less here than meets the eye.
Again, in a house with a “foster home” environment full of so many young children that multiple nannies and babysitters are required to try care for them all, it is hardly unusual to find one or more such children to have forgotten to put on their underwear.
What none of the testimony establishes is if Dylan had previously had underwear on that day and if Allen had been the one to take it off. It was never established or reported if Dylan’s underwear status was observed before or after the so-called “missing 20 minutes” when Groteke and the rest of the adults in the house at the time reportedly lost track of Allen when he said he went to the bathroom.
Did Berge’s alleged observation come before these 20 minutes? If so, how could Allen have been responsible for removing Dylan’s underwear if he had been under constant observation during that time?
Again, even if the observation happened after the 20 minute window when the staff couldn’t account for Allen’s whereabouts, the notion of Dylan not having underwear on that day only becomes remotely suspicious if you assume guilt upfront. It does nothing to establish or advance the case for guilt.
Nearly every parent can remember a time in their children’s’ lives when they were seen without underwear. Just as every parent has witnessed their children regularly zoning out to a program on television or some other electronic gadget.
If this is evidence of guilt, then millions of parents need to locked up on suspicion of being child molesters.
The relevance of Berge’s testimony becomes even more curious and suspect when you consider what Kristi Groteke wrote about it. She herself voices doubts about its significance on pg. 129 of “Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”. Groteke writes:
[M]aybe the answer to this is less sinister than it seems. Maybe Dylan’s panties had been wet or soiled from playing at the beach, and she had just chucked them under a bed or into the laundry. Or maybe when she changed clothes in the middle of the day, she simply forgot her drawers and didn’t notice that she was putting on a dress rather than sweatpants, which she often wore without undies. Still, Dylan’s missing underwear and her distracted willingness to run around half naked seemed, at best, odd. It was the first thing that Mia noticed when she returned home from shopping.
Groteke herself gives voice to the reasonable observations that nearly all parents have experienced with their children at one time or another. When young children are given the opportunity to dress themselves, they will sometimes forget to put on underwear or choose to go without it. They will also sometimes get part of their clothes dirty and choose to discard them on their own during the day. This is especially true when a household is big enough that its difficult for parents to keep track of all the children.
It also seems clear that Dylan wasn’t an especially modest child for someone her age at the time — having appeared in various stages of undress when being filmed by Farrow while making the infamous tape of her accusations.
But there are two especially notable observations that Groteke made here in her passage above:
- Groteke admits that Dylan often went without undies when dressing herself with certain garments like sweatpants.
- Groteke claims that Dylan not having any underwear on was “the first thing Mia noticed when she returned home from shopping”.
This latter point is an especially curious claim. Was it Berge who had called attention to the fact that Dylan didn’t have any underwear on? Or was it Mia herself who first noticed it? Groteke seems to claim it was the latter here.
If true, it is significant that Farrow herself was the first one to “discover” the fact that Dylan had no undies on. It is even more significant that this would be the first thing that she happened to notice when returning to a crowded, bustling house full of people, all of whom somehow failed to notice this fact.
Groteke described Dylan as wearing a “billowy white sundress” that day when it was noticed that she had no underwear on underneath it. (“Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 129.) But since the dress clearly would have been more than long enough to fully cover her groin region, how could it have been possible for Dylan’s lack of underwear to be the “first thing” that Farrow noticed upon her return from her shopping trip? Did she somehow look up Dylan’s dress the immediate moment that she returned home? If so, what prompted her to do something like that?
The only way it makes sense for Dylan’s lack of underwear underneath her dress to be the “first thing” that Farrow would notice is if Farrow already knew of, or concocted the situation of Dylan having no underwear to begin with, thus conveniently allowing her to make the subsequent “discovery” upon her return home and add to a growing narrative consciously designed to set up Allen ahead of time — weeks before the allegations actually occurred while Farrow and Allen had experienced a bitter split and reached an impasse over a private custody agreement.
Groteke’s account is admittedly at odds with the findings in Judge Wilk’s decision that gave full custody of Dylan to Farrow. That source claims it was actually Berge who first noticed Dylan’s underwear situation. Wilk states on pg. 11 of his ruling, “After Ms. Farrow returned home, Ms. Berge noticed that Dylan was not wearing anything under her sundress. She told Ms. Farrow, who asked Ms. Groteke to put underpants on Dylan.”
This would at least indicate that Berge first noticed the missing undies after the so-called “missing 20 minutes”, but it is still unclear how she came to notice this, given the fact that Dylan had still been wearing her dress the whole time. Had Berge managed to check to see if Dylan had been wearing her undies earlier that day when she first had the dress on? Did she somehow regularly look up Dylan’s dress to see what her underwear status was?
It seems clear that Farrow’s casual instruction to Groteke to put some underpants in her child suggests that this was not such a remarkable event in the household that it caused anyone concern at the time.
Mia’s friend Casey Pascal testified that “On the path to the house I heard Mia say, `Dylan, where are your underpants?’ and Dylan saying, `They’re wet.’ Then I heard Mia calling, `Someone get Dylan underwear.’ ” (See Newsday, April 7, 1993, pg. 3.)
This is hardly remarkable for a house full of young children.
Again, Monica Thompson said in her deposition that Groteke had told her that she (Groteke) “did not have Dylan out of her sight for longer than five minutes” and that Groteke “did not remember Dylan being without her underwear.”
In her book, Groteke does not refute anything Thompson says in her deposition and even admits that she told Thompson that “Mia must have been stretching the truth” and that she “didn’t remember leaving Dylan alone with Woody” at all. (“Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 126.) Though as Farrow’s friend who didn’t want to “let Mia down” (pg. 22), she tries to alleviate this truth by claiming that she was merely “playing dumb” by agreeing with Thompson and that what she told Thompson “would one day come back to haunt me.” (pg. 126.)
She further quotes Thompson (whom Groteke describes as “a large black woman of about forty” from Jamaica) as saying to her , “I don’t think anything happened. I think Mia is exaggerating. She’s trying to make you feel bad for not staying with Dylan the entire day.” (pg. 126.)
Again, you cannot divorce any specific claim, piece of evidence or testimony from the larger pool of evidence as a whole. In fact, as any investigator will tell you, it is only by evaluating evidence within the context of the case as a whole that the actual significance of evidence can be properly evaluated. An action may seem suspicious in one context, but that same exact action might seem totally innocent in another context. If you improperly assume guilt up front, you can make any number of innocent actions seem nefarious.
That is why people who assume his guilt up front even go so far as to twist Allen’s attempt to platonically encourage a young, bright, female mind as supposed “proof” that he is pedophile who regularly grooms young victims, while refusing to apply the same standards or conclusions to others who have engaged in the same behavior.
That is why people who assume guilt up front insist on interpreting Allen’s relationship with women who were right on the margins of legal, consenting adulthood in New York when he was in his early 40s as “proof” of that he is a pedophile who regularly grooms his victims, despite these women’s own continued insistence that their relationship was proof of nothing of the sort, and despite their steadfast defense of Allen’s character.
That is why segments of society can disingenuously cite Allen’s Manhattan and his creative musings on his Id as somehow “proof” of his guilt while still praising Nabakov for his work that similarly held a mirror up to his own Id in an even more overt and shocking manner. At least some can still recognize the hypocrisy at work here.
The undeniable larger context here is this: In the weeks leading up to August 4th, 1992, Mia Farrow left a string of undeniable clues suggesting that she was of a mindset to set Allen up on a claim of child molestation in retaliation for his affair with Soon-Yi (including explicitly calling him a molester weeks before August 4th of that year), and then put her scheme into effect just a few short weeks after she determined that he had not broken off the affair, simultaneously causing negotiations over their custody arrangements to break down irretrievably.
It is the same larger context that caused Dr. Susan Coates, a psychologist who evaluated both Dylan and Ronan, to conclude that Allen hadn’t molested Dylan, despite what the babysitters said they observed.
It is the same context that caused yet another psychologist, Dr. Nancy Schultz, who also treated Dylan, to separately conclude that Allen hadn’t molested her, despite what the babysitters said they observed.
It is the same context that caused still another separate set of medical and sexual abuse professionals, the Yale-New Haven Hospital Child Sexual Abuse Clinic, to also conclude that Allen hadn’t molester her.
It is the same context that caused the New York State Department of Social Services to also separately conclude that Allen hadn’t molested her.
It is the same context that caused Moses Farrow, at the house that day on August 4th, to originally express doubts about the molestation claim almost immediately after they were suggested, before later being pressured by his mother to denounce Allen in a letter, and then still later renouncing his letter and stating that Farrow had consciously tried to poison the entire household against Allen by drumming it into them that he was a monster.
It is the same context that caused Farrow to pressure her staff to be “on her side” and coax them into saying things that they had no knowledge of.
It is the same context that saw Farrow happily and excitedly proclaim, “Everything is OK now. Everything is set.” after getting Dylan to tell a doctor about being abused on the second attempt after their first doctor visit.
It is the same context that saw Farrow also accuse Allen of “fondling” Satchel/Ronan the same day that he allegedly molested Dylan, before later quietly dropping that claim. (See Newsday, Aug. 21, 1992, pg. 2.)
It is the same context that saw Farrow’s team try to pressure one of Allen’s ex-girlfriends into committing perjury against him by falsely suggesting that he dated her when she was underage.
It is the same context that saw Allen volunteer for and pass a lie detector test, while Farrow has declined to take one.
It is the same context that had Mia Farrow still wanting to work with Woody Allen on the latest film he had been making immediately after accusing him of abusing their daughter. (A fact confirmed not only by “Manhattan Murder Mystery’s” producer Robert Greenhut (See Newsday, Aug. 22, 1992, pg. 3) but also by Kristi Groteke in pg. 225 of “Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”: “She had just accused her lover in public of molesting their daughter, and she expected that he would overlook this while they made a movie together. Get real, Mia.”)
It is the same context that saw Farrow discussing with Allen behind closed doors an offer to “drop the child abuse charge in return for Allen’s withdrawing the custody petition”.
It is the same context that saw Farrow’s legal team also propose dropping the charges against Allen in return for a multi-million-dollar settlement agreement.
It is the same context that saw the State of New York approving Allen’s decision to adopt two additional daughters without concern after the allegations of abuse were lodged against him.
It is the same context of astounding coincidences that had Dory Previn writing a song back in 1970 that described a clarinet-playing father molesting his daughter in the attic, shortly after Farrow had an affair with her husband which broker up their marriage and caused Previn to undergo electroshock therapy.
It is the same context of astounding coincidences that saw Farrow’s own brother actually plead guilty for the same offenses that Farrow accused Allen of, and the incredible irony of that same brother publicly predicting that Allen would be jailed for his affair with Soon-Yi Previn.
It is the same context of astounding improbabilities wherein, over the course of his 80+ years on this earth, there has never even been so much as a rumor of Allen committing any other act of sexual abuse against anyone, either before or after the solitary accusation by Dylan regarding a single incident on a single day within a less-than-20-minute window in a house full of people that he knew were told to keep an eye on him, that just happened to take place after Farrow learned of the Soon-Yi affair.
It is the same context that has seen Dylan Farrow repeatedly decline invitations to bring so much as a civil suit against Allen for his alleged actions, despite the relatively low threshold of proof required against him and despite the fact that the statute of limitations for such a lawsuit won’t expire until her 48th birthday in 2033.
(I could go on and on here, just with verified sources…but this essay is already plenty long enough. And I haven’t even bothered to scratch the surface of the several unverified sources on the Internet that purport to have first-hand knowledge and aim to cast further doubt on the situation.)
Against this context, after weeks of Farrow trying to put them on active alert about Allen, one babysitter remembers after the fact that Dylan was missing her underwear during the day, another babysitter recalls Allen kneeling down to look at Dylan with his face in her lap while she had her dress on, and another said that, when she was asked to think about it after the fact, there was a segment of at most 20 minutes when she couldn’t remember Allen’s and Dylan’s specific whereabouts — an account that was even disputed and contradicted by the very witness herself when she spoke to a fellow babysitter the next day (not to mention Moses Farrow, who insists that he was also there and that it didn’t happen).
That’s the extent of the damning eyewitness evidence that Orth cites in her “undeniable facts” about the Woody Allen case.
The statements of the babysitters and nannies are so thin, inconsequential and ultimately irrelevant in this larger context towards proving Allen’s guilt, that even Mia Farrow’s own attorney, Eleanor Alter, could not bring herself to conclude that Allen had somehow molested Dylan.
Think about that for a moment. Farrow’s own attorney who successfully represented her in the custody battle with Allen, the very one who advised Farrow to take Dylan to a pediatrician to begin with to investigate the claim of abuse, who had access to all the evidence and witnesses against Allen, and who was paid to be a zealous advocate on Farrow’s behalf, still harbors more doubts about the molestation allegations against Allen than Maureen Orth herself.
Likewise, even Dr. Stephen Herman, the clinical psychiatrist who has extensive familiarity with child abuse cases and who served as Farrow’s own witness in her custody trial admitted that the “supporting data” regarding the question of abuse was “inconclusive”.
This is all incredibly thin gruel in trying to suggest that someone is guilty of a heinous crime as Orth does here. It really is quite shameful.
CLAIM # 7
7. The Yale-New Haven Hospital Child Sex Abuse Clinic’s finding that Dylan had not been sexually molested, cited repeatedly by Allen’s attorneys, was not accepted as reliable by Judge Wilk, or by the Connecticut state prosecutor who originally commissioned them. The state prosecutor, Frank Maco, engaged the Yale-New Haven team to determine whether Dylan would be able to perceive facts correctly and be able to repeat her story on the witness stand. The panel consisted of two social workers and a pediatrician, Dr. John Leventhal, who signed off on the report but who never saw Dylan or Mia Farrow. No psychologists or psychiatrists were on the panel. The social workers never testified; the hospital team only presented a sworn deposition by Dr. Leventhal, who did not examine Dylan.
All the notes from the report were destroyed. Her confidentiality was then violated, and Allen held a news conference on the steps of Yale University to announce the results of the case. The report concluded Dylan had trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. (For example, she had told them there were “dead heads” in the attic and called sunset “the magic hour.” In fact, Mia kept wigs from her movies on styrofoam blocks in a trunk in the attic.) The doctor subsequently backed down from his contention.
The Connecticut state police, the state attorney, and Judge Wilk all had serious reservations about the report’s reliability.
The investigation by the Yale-New Haven Hospital Child Abuse Clinic was commissioned by Connecticut police on behalf of prosecutor Maco himself, as Orth admits. Not by anyone on Allen’s defense team mind you, but rather by a team of state investigators seeking evidence against Allen that a crime had taken place.
“The panel consisted of two social workers and a pediatrician, Dr. John Leventhal, who signed off on the report but who never saw Dylan or Mia Farrow.”
As indicated in the Claim # 4 section above, the social workers were Dr. Julia Hamilton who held a Ph.D. and Jennifer Sawyer who held a Masters degree. They both interviewed Dylan nine times during the course of the investigation. Their expertise made them more than qualified to conduct such interviews.
Orth’s deliberately vague and clumsy writing is calculated to give the reader the impression that none of them saw Dylan, when in fact it is only alleged that Dr. Leventhal, as a member of a larger team, did not interview Dylan.
I say “alleged” since there are actually two credible press reports that state that Leventhal himself did in fact meet with Dylan.
The LA Times reported on March 13, 1993 that “Leventhal had met with Allen, Farrow and Dylan since Thanksgiving.”
Meanwhile the NY Times also reported on May 4th, 1993: “Dr. John M. Leventhal, who interviewed Dylan nine times, said that one reason he doubted her story was that she changed important points from one interview to another…”
However, the summary of the report itself doesn’t indicate that Leventhal met with Dylan personally, so its likely that the reporters either got it wrong or, in a fit of laziness, simply conflated Leventhal’s authority as head of the panel with the panel members themselves. (Laziness and mistakes by the press has been a consistent hallmark in the Woody Allen saga since the beginning.)
It also possible that Leventhal personally saw and spoke to Dylan during the investigation process, but was not present during the more formal interviews by the social worker experts on his team. In either case, whatever the reality is, it should at least be noted that the press at the time did in fact report that Leventhal met with Dylan.
Assuming that Dr. Leventhal didn’t personally meet with Dylan, but only oversaw the Ph.D. and Masters-holding social workers who did, the crux of Orth’s complaint here is that because only the female social workers interviewed a young girl about a sensitive claim of sexual abuse while the male medical doctor neglected to do so, the panel’s entire finding should not be trusted since the females on the panel weren’t qualified or experienced enough to come to a proper conclusion — only the male medical doctor was.
This of course is nonsense. There were far more than three people who worked at the sex abuse clinic (as there still are — 13 in fact, as of this writing), and it is utter folly to suggest that each and every one of them must meet with each and every witness in each and every case to draw reasonable conclusions. It is always standard procedure to delegate certain duties of a panel to certain people.
It wasn’t necessary for the medical doctor on the panel to meet with Dylan for a very simple reason: Mia Farrow had already taken Dylan to a medical doctor on two separate occasions by the time the Yale-New Haven clinic had begun its investigation.
In case you need reminding, Farrow first took Dylan to a medical doctor on August 5, 1992, the day that Farrow first tried to get Dylan to state abuse claims on videotape. The doctor found no evidence of abuse and Farrow was forced to bring Dylan back home, claiming that she had “been afraid to talk to the doctor”.
Of the first doctor visit, Farrow said: “I think she said he touched her, but when asked where, she just looked around and [patted her shoulder]”.
Four days later, when Farrow had finally completed the many attempts to get Dyaln’s confession on video with at least 11 starts and stops, Farrow again took Dylan to a medical doctor where she got Dylan to state her claim, thus compelling the second doctor to report the allegation to authorities as required by law (regardless of any personal doubts he may have harbored himself). But even then, the second doctor visit confirmed what the first visit had concluded — that there was absolutely no physical evidence of abuse (a fact that Mia herself was forced to admit on the stand).
With that history of medical evaluation already completed, why on earth would it be necessary for a third doctor’s examination of Dylan a full six weeks after the second visit already reconfirmed that no physical evidence of abuse existed?
Dr. Leventhal unquestionably met with Mia Farrow and reviewed the tape she had made of Dylan in Farrow’s own presence, along with that of Dr. Hamilton and Sawyer. The fact that he may not have met personally with Dylan while the rest of his staff did is completely and absolutely irrelevant to the credibility of the clinic’s investigation and conclusions.
“No psychologists or psychiatrists were on the panel.”
Orth’s next complaint here in trying to cast doubt on the credibility of the Yale-New Haven hospital’s conclusions is equally fatuous.
Two psychotherapists who treated both Dylan and Ronan were interviewed for the report as objective experts and witnesses. There was no need for them to be “on the panel” when they were interviewed by the panel.
(From the panel’s summary: “[B]ecause the family context and Dylan’s past psychiatric history are important in understanding the meaning of her statements, we met with…two psychotherapists who had evaluated and treated Dylan and Satchel.”)
One of the clinical psychologists treating Dylan was Dr. Nancy Schultz, who testified directly to the court that both Allen and Farrow had requested that she treat Dylan because of their concerns over her difficulties in communicating and the fact that she “lived in her own fantasy world.”
Is Orth seriously trying to suggest that because the Yale-New Haven team didn’t put Dr. Schultz on their own payroll, that their conclusions (shaped in part by their very interviews with Schultz) can’t be trusted?
By the time the Allen/Farrow custody trial started, the Yale-New Haven panel of experts had already handled over 1,700 cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse and was routinely selected by police to help in their investigations (which they still do to this day).
There is nothing to suggest that psychologists or psychiatrists have ever been part of the panel. Does that make their conclusions in all 1,700 cases invalid?
When you look at the current composition of the Yale-New Haven Child Sex Abuse Clinic, there is no indication that any psychologists or psychiatrists comprise part of the clinic. Most consist of clinical social workers and medical examiners. Do you then presume to argue that all of their work is somehow invalid? That we cannot trust any of the conclusions of the many thousands of cases they worked on because they only employ medical doctors and social workers with advanced degrees, rather than psychologists or other psychiatric workers?
Dr. Hamilton had over 22-years of experience just working for the Yale-New Haven team alone when she was called to work on Dylan’s case. She was named Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers for her professionalism.
This is the woman that Orth slanders here by suggesting that she was unqualified, too inexperienced and too incompetent to investigate Dylan’s case.
Those who purport to have the best interests of children at heart ought to be very careful here.
It is safe to assume that this clinic has been responsible for putting away just as many violent sexual predators as it has clearing the wrongly accused. (See for instance, the case of William M. Spigarolo, who was convicted based in part by the testimony of a member from the Yale-New Haven team who “merely” held master’s degree in social work and had only been working at the hospital for one-and-a-half years.)
If you are suggesting that their conclusions cannot be trusted based on the fact that they do not employ psychiatrists or psychologists on their panels, then you are suggesting that the justice system needs to revisit any and all convictions of sex offenders who were found guilty based in part on this group’s work and set them free based on flawed evidence because they only interview psychiatric workers, rather than employ them directly. Be careful what you wish for.
It is the job of the of the Yale-New Haven Child Sex Abuse Clinic to interview psychiatric experts and reach conclusions based in part on those interviews. It is not their job to employ them. Attempting to disparage the work they have done in helping to keep thousands of children safe by suggesting that they have no qualifications to do so is nothing less than a gross insult.
“The social workers never testified; the hospital team only presented a sworn deposition by Dr. Leventhal, who did not examine Dylan.”
Given that the report reflected the consensus of all the people who worked on the sex abuse clinic panel, it was not necessary for each and every one of them to testify separately.
In non-criminal civil trials, it quite common for witnesses to give testimony by sworn deposition rather than by personal appearance.
If anyone on Farrow’s legal team had seriously doubted the veracity or credibility of any of these people, they could have attempted to personally subpoena them and compel their in-person testimony. They obviously chose not to do so.
The fact that Dr. Leventhal did not personally examine Dylan in addition to the experienced Ph.D. and M.S.W. staff who repeatedly did has already been addressed above (as well as the contradictory press accounts suggesting that he may have in fact spoken to her directly).
“All the notes from the report were destroyed.”
It is common practice to destroy notes and expunge case files in instances where allegations of abuse are unfounded, as was the case with the allegations against Allen.
In fact, before 1996, many states required the expungement and destruction of the case file immediately after such a finding in order to protect privacy and due process rights of those falsely accused. (After 1996, there was a movement in many states to reform their laws by physically expunging such records only after a set number of years, but still keep them publicly sealed until that time.)
See for instance, pgs. 10–11 of Hawaii’s 1992 manual on Child Abuse and Neglect, which is in keeping with their current law under Hawaiian Code Section 350–2 governing the reporting of child abuse.
See also, Ch. 13, Sec. B, pg. B-1 of the current New York State Child Protective Services Manual which confirms the policies in place in the early 90s that were in fact grandfathered in to the current law in that state (as reflected in 18 CRR-NY 432.9(b)). (See also, pg. 11 of Admissibility of Indicated, Unfounded and Expunged Reports of Child Abuse or Neglect and Their Use by Attorney for the Childs in Custody Litigation by Charity Phipps, David French (Fall 2005), Updated by Gabriella MacDonald (2014.)
In contrast, with cases where the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare found reports of abuse to be credible, courts routinely upheld such findings even though the note-taking and evidence procedures used in the case were no more stringent than the procedures used by the Yale-New Haven hospital in Connecticut when investigating Dylan’s case.
(Note in this case that the Pennsylvania Court had no problem accepting the findings of the “hearing officer’s adjudication” of the case “conveyed by the caseworker’s hearsay testimony” — just like Dr. Leventhal conveyed his findings of the Allen case based on the hearsay testimony of his own case workers — Ms. Sawyer and Dr. Hamilton.)
Though it is yet unclear what the specific laws or procedures were in the state of Connecticut in 1992–93, it is certainly reasonable to speculate that they took their cues from surrounding states and fellow states such as New York, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, etc. (Current Connecticut law calls for expungement of all records in unsubstantiated cases after 5 five years, or after the completion of the investigation, whichever is later.)
The bottom line is that, based on past history and procedures in several states, the destruction of notes from the Dylan investigation should not be considered unusual or nefarious in any way, given the fact that the investigators determined that the claims were unfounded.)
As Judge Wilk himself conceded in pg. 23 of his decision, the notes were presumably “an amalgamation of [the] independent impressions and observations” of the panel members.
Those impressions and observations were fully synthesized in the report itself, and nobody has suggested that the report in any way contradicted the findings of its individual members or contained dissenting views within the panel itself.
If anyone on Farrow’s team had serious concerns or suspicions that the impressions of individual panel members would contradict the findings of the report itself, they were free to personally subpoena such individuals and compel them to testify. They chose not to.
Here is a vital question to ask yourself:
Let’s try a thought experiment.
Imagine for a moment that the Yale-New Haven Child Sexual Abuse Clinic had unambiguously concluded that Dylan had in fact been sexually abused by Allen, and that Allen’s defense team had used all of these same exact points to try and argue that the clinic’s conclusions were flawed and could not be trusted.
Would you think that would be a valid and strong defense, and thus conclude that it was still doubtful that Allen molested her? That because the individual members had destroyed their notes, and hadn’t employed psychiatric workers on their payroll, and didn’t have the lead medical doctor interview Dylan directly in addition to the expert social workers who did, that the clinic’s study and conclusions could not and should not be trusted even under a “preponderance of the evidence standard” (rather than the more strict “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard)?
Or would you instead conclude that such points were nothing more than a desperate attempt by defense attorneys to grasp at straws and deflect from a damning piece of evidence against their client?
Search your own conscience here. If you agree that such objections wouldn’t be enough to convince you to toss out the investigation’s conclusions if it had determined that Allen was guilty of a crime, then why would you think it would be enough to doubt its finding when it reached the opposite conclusion?
It’s only if you assume guilt upfront and want to prejudge Allen to find him guilty that you could possibly tolerate the hypocrisy at play here.
Many unquestionably do just that over their anger for his falling in love with Soon-Yi. That doesn’t change the hypocrisy or the flaws in Orth’s reasoning here.
“[Dylan’s] confidentiality was then violated, and Allen held a news conference on the steps of Yale University to announce the results of the case.”
Even by the standards set by Orth’s usual disingenuousness, the utter gall she has here in suggesting that it was Allen who violated Dylan’s privacy concerns in this case is nothing short of jaw-dropping in its absurdity and hypocrisy.
It was Mia Farrow who, months before Allen’s press conference, taped Dylan in the nude, had her point to her crotch, and then leaked the tape to a television station in the hopes that they would air it.
It was Mia Farrow who, the very next day after she leaked the tape of Dylan to the television station, commanded her other daughter, Lark, to go to famed NY Post gossip columnist Joanna Molloy and offer up an exclusive interview of Lark in exchange for information on Soon-Yi. (The same Lark who witnesses described as being a “pack mule” and “scullery maid” for Farrow before turning to drugs and dying of AIDS-related complications on Christmas 2008.)
It was Mia Farrow’s legal team who, on the very first day of the custody battle with Allen, chose as one of their very first orders of business to bring the nude photos of Soon-Yi to a press-packed courthouse and insist that the judge inspect them.
It was Mia Farrow who publicly questioned the paternity of her own son in the press, sowing public speculation as to who his real father might be.
It was Mia Farrow who allowed British tabloids in to her home to photograph her children after her court battle.
And furthermore, it was Woody Allen who declined to speak to Orth for her fawning profile of Farrow, citing an agreement between the parties not to speak to the media at the time. It was Orth’s very article that destroyed the truce that Allen and Farrow had made in agreeing to avoid media publicity — forcing Allen’s spokespeople to respond to her one-sided account. (See Newsday, Oct. 7, 1992, pg. 5 & Oct. 8, 1992, pg. 11.)
To suggest after these events that it was Allen who somehow violated Dylan’s privacy merely for announcing the ultimate conclusions of a report that was introduced as evidence in open court during a public case he was embroiled in is beyond fatuous.
“The report concluded Dylan had trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. (For example, she had told them there were “dead heads” in the attic and called sunset “the magic hour.” In fact, Mia kept wigs from her movies on styrofoam blocks in a trunk in the attic.) The doctor subsequently backed down from his contention.”
Though the report does indeed conclude that Dylan’s statements were “quite elaborate and fantasy-like at times”, none of these specific examples or phrases are cited in the summary of the clinic’s report that is publicly available. So how can Orth claim that these are “undeniable facts”? Does she have access to the full, sealed report that is unavailable to the public? Was she told this directly by Frank Maco or his investigative team who refused to prosecute Allen? Was she told this by another reporter who in turn heard it from unnamed sources? Was she reading it from the court transcripts? If so, will she be willing to post them online?
Unless Orth is willing to cite her specific sources (which she never does within the body of her tract), none of her claims can be considered “undeniable”.
But let’s assume that Dylan’s statements regarding “dead heads” were in fact uttered by her and that Dr. Leventhal casually cited this as an anecdotal example of Dylan’s whimsical thinking. The fact that Leventhal later conceded a plausible explanation as to why Dylan might use the phrase “dead heads” to describe wig holders is hardly reason to doubt the Yale-New Haven panel’s conclusions. Does Orth suggest that Dylan’s use of the “dead heads” phrase was the primary reason they concluded that she was prone to flights of fancy?
Even Dylan’s own nanny described her as a “very melodramatic child”.
Here are true undeniable facts that are both properly sourced and have not been refuted:
The panel, comprised of experienced experts in a clinic that handled over 1,700 cases and child interviews to compare with by the time it interviewed Dyaln, stated as follows:
“Dylan presented as an intelligent, verbal 7-year-old whose story telling was quite elaborate and fantasy-like at times and who manifested loose associations in her thinking. She appeared confused about what to relate to the interviewers and was very controlling of what she would say. In her statements and her play she elaborated interrelated themes. She was upset by the loss of her father and Soon-Yi and worried that her father might taker her from her mother’s care. She felt protective and worried for her mother. Dylan was very much attuned to her mother’s pain, and her mother reinforced Dylan’s losses and her negative view of her father.”
Dr. Leventhal said it was “very striking” that each time Dylan spoke of the abuse, she coupled it with “one, her father’s relationship with Soon-Yi, and two, the fact that it was her poor mother, her poor mother,” who had lost a career in Mr. Allen’s films.
He also said that Dylan was “extraordinarily protective of her mother and did not want to see her mother hurt.”
Contrary to Orth’s subterfuge via her purposely-selective memory, Dr. Levenathal did not and has not backed down from any of these contentions, and Orth offers no proof that he ever has. Would Orth even deny the notion that Dylan was protective of her mother and did not want to see her hurt?
It also remains an undeniable fact that Dr. Leventhal was given the Champions of Children Award by the Center for Children’s Advocacy and the Ray E. Helfer Society Award for distinguished achievement in the field of Child Abuse and Neglect.
If that weren’t impressive enough, Dr. Leventhal was given a Departmental Award of Special Achievement in 2006.
Do you know who gave him that award? The New Haven Police Department, which has always sought out his expert opinion and continues to rely on, and praise, his expertise in helping them solve child abuse cases. (Scroll down Dr. Leventhal’s bio and click on the “Honors and Recognitions” tab if you doubt the veracity of these claims.)
It is also an undeniable fact that the experts at the Yale-New Haven Child Sex Abuse Clinic also stated the following in their report about Mia Farrow:
“Ms. Farrow has had a very disturbed relationship with Dylan and Satchel. It is absolutely critical for the children’s emotional health that she be in intensive psychotherapy to address these relationships. Without this intensive work, it will be extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, for the children to regain their emotional well-being or for them to re-establish healthy relationships with their father.”
(Newsday, March 19, 1993, pg. 5.)
This was a widely reported fact at the time — a critical point that Orth is counting on people to simply forget.
The fact that Dylan may have once referred to styrofoam heads in the attic as “dead heads” or referred to the sunset as “magic hour” as many show-business people regularly do (including Mia Farrow) is certainly not the reason why the experts at the Yale-New Haven Child Sex Abuse Clinic came to their conclusions after interviewing her at length at least nine separate times in addition to viewing the videotape that Mia Farrow felt compelled to make (with its several starts-and-stops over the course of a number of days) before taking Dylan to a doctor or authorities.
Again, Orth is being completely disingenuous here by citing facts out of context and mixing them with mere allegations that are most certainly deniable.
CLAIM # 8
8. Allen changed his story about the attic where the abuse allegedly took place. First, Allen told investigators he had never been in the attic where the alleged abuse took place. After his hair was found on a painting in the attic, he admitted that he might have stuck his head in once or twice. A top investigator concluded that his account was not credible.
First, let’s examine the doubt that this claim is even true. Then, I will explain that even it were completely verified as being true, that it still isn’t evidence of anything.
To begin with, this claim is clearly not an “undeniable fact”. Do you know why? Because no such evidence was ever presented at a trial.
What we have here instead is complete hearsay from anonymous sources claiming that such evidence and interview transcripts exist. But there is no proof that any such evidence actually exists. That is why we have trials with rules regarding the admission of evidence to help ensure its authenticity.
Why doesn’t Orth cite what her source is for these claims? What is the person’s name? Do they have access to the evidence vault where the hair and lab report is locked up in a file box? Has she read the actual transcript of Allen’s interview with police? Does it even still exist (and if not, shouldn’t we then doubt its veracity just as Orth tried to dismiss the conclusive findings of the Yale-New Haven hospital just because individuals on the panel may have destroyed their personal notes — likely in accordance with state procedures)? Is her source Frank Maco, prosecutor who was already admonished for trying to tarnish Allen’s reputation in the press without choosing to file charges against him?
Even if a hair was found “on a painting in the attic” of a house that Allen regularly visited (hardly a surprising or incriminating fact in itself), how did investigator’s know that this specific hair belonged to Allen?
Orth herself reports that Allen “refused to submit hair and fingerprint samples to the Connecticut state police or to cooperate unless he was assured that nothing he said would be used against him.”
But we know that Allen did in fact willingly submit his hair and fingerprints to police.
On or about Sept. 24, 1993, Allen gave a press conference in response to the news that Prosecutor Maco had dismissed the charges against him. During that press conference, Allen stated: “You would have thought it was a scene from a movie of mine if you could have seen me cooperating with the Connecticut police. Numerous detectives from the major crime division hovered over me while hairs were pulled from my head, placed in glass envelopes, and then fingerprints taken.” (See transcript of Allen’s press conference as reproduced in the Appendix of “Mia & Woody: Love and Betrayal”, pg. 261.)
Since police managed to get a verified sample of Allen’s hair through his willing cooperation, did they then test the “hair on a painting” at a lab? Which lab? What was the result? Who conducted the tests? Was it a positive DNA match? Or did it merely not rule out the possibility that it might have been Allen’s?
(Surely Orth would not be so careless with her biases here as to conflate a positive DNA match of hair fibers with hair that is merely “consistent with” Allen’s — the latter of which not only fails to prove the identity of the source of the hair, but has been found to be so unreliable as evidence that courts have deemed it inadmissible and have refused to allow it as such. See Section III of the Williamson v. Reyonlds decision for a legal primmer on this issue.)
Orth offers no answers at all to any of these obvious questions and offers no sources whatsoever for the claims she makes in her article. Yet she still boldly and dishonestly claims them to be “undeniable facts” based on nothing more than her mere proclamations.
But for the sake of argument, let’s cut Orth a break here on her non-existent evidentiary standards for declaring something to be an “undeniable fact”. Let’s just assume for the moment that her claims in this regard are all true and that police used proper lab procedures to positively match a hair found on a painting in Farrow’s attic to that of the hair belonging Allen.
Given the fact that he was in a regular visitor to Farrow’s house in Connecticut and routinely interacted with Farrow herself, this is proof of absolutely nothing. According to Orth’s account, the disputed hair wasn’t even found on the floor of the attic, but rather “on a painting” in the attic.
Did anyone testify as to when the painting was moved into the attic? We know that Farrow first purchased the house during her relationship with Allen (See pg. 189 of Farrow’s own memoir, “What Falls Away”).
Presumably the painting didn’t come with the house. Since we know the painting was moved there at some point while Farrow was still seeing Allen regularly, how do we then discount the quite likely possibility that Allen inadvertently transferred his hair to the painting while it was in another room in the house, or when he was first helping to carry it in, and then only later had his painting-embedded hair transferred into the attic when the painting was placed up there for storage? What evidence is there that establishes when the hair was lodged on the painting? What evidence is there as to the timeline location of the painting itself? The very timeline of Farrow’s house purchase suggests that the painting hadn’t always been in the attic during the years that Farrow and Allen were together.
Again, since Allen was a frequent visitor to Farrow’s Connecticut home, it is only logical to expect that his hair would be found throughout the house to some degree.
And again, assuming that the hair is even Allen’s to begin with, does Orth suggest that his was the only hair to be found in the attic? Did they collect and test for other hairs? Did they find any of Dylan’s hairs? If not, why not? Did they find any hairs from Farrow’s brother John in the attic or any object that was placed in the attic? Did they bother to look for them? If so, did they find any? And if so, what would that prove, exactly?
Did they find any hairs from Farrow herself, or any of her other children in the attic or on any objects placed in the attic? If so, would that mean that they should be considered suspects in a child abuse accusation?
Naturally, such conclusions would be absurd, especially when considered in the full context of the evidence regarding Dylan’s accusations. But this only points out the very absurdity of Orth’s argument here.
If police had also obtained a sample of Allen’s fingerprints, did they ever find his fingerprints in the attic in addition to a hair? If not, why not? If so, then why haven’t Maco, Orth and the bevy of Allen accusers ever highlighted this fact? Did they find fingerprints of Dylan, Farrow or Farrow’s brother John there as well? And if they did, what would that prove exactly?
It is also notable to point out that Orth herself describes the attic space in question as “not really an attic” but rather “just a small crawl space off the closet of Mia’s bedroom”.
Yet this “small crawl space” was supposedly big enough to hold not only a painting, but also a trunk full of styrofoam heads, clothes, mousetraps, and a full, operating electric train set with tracks among other items.
Orth would have us believe that this “small crawl space” with all of these items was also the place where both the extremely claustrophobic Allen and Dylan were able to enter, and where presumably Dylan was made to fully lay down after Allen supposedly dragged her up to this space off the closet of Mia’s bedroom without anyone noticing, where he then fired up the train set to have it circle around and cause noise, and then returned in less than 20 minutes, again without anyone noticing — all in a house full of people who were told to be on guard about his behavior and where Mia was on her way back to at any moment from a shopping trip. (See Claim # 6 section above to recount the timeline and details concerning the utter absurdity of this scenario.)
That’s quite a lot of items and people to be able to fit into a “small crawl space off the closet” of Mia’s room. Maybe that’s why Moses Farrow insists that the train set was never in the attic and that Dylan is making up these details, as she is with the rest of her story.
Moses’s statements alone completely demolish Orth’s “undeniable facts” and accounts for Allen’s and Dylan’s respective movements every minute on the day in question.
It should be stressed up front that underlying the very premise of Orth’s “undeniable fact” is the notion that Allen willingly spoke to the police without evoking his right of refusal that is afforded all suspects in a criminal investigation. Allen surely did so for the same reason he said he willingly took the lie detector test — He has nothing to hide.
But even if we are to simply accept Orth’s word that Allen made inconsistent statements to the police regarding his personal recollection about casually sticking his head up once or twice into an attic of a house he regularly visited over the course of several years, it is impossible to consider this as even being suspicious without an actual transcript of the interview where the full questions and responses are seen in context.
Once again, Orth provides no details here. What is her source? Who exactly is this “top investigator” that she refers to? And on what specific basis did he or she conclude that Allen’s statement wasn’t “credible”? Is this person’s personal assessment somehow more accurate than the lie detector test that Allen passed? And if so, how does one go about concluding that? (Many suggest that such personal speculations are less reliable than lie detector tests like the one Allen passed. See also, for instance, pg. 203 of Richard A. Leo’s “Why Interrogation Contamination Occurs”.)
Do transcripts (or even notes) of the interview that Allen willingly sat down for even still exits? If you are going to label something as an “undeniable fact”, you need to actually cite your sources rather than rely on hearsay from biased sources attempting to justify their already prejudicial behavior.
What Orth fails to explain to readers is that when police are investigating crimes, it is quite common for them to lie to a suspect about the evidence they have discovered and try and gauge their reactions — a variation often used in the already controversial and confrontational “Reid Technique”. Though this technique is entirely legal, it has been often criticized by legal and psychological professionals as helping lead to false confessions or other forms of false statements from innocent parties in interviews — a reality that is far more common during confrontational interrogations than people tend to believe.
So again, if police never went through full and proper lab procedures to positively match his hair to the hair found in the attic crawl space, how were they able to tell him that “his hair was found on a painting” there? Did they fully explain to him the fact that it had been found on a painting that had been moved into the attic and was not there originally when the house was first purchased? Did they make that story up in order to trick Allen and gauge his reaction? Did they lie to him about other evidence they claimed they had in their investigation? If so, it would be a perfectly natural reaction for an innocent person to speculate or just spout out that maybe, over the years, they simply forgot about briefly going into a small crawl space in order to explain a hair that was found on a painting that, by itself, proves nothing, even if true.
The only alternative to this reaction is to escalate the confrontation by calling police investigators liars to their face. Even steel-willed people have a hard time doing that, and Allen hardly seems like the kind of personality who would do so. Since he had no way of knowing for sure if they found a hair or if it had already been identified as his through DNA testing, he, like most others, would instead chose to defuse the situation by engaging in idle speculation in order offer an explanation for a claim that they strongly suspect to be false.
Can Orth give us complete, absolute assurance that police didn’t lie to Allen about hair evidence or other so-called evidence in a good faith (but misguided) effort to see what his reaction would be? Either way, she engages in pure speculation without so much as a transcript of the interview. But if it turns out that police did engage in the common tactic of lying to Allen about the evidence they possessed in the case, then it is not only unsurprising that Allen (or any innocent suspect) would give inconsistent responses about it, but it is actually to be expected in such a case.
Of course there is another innocent explanation for all of this: Woody Allen may have simply forgot that he had poked his head up in Farrow’s attic one or twice over the course of several years. And by first emphatically denying it to police since he knew himself to be innocent, he ended up being inconsistent when he eventually remembered enough to speculate that maybe he had been up there.
Once again, this so-called “evidence” must be considered within the totality of the full set of evidence in the case. What might seem suspicious in one context will prove to be completely innocent and innocuous in another.
A found hair is not proof that it is specifically Allen’s hair. Even if it is Allen’s hair, finding it on a painting placed in the attic does not prove that he was ever even in the attic to begin with. And even if he was in the attic on more than one occasion, his presence there is not proof of his behavior.
Orth’s argument is built purely on speculation, on top of speculation, on top of speculation.
When you combine that broad speculation with the concrete realities of Moses’s statements, Allen’s passing of the lie detector test, the many witness statements that cast doubt on the accusation, the improbability of the timeline for Allen’s supposed actions, the obvious motivations for Mia Farrow to set him up on false charges and the telegraphing actions and statements she took in doing so, the pressure on witnesses to lie on Mia’s behalf, the two thorough state investigations that affirmatively cleared Allen of the charges, the utterly improbable coincidence of a songwriter Farrow had taken her husband from writing a song about a playing father molesting his daughter in the attic more than a decade before the allegations were made against the clarinet-playing Allen, the utterly improbable coincidence of Farrow’s brother being convicted and jailed for the same offense that was lodged against Allen, etc., etc. etc.. the insignificance and utter desperation of Orth’s argument becomes clear.
CLAIM # 9
9. The state attorney, Maco, said publicly he did have probable cause to press charges against Allen but declined, due to the fragility of the “child victim.” Maco told me that he refused to put Dylan through an exhausting trial, and without her on the stand, he could not prosecute Allen.
In this instance, Orth deliberately fails to explain what the phrase “probable cause” means in a legal context, and just what an incredibly low bar that is to establish.
The mere fact that Dylan made her statements against Allen without any other evidence whatsoever can be considered enough to establish “probable cause to press charges”.
Let me emphasize just how easy this is. If someone accuses you of molesting them, and goes so far as to make sworn statements to authorities (or a doctor, who in turn is obligated to inform police), if the authorities do not have an active or objectively valid reason to doubt the words of the accuser at the time he or she made them, then “probable cause” to press charges against you has been established.
That is a far cry from establishing guilt “beyond reasonable doubt” — the ultimate threshold that all prosecutors should have a good faith belief in their ability to prove before actually indicting someone and continuing with a prosecution.
Orth is playing a very cynical and disingenuous word game here — hoping that her audience will be ignorant enough of what the phrase “probable cause” actually means to try and trick them into thinking that Maco’s statement is more significant than it actually is.
But that’s still not the worst offense Orth commits here. She deliberately omits Maco’s full, complete quote that he made back in 1993 when he originally concluded that he could not prosecute Allen.
Here is the more complete statement of Maco’s that Orth should have apprised her readers of:
“To risk the well-being of a child in a case where there is evidence which points to the existence of a reasonable doubt is nothing less than to sacrifice the child on an altar of public spectacle.” — Frank S. Maco (March 1993, emphasis added).
Here is another quote that Orth should have included if she had any intention of being honest with her readers:
After a year-long investigation, Connecticut State Attorney Frank Maco has decided not to pursue charges against Allen because of the lack of witnesses to the alleged abuse of Dylan and concern about her credibility on the stand, New York Newsday reported today.
″There wasn’t enough [evidence] to warrant putting (Dylan) through a trial,″ the newspaper quotes a a source familiar with the investigation as saying.
Newsday also reported that “sources familiar with the investigation said Maco was concerned about the lack of witnesses to the alleged abuse of Allen’s adopted daughter and the girl’s credibility on the stand.” (Newsday, Sept. 23, 1993, pg. 2; emphasis added.)
In other words, Maco fully admitted that reasonable doubt existed in the Allen case, and always had. It is therefore an “undeniable fact” that the prosecutor leading the investigation in the Allen case stated that reasonable doubt existed. Yet that is not the undeniable fact that Orth chose to highlight in her article. The level of her disingenuousness only grows with each successive sentence that she writes in it.
Maco is naturally correct in his statements above. To subject a child to a public spectacle and the rigors of a criminal trial when the prosecution already knows full well that reasonable doubt will easily be shown is something that no rational prosecutor would do. That is the reason why Maco failed to prosecute — nothing more.
Since Connecticut doesn’t have a grand jury system for most criminal matters to serve as even a modest check against prosecutorial abuse, the decision not to pursue the case was entirely Maco’s. He chose not to, based on his realization on just how weak the case was.
Ask yourself this key question: If both state investigations had unambiguously concluded that Dylan had in fact been molested by Allen (rather than concluding that the allegations were completely unfounded), and if all of the witnesses at the house that day on August 4th were in fact all truly unanimous and clear in witnessing behaviors that were genuinely suspicious in their proper context (rather than harboring doubts and contradicting each other), and if doctors had confirmed physical trauma or evidence existed that proved that Dylan had been molested (rather than indicating that they found no such evidence), and if the psychologists seeing Allen and Dylan agreed that Allen was a dangerous threat as sexual predator and would continue to be a threat to Dylan or others in the future (rather than testifying that they didn’t see Allen’s relationship with Dylan as sexual), and if Allen’s actual semen and Dylan’s pubic hair had been found in the attic and been positively identified through DNA matching (rather than relying on Orth’s hearsay claim about an unverified hair found on a painting that was placed in the attic on an unknown date), and if none of the other myriad pieces of evidence pointing to reasonable doubt in the case existed and the case was an easy, ironclad lock in establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt, do you seriously think for a moment that Frank Maco would have declined to prosecute Allen for being a dangerous predator simply because he was concerned about Dylan’s psychological frailty? What would you think of such a choice in that context?
The obvious answer to this question speaks volumes.
It wasn’t Maco’s concern for Dylan’s state-of-mind that was the determining factor in his decision not to prosecute Allen, but rather his realization that he didn’t have enough evidence to do so. For Orth to try and claim that the former factor was the reason behind his decision rather than the latter is yet another example of her egregious lies in this instance.
Given Maco’s own bias and prejudice towards Allen, he tried his best to parse his words as much as possible in explaining his ultimate decision in his official communique to the public. But when you read his full statement in context, the conclusion is still the same — Maco didn’t prosecute Allen because even he knew full well that the case against him was just too damn weak.
Maco himself said in his public statement, “[E]ven Justice Wilk, in doubting the success of a criminal prosecution and working in the framework of an evidentiary standard less severe than proof beyond reasonable doubt, could not definitely conclude that sexual abuse occurred.”
Orth takes tries to take this undeniable fact and turn it completely on its head to try and paint the opposite conclusion in the mind of the reader. What she does here is lamentable and shamefully dishonest.
The very weakness of the evidence against Allen is undoubtedly the reason why Dylan has declined to sue Allen in civil court, even though she would only need to meet the low “preponderance of the evidence” standard in such a case. In other words, all she would have to do is present enough evidence showing that it was more likely than not that Allen abused her.
It is the same lax standards that an increasing number of colleges have embraced in dealing with allegations of sexual assault.
Even if jurors had some doubts about Dylan’s story, if they felt, based on the evidence, that it was “more likely than not” that what she said Allen did to her was true, she would still prevail.
As courts have explained, the evidentiary threshold in this instance is only just a smidgen higher than the incredibly weak and even lower “probable cause” standard which Frank Maco publicly pronounced he had established against Allen that Orth highlights as being somehow significant.
In fact, if Dylan were to bring such a case against against Allen, here is the actual jury instruction that the Connecticut judge would likely be giving to the jurors:
“In order to meet her burden of proof, a party must satisfy you that her claims on an issue are more probable than not. You may have heard in criminal cases that proof must be beyond a reasonable doubt, but I must emphasize to you that this is not a criminal case, and you are not deciding criminal guilt or innocence. In civil cases such as this one, a different standard of proof applies. The party who asserts a claim has the burden of proving it by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that is, the better or weightier evidence must establish that, more probably than not, the assertion is true. In weighing the evidence, keep in mind that it is the quality and not the quantity of evidence that is important; one piece of believable evidence may weigh so heavily in your mind as to overcome a multitude of less credible evidence. The weight to be accorded each piece of evidence is for you to decide.
As an example of what I mean, imagine in your mind the scales of justice. Put all the credible evidence on the scales regardless of which party offered it, separating the evidence favoring each side. If the scales remain even, or if they tip against the party making the claim, then that party has failed to establish that assertion. Only if the scales incline, even slightly, in favor of the assertion may you find the assertion has been proved by a fair preponderance of the evidence.”
The statute of limitations on such a civl lawsuit against Allen would not run out until Dylan reaches age 48 (July 11th, 2033).
In terms of possible psychological barriers in discussing the issue, she seems to have no problem accusing Allen in the press and on social media, or encouraging writers like Orth or Nicholas Kristof to publicly advocate on her behalf.
Dylan told Orth herself in 2013, “I have never been asked to testify. If I could talk to the seven-year-old Dylan, I would tell her to be brave, to testify.”
So what is now stopping her from bringing such a lawsuit? Is it because she is nervous about the full range of actual evidence that would be presented in a court setting as opposed to the distorted half-truths and falsehoods put forth by a social media mob?
That would certainly be a very understandable concern. But the fact that such a concern exists and that no such lawsuit has been forthcoming speaks volumes — another “undeniable fact” that Orth deliberately ignores.
CLAIM # 10
10. I am not a longtime friend of Mia Farrow’s, and I did not make any deal with her. I have been personally accused of helping my “long-time friend” Mia Farrow place the story that ran in Vanity Fair’s November 2013 issue as part of an effort to help launch Ronan Farrow’s media career. I have also been accused of agreeing to some type of deal with Mia Farrow guaranteeing that the sexual-abuse allegation against Woody Allen would be revisited. For the record, I met Mia Farrow for the first time in 2003, more than 10 years after the first piece was published, at a nonfiction play she appeared in for a benefit in Washington, D.C. I saw her and Dylan again the next day. That is the last time I saw her until I approached her in April 2013 to do a story about her family and how they had fared over the years. I talked to eight of her children, including Dylan and a reluctant Ronan. There was no deal of any kind. Moses Farrow declined to be interviewed for the 2013 piece.
Naturally, this entire issue is completely irrelevant to the question of if Woody Allen molested Dylan, and has no bearing on the validity of the actual evidence. However, it remains quite obvious that the only reason that Orth felt the need to include this irrelevant “undeniable fact” is because even she could consciously discern her own biases in her piece and thus felt compelled to try and head off the predictable criticism ahead of time.
Her statements here brings to mind the old joke about the abject racist always feeling the need to preface his conversations with the defensive observation that “I have many personal friends who are black.”
The systematic bias in Orth’s original profile of Farrow was so obvious and pervasive that even columnist Liz Smith felt compelled to address it in her syndicated column of Oct. 8, 1992 entitled, “Was Orth Fair To Woody?”.
Smith, citing inside sources familiar with how Orth constructed her piece, wrote:
Orth labelled her analysis upfront as “Mia’s Story.” She did also ask to speak to Woody himself. He declined because he says, at the time, the gag order on both sides was in place. According to [the notes from Allen’s spokesperson], Orth only spoke with two Woody supporters — his sister, Letty, and his former co-worker, Jane Martins. One of these interviews was given when Orth was “on deadline” and could not give Martins even a day to call her back.
“It is obvious,” says one insider, “that Maureen Orth, who has a reputation for being fair and open-minded, this time did not even want ANY pro-Woody information.”
It is obvious that the same biases also spilled over into Orth’s “10 Undeniable Facts” follow-up.
The fact remains that when you take the effort to actually cite or link to the sources of evidence to state your case, and demonstrate enough integrity not to deliberately ignore other relevant evidence or context, your personal biases become irrelevant. That’s the beauty of evidence — its existence and level of validity can be gauged and exist independently of the one who happens to present it.
That is why Ronan Farrow’s landmark expose on Harvey Weinstein remains valid and trustworthy despite his obvious conflict of interest of desperately wanting to take Weinstein down any way he could for being the only person in Hollywood at the time who would still finance Woody Allen films (before sources outside the traditional Hollywood system such as Amazon came along, and even though Allen’s films have never been especially big money makers).
Ronan Farrow’s own biases are irrelevant here because his reporting cites independently verifiable evidence that can be examined in order to assess its truth apart from the conveyer of the information.
That is also why the response of “How do you know? You weren’t there!” is an irrelevant and invalid response to those who might even slightly question Dylan’s personal account of what she claims happened to her.
Independently verifiable evidence is the very underlying basis for the jury system that has been a cornerstone of the rule of law in Western Civilization.
Jurors are never “there” when they hear a witness insist that something did or didn’t happen. It is in fact the very point of their not being at the time and place of an alleged crime or incident that gives their verdict a sense of validity and impartiality. They instead weigh independent evidence that continues to exist apart from a specific time or place in order to assess the credibility and likelihood of claims.
It is the crucial distinction between a judge or jury and a witness.
To suggest that people cannot doubt the claims of an accuser simply because they “weren’t there” is to reject the entire philosophical underpinnings of the jury system. But in an age where so many are increasingly and regrettably willing to reject other bedrock principles such as due process, the initial presumption of innocence and free speech, I suppose this shouldn’t be a surprising development.
Orth cites no independent evidence in her essay and offers no links to primary documents or reporting from traditionally reliable sources who covered the courtroom events at the time they happened. All she does is parrot hearsay accounts from biased or even unnamed sources. These obviously do not constitute “undeniable facts”.
If Orth had bothered to provide such links or actual evidence for objective parties to independently assess on their own, and not made a conscious effort to ignore a large range of additional evidence that questions her assertions, then it wouldn’t make a difference even if she is personal friends with Farrow or made a deal with her.
Despite her consistent history of actively trying to promote Farrow, I am perfectly willing to believe that Orth is “not a longtime friend of Mia Farrow’s”. So what? None of that changes the obvious bias in her piece against Allen and in favor of Farrow.
(Though, as a side note that has no direct relevance to the validity of her reporting, I was still admittedly surprised to learn from Orth’s confession here that she hadn’t even met Mia Farrow when she first penned her first anti-Allen screed and hagiography of Farrow in 1992. Since Orth was never upfront about this fact in her writing at the time, I suspect that the average reader of that piece would have at least assumed that she had met Farrow personally and spoke to her on background, rather than writing an account of her life based strictly and purely on hearsay accounts from her friends and supporters.)
As should be clear, it also completely irrelevant that I am not a friend of Woody Allen’s and have never met him or anyone in his family. I have not made a deal with anyone to write this essay. I have only done so out of a personal sense of outrage that people now seem willing to condemn a person based on nothing more than a mere accusation by a single accuser, and then effortlessly spread lies about the case through venues such as social media.
None of that affects the validity of the evidence and links that I provide above. They exist independently of my own experiences or motivations. That is why I encourage everyone to read them and at least be educated about the full facts of this case before jumping to the conclusions that Orth so desperately wants you to believe.
Let me state this as clearly and emphatically as I can here: Marureen Orth’s “10 Undeniable Facts About The Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation” is a lie.
By spouting these lies in her one-sided essay, she in fact dishonors the memory of her dead husband, who, despite still having biases and flaws as all journalists have as humans, still garnered a reputation as one of the more fair and reliable people in his profession who was dedicated to presenting the truth in a fair context.
Although Orth’s article may be chock full of technical truths, in the context she presents them in, they are in fact all substantive lies.
Allow me to explain and illustrate here what I mean when I state that something which is a “technical truth” is in fact a substantive lie.
Did you know that it’s an undeniable fact that people with larger shoe sizes tend to have greater intelligence and wisdom than those with smaller shoe sizes?
It’s true. Utterly undeniable.
Of course this “undeniable” conclusion is all predicated on the common knowledge that adults have bigger shoe sizes than infants. But that doesn’t make the statement untrue from a purely technical standpoint.
Yet what would you think of someone who, without citing the preface that he or she was actually referring to the characteristics of infants, tried to seriously make such a claim in pages of a scientific journal or an outlet such as Vanity Fair? And what if an unthinking hoard of followers on social media then used such an “undeniable fact” from an authoritative source like a scientific journal to thus “prove” that women must therefore, on average, be dumber and less wise than men?
You would naturally call such a person a liar. What they say here is in fact a substantive lie, even though on a purely surface level, the words state a technical and “undeniable” truth.
But it’s not the words used that ultimately constitute a lie, but rather, its the intended deception on the part of the speaker.
That is what Orth is doing here.
In intentionally trying to deceive the readers by purposely leaving out a mountain of exculpatory evidence and context to the Woody Allen case that would allow people to better understand and weigh a very complicated situation, Orth is in fact lying to you here with her essay.
It is propaganda, not journalism.
And if your view of the Woody Allen case only stems primarily from Orth’s essay and the only response you have to those more skeptical of the allegations is to offer up a link to it on social media, then you are doing nothing more than propagating a lie.
I naturally do not enjoy having to disparage a stranger like Mia Farrow. Is she a charitable soul who opens her heart and home to others and wants to help the world? Or is she a selfish home-wrecker and abusive mother hellbent on brainwashing her children and slandering an ex-lover in revenge for leaving her for her adopted daughter?
The answer is: Surely both.
People and relationships are always far more complex than what any narrative or social media snark can hope to portray. That goes for Farrow, Allen, Orth, and everyone else in equal measure.
To the extent that this essay presents a harsh portrayal of Farrow’s actions and Orth’s motivations here, it is only necessary to counteract the disingenuous portrait that Orth paints of her, as well as the one-sided media campaign against Allen that Farrow is surely condoning (if not outright orchestrating) without having the public fairly informed of the many reasons to doubt the claims against him.
Ultimately, we should only be interested in the truth. And though the truth may ultimately prove to be elusive and unknowable for some specific matters, it is beyond question that Orth’s writings here only takes us further away from it, rather than closer to it.
If the public wants to weigh in on the Woody Allen controversy, it should only do so after being apprised of the full set of relevant facts, presented in a fair and proper context, rather than solely relying on a one-sided screed.