Woody Allen gave a rare interview addressing allegations of sexual abuse by Dylan Farrow, maintaining his innocence while noting he believes Farrow “believes” she’s telling the truth.
“I believe she thinks it,” Allen, 85, told CBS Sunday Morning of Farrow’s previous allegations that Allen sexually assaulted her when she was a child. “She was a good kid. I do not believe that she’s making it up. I don’t believe she’s lying. I believe she believes that.”
The interview, which CBS says was Allen’s first in-depth, on camera American interview in nearly 30 years, was conducted in July 2020 but aired Sunday on streaming service Paramount+ for the first time amid a renewed interest in allegations against the filmmaker, thanks in part to the recent damning HBO docuseries “Allen vs. Farrow.”
Allen has never been charged with any crimes and has repeatedly denied being inappropriate with his adopted daughter over the years. He and his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, whom his ex-girlfriend Mia Farrow adopted with her ex-husband, composer André Previn, have written off “Allen v. Farrow” as fiction, slamming it as “a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods.”
“It’s so preposterous, and yet the smear has remained,” Allen said Sunday. “And they still prefer to cling to if not the notion that I molested Dylan, the possibility that I molested her. Nothing that I ever did withy Dylan in my life could be misconstrued as that.”
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He added: “There was no logic to it, on the face of it. Why would a guy who’s 57-years-old and never accused of anything in my life, I’m suddenly going to drive up in the middle of a contentious custody fight at Mia’s country home (with) a 7-year-old girl. It just – on the surface, I didn’t think it required any investigation, even.”
Allen told CBS he would like to reach out to Dylan Farrow but has not spoken to her since the allegations surfaced.
In the early ’90s, Mia Farrow, still Allen’s girlfriend at the time, learned that he had struck up a relationship with her 21-year-old adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, upon discovering he had nude photos of Previn. Allen, 56, at the time, and Mia Farrow ended their relationship soon after.
“The last thing in the world that anybody wanted was to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Allen said. “What we wanted to do was to eventually make it known that we had a relationship.”
He added he was “totally surprised” at the onset of his relationship with Previn and initially had “no interest in her whatsoever,” but “she turned out to be the deepest relationship in my life.”
When asked if he ever considered a relationship with his girlfriend’s adopted daughter to be inappropriate, Allen said “no,” adding there was “never a moment that it wasn’t the most natural thing in the world … it didn’t give me pause, because the relationship with Soon-Yi was very gradual. It wasn’t like I went out with her one night and kissed her.”
Despite Allen’s reputation as a man who dated younger women – and one who portrayed characters who dated younger women – Allen maintains his 35-year age gap between himself and Previn was a deviation from the norm, and that his relationship with Mia Farrow had reached a point of being a “relationship of convenience” and was “never going to be a marital relationship.”
“I would say of the many women I’ve dated in my life, many women, they were all what the appropriate police would call appropriate – age appropriate,” he said. “Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow, Louise Lasser, my first wife; until Soon-Yi, which is unusual for me.”
He added: “If you’d have told me I was going to wind up married, and happily married, to an Asian woman much younger than me, not in show business, I would have said ‘the odds of that are very slim. I don’t think you’re going to be right.’ But that’s what happened.”
In 2018, CBS’s Gayle King spoke to Dylan Farrow, who shut down Allen’s claims that her allegations were merely a vessel for Mia Farrow to seek revenge over his relationship with Previn.
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“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?” Dylan Farrow said. “Except every step of the way, my mother has only encouraged me to tell the truth. She has never coached me.”
She added: “He’s lying and he’s been lying for so long.”
Allen and Previn, now 50, have been married for 23 years and have raised two adopted daughters now in college, which Allen claims is proof of his innocence: “They don’t give two baby girls to someone they think is a pedophile.”
How does he feel about those in Hollywood and the public who have condemned him? “They’re well-meaning but foolish,” he says, accusing them of “enabling this lie” against a “perfectly innocent person.” But he says he ultimately isn’t bothered by what others think about him.
“Do I care that some guy sitting at home or some woman is thinking, ‘I don’t care what investigators say, I still believe he’s a pedophile’? It’s as meaningful as a person sitting at home saying ‘I believe him and he’s a wonderful guy and he’s gotten a raw deal,’ ” he said.
Contributing: Erin Jensen