Monday, February 03, 2014

Creepy Woody Allen story

I believe people are innocent until proven guilty, so I have to give Woody Allen the benefit of the doubt. But the NY Times has this creepy story from his adopted daughter:
What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. ...

For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. ...

I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself. That torment was made worse by Hollywood.
Allen was not her real father. Allen and Mia Farrow did not even live together when they adopted her, as she was secretly having a sexual relationship with Frank Sinatra. Farrow had a rather nasty split from Allen, so she could have helped poison the attitudes of the adopted kids. The allegations only occurred when Farrow was upset that Allen was dating a teenaged Korean girl that Farrow was adopting. He portrays himself as neurotic and self-obsessed in his movies, and in real life he underwent psychoanalysis for most of his life. If you followed his story, you may know a lot more about him than me. There are no witnesses or tangible evidence for the alleged molestation, and about 20 years have passed without anything that would convince a court. Decide for yourself. I don't know what to make of this.

The accusation is quite vague. Wikipedia defines:
Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented. This includes rape (such as forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration), groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the victim in a sexual manner.
So Allen could have merely threatened to kiss the 7yo girl, and that could legally be considered a sexual assault.

In a non-sexual legal context, an assault usually means just a threat. You hear terms like "assault and battery", where the assault is the verbal threat and the battery is the physical beating.

The eating disorder is not evidence of abuse. It is just evidence that hte poor girl was subjected to years of psychotherapy that convinced her that something horrible happened to her.

So we have a vague accusation, no corroborating evidence, a story instigated by a vindictive ex, no criminal record, no witnesses, 20 years ago, etc. I do not have any facts. I am not sure the NY Times should have even published the accusation. If you want to judge Allen, I suggest using facts. There is other evidence that he is a weirdo, but not that he is a child molester.

Correction: A comment below says that there is evidence from a witness. A nanny claimed to see something inappropriate.

Update: Apparently this has all been aired before, and there are many facts favoring Allen, and Allen defended himself in 1992. No one has alleged penetration. The evidence was inconclusive then, and there is no new info now. Do you want to jump to a conclusion based on an unsubstantiated allegation?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, there are witnesses. See this 1992 Vanity Fair article, for instance:

"That day, August 5, Casey called Mia to report something the baby-sitter had told her. The day before, Casey’s baby-sitter had been in the house looking for one of the three Pascal children and had been startled when she walked into the TV room. Dylan was on the sofa, wearing a dress, and Woody was kneeling on the floor holding her, with his face in her lap. The baby-sitter did not consider it “a fatherly pose,” but more like something you’d say “Oops, excuse me” to if both had been adults. She told police later that she was shocked. “It just seemed very intimate. He seemed very comfortable.”"

paulmurray said...

Is is possible that WA is a vile pervert and predator and should be castrated.
It is somewhat more probable that this step daughter is just plain making it up, for any one of a variety of possible reasons.
It is likely that this nanny is a dirty-minded fame whore.
It is certain that if this is allowed to stand as the standard of proof, no man is safe who does not completely avoid women and family.
Don't marry.
Don't cohabitate.
Don't impregnate.

George said...

That right, no man is safe. But Woody Allen did not even marry Mia Farrow, or cohabitate her. Maybe he did not even impregnate her, and she might have committed paternity fraud.