Woody Allen has finally acknowledged the existence of a new HBO documentary that lays out the allegations of sexual abuse made by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow in gruesome detail.
Allen v. Farrow, a docu-series directed by Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick, premiered on Sunday night, prompting the filmmaker and his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, to speak out through a spokesperson: Allen’s sister and producer Letty Aronson.
Their statement issued to the Hollywood Reporter calls the documentary “a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods,” and accuses Ziering and Dick of colluding with ex-wife Mia Farrow to smear him. The statement also claims that Allen and Previn were only approached for comment “less than two months ago,” and were given only a few days to respond. They declined to participate.
But in an interview with Variety, Allen v. Farrow producer Amy Herdy said that the team had first reached out to Allen’s publicist in 2018, when Dick and Ziering started to work on the project.
“I reached out to his rep a few times to try and interview him then — and got crickets back,” Herdy said. “I know they got my request, because I was able to get an assistant on the phone saying, ‘You are getting my emails, right?’ And she said yes. But they never responded.”
Over four episodes, Allen v. Farrow gives a chronological account of the director’s relationship with actress Mia Farrow, the scandal surrounding his relationship with her adopted daughter (and Allen’s wife of 23 years) Soon-Yi, and the allegations of sexual abuse made by his adopted daughter, Dylan. Using a trove of archival footage, as well as current-day interviews with Dylan, Mia, and others who claim to have witnessed a pattern of inappropriate behaviour from Allen, Ziering and Dick methodically parse a case that has so far been relegated to the realm of “he said, she said.”
“As has been known for decades, these allegations are categorically false,” Allen’s statement continues. “Multiple agencies investigated them at the time and found that, whatever Dylan Farrow may have been led to believe, absolutely no abuse had ever taken place.”
Allen v. Farrow stresses at multiple points that Allen categorically denies the abuse, and also dedicates an entire episode to the Yale-New Haven report that cleared him of wrong-doing — a report that was contested as flawed by many experts at the time, and is again questioned in the documentary — as well as the investigation led by Connecticut State’s Attorney Frank Maco, which “found probable cause” to prosecute Allen, though the case never went to court.
Allen’s statement also lays blame on HBO itself, a network he says “has a standing production deal and business relationship with Ronan Farrow,” his son with Mia Farrow. What the statement leaves out is that Allen also has a relationship with the network. Six of his films are currently available to stream on HBOMax, including September, Another Woman, Shadows and Fog, Radio Days, and Broadway Danny Rose, all of which star Mia Farrow.
“We talk about that in Episode 4,” Ziering told Variety. “We go into depth about the decisions people have to make about consuming product. It is something that many people talk about struggling with. And that’s also why we want people to think and reflect on that. I think there’s a lot of art out there with complicated biographical backgrounds. We invite people to make their own decisions.”