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‘Allen v. Farrow’ Sheds Light On A Dark Hollywood Secret

Updated May 21, 2021 57.8k views18 items

Allen v. Farrow is a docuseries that casts a stark light on the decades-long allegations made against Woody Allen that he sexually abused his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, throughout her early childhood. Dylan and Mia Farrow, along with their family and close friends, including celebrities like Carly Simon, give candid and sometimes disturbing accounts of Allen's behavior around his young daughter, as well as his affair with Farrow's daughter Soon-Yi Previn and the emotional abuse Farrow says she suffered during their relationship.

Although Allen does not appear in the series, he maintains his innocence, and audio excerpts from his 2020 memoir, Apropos of Nothing, give insight into how the famed director viewed the events that culminated in his separation from Farrow in 1992.

This list will update with crucial new information from HBO's Allen v. Farrow, giving you the chance to decide who's telling the truth, and if it's ever possible to fully separate the art from the artist.

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    Farrow Says That When She Met Allen, He Had 'Zero Interest' In Having Children

    Mia Farrow says in the first episode that she had given up on dating following her divorce from her second husband, André Previn, since she didn't think many men would want to date a woman with multiple children. While Farrow's large family didn't stop Allen from dating her, he also didn't seem too keen on being a father, according to Farrow.

    "I had seven children, and he didn't want to meet them at all," she recalls. She adds that Allen told her at the beginning of their relationship, "Look, I have zero interest in kids." However, both parties describe how Allen began warming up to the children. In particular, Allen formed a strong bond with Farrow's son, Moses, whom she adopted after divorcing Previn.

    When Farrow asked Allen about the prospect of adopting a child together, she says he replied, "Well, I might be more kindly disposed if it was a little blonde girl." Although Allen didn't want to be responsible for the child, Farrow moved forward in adopting the baby girl who would become her daughter Dylan.

    Both Dylan and Farrow describe the almost immediate bond between Allen and baby Dylan - a bond that would come under intense scrutiny over the following three decades.

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    Allen’s Film 'Manhattan’ Is Reportedly Based On A Real-Life Relationship He Had With A Teenager

    The second episode of Allen v. Farrow delves into Woody Allen's film career, and the ways he possibly drew inspiration from his real life when writing scripts. In Allen's iconic 1979 film Manhattan, he plays a 42-year-old man dating a 17-year-old girl, but no one in the film takes issue with their relationship.

    Actor and model Christina Engelhardt claims that Manhattan was based on a relationship she had with Allen that began when she was only 17 and lasted until she was 23. Engelhardt states in the docuseries that when she saw the film, she thought, "Oh my god, I'm his muse."

    While Engelhardt says that she trusted Allen at the time, their relationship caused problems for her later in life and made her extremely protective of her daughters.

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    Several Of Farrow’s Friends And Family Members Noticed Allen’s Irregular Relationship With Dylan

    The Farrows' accusations against Allen are corroborated by friends and family, who appear in interviews for the series. Longtime family friend Casey Pascal recalls watching Allen chase a young Dylan around a playground and feeling a certain unease: "I remember thinking, I've never seen anybody act like this with a child before, and I really hope it's a good thing what's happening."

    Priscilla Gilman, who dated Farrow's son Matthew and remained a close family friend, also recounts multiple instances of Allen engaging in what she perceived to be inappropriate behavior towards Dylan. Gilman also noticed Dylan withdrawing and not wanting to be around Allen as she got older, and she describes Allen as having a smothering presence around his daughter.

    Farrow, as well as her sister Tisa, also remember more graphic interactions between Allen and Dylan that they tried to write off in the moment. Finally, Farrow's neighbor Ethel Person, who was also a psychiatrist, told Farrow that she had seen Allen and Dylan in the lobby of their apartment building, and that there was "something off" in the way Allen greeted the young girl. Farrow says this was when she began questioning Allen about his behavior.

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    Allen Claimed He Began Dating Farrow’s Daughter Soon-Yi When She Was In College, But Witnesses Report Otherwise

    In 1992, Farrow says that she found inappropriate photographs of her daughter Soon-Yi taken by Allen. Soon-Yi was 21 at the time, and Allen was adamant that their affair didn't begin until she was 18; however, staff at Allen's apartment have come forward to testify that Soon-Yi often visited Allen's apartment while she was still in high school, and there was evidence that an adult relationship was taking place.

    Farrow says that she's not sure when Allen and Soon-Yi's affair began, but that the two of them became close during the girl's adolescence. Allen would often take Soon-Yi to basketball games without the other children, and he even put her in some of his films. Family friend Priscilla Gilman believes that Allen had been "grooming" Soon-Yi for years before their affair became public.