Dylan already was deeply traumatized — by the assault and the subsequent legal battle that forced her to repeat the story over and over again. (And she did tell her story repeatedly, without inconsistency, despite the emotional toll it took on her.) The longer that battle, the more grotesque the media circus surrounding my family grew. My mother and the prosecutor decided not to subject my sister to more years of mayhem. In a rare step, the prosecutor announced publicly that he had "probable cause" to prosecute Allen, and attributed the decision not to do so to "the fragility of the child victim." my mother still feels it was the only choice she could make to protect. But it is ironic: my mother's decision to place dylan's well-being above all good else became a means for woody Allen to smear them both. Farrow with his mother, mia farrow, at the time 100 Gala in April 2015. Very often, women with allegations do not or cannot bring charges.
On may 4, The hollywood Reporter published a cover interview with woody Allen, quirky auteur. To me it is a sterling example of how not to talk about sexual assault. Dylan's allegations are never raised in the interview and receive only a parenthetical mention — an inaccurate reference to charges being "dropped.". Thr later issued a correction: "not pursued." The correction points to what makes Allen, cosby and other powerful men so difficult to cover. The allegations were never backed by a criminal conviction. It should always be noted. But it is not an excuse for the press to silence victims, to never interrogate allegations. Indeed, it makes our role more important when the legal system so often fails the vulnerable as they face off against the powerful. Here is exactly what charges not being pursued looked like in my sister's case in 1993: The prosecutor met with my mother and sister.
Example: my sister does not write
I'm ashamed of that, too. With sexual assault, anything's easier than facing it in full, saying all of it, facing all of the consequences. Even now, i hesitated before agreeing. The hollywood Reporter 's invitation to write this piece, knowing it could trigger another round of character assassination against my sister, my mother. But when Dylan explained her agony in the wake of powerful voices sweeping aside her allegations, the press often willing to be taken along for the ride, and the fears she held for young girls potentially being exposed to a predator — i ultimately knew. I began to speak about her more openly, particularly on social media. And I began to look carefully at my own decisions in covering sexual assault stories.
I believe my sister. This was always true as a brother who trusted her, and, even at 5 years old, was troubled by our father's strange behavior around her: climbing assignment into her bed in the middle of the night, forcing ingles her to suck his thumb — behavior that had. Allen with Farrow (then known as Satchel) in 1994, after the director lost his custody battle with ex-girlfriend mia farrow. But more importantly, i've approached the case as an attorney and a reporter, and found her allegations to be credible. The facts are persuasive and well documented. I won't list them again here, but most have been meticulously reported by journalist maureen Orth. The only final legal disposition is a custody ruling that found woody Allen's behavior "grossly inappropriate" and stressed that "measures must be taken to protect Dylan.".
He fought hard for. The hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson for the, los Angeles Times said the decision not to publish was made by the Opinion editors.). When, the new York times ultimately ran my sister's story in 2014, it gave her 936 words online, embedded in an article with careful caveats. Nicholas Kristof, the pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and advocate for victims of sexual abuse, put it on his blog. Soon afterward, the, times gave her alleged attacker twice the space — and prime position in the print edition, with no caveats or surrounding context. It was a stark reminder of how differently our press treats vulnerable accusers and powerful men who stand accused.
Perhaps I succumbed to that pressure myself. I had worked hard to distance myself from my painfully public family history and wanted my work to stand on its own. So i had avoided commenting on my sister's allegations for years and, when cornered, cultivated distance, limiting my response to the occasional line on Twitter. My sister's decision to step forward came shortly after I began work on a book and a television series. It was the last association I wanted. Initially, i begged my sister not to go public again and to avoid speaking to reporters about.
Essay about my lovely sister
The open cc list on those emails revealed reporters at every major outlet with whom that publicist shared relationships — and mutual benefit, given her firm's starry client list, from Will Smith to meryl Streep. Reporters on the receiving end of this kind of pr blitz have to wonder if deviating from the talking points might jeopardize their access to all the other A-list clients. In fact, when my sister first decided to speak out, she had gone to multiple newspapers — most wouldn't touch her story. An editor at the. Los Angeles Times sought to publish her letter with an accompanying, deeply fact-checked write timeline of events, but his bosses killed it before it ran. The editor called me, distraught, since i'd written for them in the past. There were too many relationships at stake. It was too hot for them.
Cosby and a painful chapter in my own family's history. It was shortly before the cosby story exploded anew that my sister Dylan Farrow wrote about her own experiences — alleging that our father, woody Allen, had "groomed" her with inappropriate touching as a young girl and sexually assaulted her when she was 7 years. Being in the media as my sister's story made headlines, and woody Allen's pr engine revved into action, gave me a window into just how potent the pressure can be to take the easy way out. Every day, colleagues at news organizations forwarded me the emails blasted out by Allen's powerful publicist, who had years earlier orchestrated a robust publicity campaign to validate my father's sexual relationship with another one of my siblings. Those emails featured talking points ready-made to be converted into stories, complete with validators on offer — therapists, lawyers, friends, anyone willing to label a young woman confronting a powerful man as crazy, coached, vindictive. At first, they linked to blogs, then to high-profile outlets repeating the talking points — a self-perpetuating spin machine. Mia and Allen with Ronan (left) and daughter Dylan in 1988.
It was old news. So we compromised: I would raise the allegations, but only in a single question late in the interview. And I called the author, reporter to reporter, to let him know what was coming. He seemed startled when I brought. I was the first to ask save about it, he said. He paused for a long time, then asked if it was really necessary. On air, he said he'd looked into the allegations and they didn't check out. Today, the number of accusers has risen. The author has apologized.
Sister 's room: a short Story
Despite dylan Farrow's damning allegations of sexual abuse, the director of Cannes' opening film today remains beloved by stars, paid by Amazon and rarely interrogated by media as his son, ronan Farrow, writes about the culture of acquiescence surrounding his father. They're not in the headlines. There's no obligation to mention them." These were the objections from a producer at my network. It was September 2014 and I was preparing to interview a respected journalist about his new biography of Bill Cosby. The book omitted allegations of rape and sexual abuse against the entertainer, and i intended to focus on that omission. That paper producer was one of several industry veterans to warn me against. At the time, there was little more than a stalled lawsuit and several women with stories, all publicly discredited by cosby's pr team. There was no criminal conviction.