Dylan Farrow described her alleged sexual assault by Woody Allen on camera for the first time this week, telling CBS This Morning’s Gayle King that her father touched her genitals while instructing her to play with her brother’s toy train set in the attic of her mother’s country house in Connecticut. Farrow had previously described the alleged incident in a 2014 open letter published in the New York Times.
“He instructed me to lay down on my stomach and play with my brother’s toy train that was set up,” Farrow told King. “He sat behind me in the doorway, and as I played with the toy train, I was sexually assaulted … As a 7-year-old I would say, I would have said he touched my private parts. As a 32-year-old, he touched my labia and my vulva with his finger.”
Allen has long accused Farrow of being coached by her mother, actor Mia Farrow, to lie about the alleged abuse. Allen and Farrow were in the middle of a bitter divorce in 1993 when the incident is alleged to have taken place. During the interview Wednesday, King played a clip from an episode of 60 Minutes where Allen is asked about the allegations and responds that they are “insane.”
“What I don’t understand is how is this crazy story of me being brainwashed and coached more believable than what I’m saying about being sexually assaulted by my father,” an emotional Farrow told King in response. “He’s lying, and he’s been lying for so long.”
In addition to the alleged incident, Farrow said that Allen frequently would follow her around, “always touching” her and not leaving her alone even at her request, behavior that he didn’t exhibit with her siblings. Farrow also alleged that Allen would often have her get into bed with him when he or she were only wearing their underwear.
“I loved my father,” she said. “I respected him. He was my hero. And that doesn’t obviously take away from what he did. But it does make the betrayal and the hurt that much more intense.”
In response to the interview, Allen released the following statement about the allegations to CBS This Morning:
“When this claim was first made more than 25 years ago, it was thoroughly investigated by both the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital and New York State Child Welfare. They both did so for many months and independently concluded that no molestation had ever taken place. Instead, they found it likely a vulnerable child had been coached to tell the story by her angry mother during a contentious breakup.
Dylan’s older brother Moses has said that he witnessed their mother doing exactly that — relentlessly coaching Dylan, trying to drum into her that her father was a dangerous sexual predator. It seems to have worked — and, sadly, I’m sure Dylan truly believes what she says. But even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn’t make it any more true today than it was in the past. I never molested my daughter — as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.”
King notes in her interview that the Connecticut state prosecutor on the case, Frank Mako, had questioned the validity of the investigations referenced by Allen and stated at the time that there was probable cause to charge Allen, but was declining to do so because the 7-year-old Farrow was “too fragile” to face a celebrity trial. Mako repeated that statement when contacted CBS This Morning, adding that there no evidence was ever found that Farrow had been coached by her mother.