Vanity Fair publishes a piece pushing back against some of the Woody Allen support that has passed by this week.
10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation
By Maureen Orth
7. The Yale-New Haven Hospital Child Sex Abuse Clinic’s finding that Dylan had not been sexually molested, cited repeatedly by Allen’s attorneys, was not accepted as reliable by Judge Wilk, or by the Connecticut state prosecutor who originally commissioned them. The state prosecutor, Frank Maco, engaged the Yale-New Haven team to determine whether Dylan would be able to perceive facts correctly and be able to repeat her story on the witness stand. The panel consisted of two social workers and a pediatrician, Dr. John Leventhal, who signed off on the report but who never saw Dylan or Mia Farrow. No psychologists or psychiatrists were on the panel. The social workers never testified; the hospital team only presented a sworn deposition by Dr. Leventhal, who did not examine Dylan.
All the notes from the report were destroyed. Her confidentiality was then violated, and Allen held a news conference on the steps of Yale University to announce the results of the case. The report concluded Dylan had trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. (For example, she had told them there were “dead heads” in the attic and called sunset “the magic hour.” In fact, Mia kept wigs from her movies on styrofoam blocks in a trunk in the attic.) The doctor subsequently backed down from his contention.
The Connecticut state police, the state attorney, and Judge Wilk all had serious reservations about the report’s reliability.
And this just in: The NY Times runs Woody Allen's response to Dylan Farrow's open letter. Let me cherry pick this:
The police began their investigation; a possible indictment hung in the balance. I very willingly took a lie-detector test and of course passed because I had nothing to hide. I asked Mia to take one and she wouldn’t.
And back to 10 Undeniable Facts:
3. Allen refused to take a polygraph administered by the Connecticut state police. Instead, he took one from someone hired by his legal team. The Connecticut state police refused to accept the test as evidence. The state attorney, Frank Maco, says that Mia was never asked to take a lie-detector test during the investigation.
Allen leans heavily on the Child Sex Abuser Clinic report to establish his innocence.
And I like this line of reasoning:
Even the venue where the fabricated molestation was supposed to have taken place was poorly chosen but interesting. Mia chose the attic of her country house, a place she should have realized I’d never go to because it is a tiny, cramped, enclosed spot where one can hardly stand up and I’m a major claustrophobe. The one or two times she asked me to come in there to look at something, I did, but quickly had to run out.
One of the 10 Facts is this:
8. Allen changed his story about the attic where the abuse allegedly took place. First, Allen told investigators he had never been in the attic where the alleged abuse took place. After his hair was found on a painting in the attic, he admitted that he might have stuck his head in once or twice. A top investigator concluded that his account was not credible.
To which I will add that an alternative hypothesis is that Allen chose a molestation venue where no one would be likely to look for him.
MORE; Anti-Allen skepticism in Slate, but this is credibility-crushing:
In that segment, Allen tells Kroft that it would have been “illogical” to molest Dylan “at the height of a very bitter, acrimonious custody fight.”
The problem with this line of reasoning is that Dylan Farrow’s allegations did not emerge in the midst of a custody battle. According to Phoebe Hoban’s 1992 New York magazine story, as of early August 1992—eight months after Mia Farrow had discovered Allen’s sexual relationship with her daughter Soon-Yi Previn—Allen had been “prepared to sign a 30-page document that virtually precluded his seeing the children he doted on without a chaperone.” Then, on Aug. 4, 1992, Dylan told her mother that Woody Allen had sexually assaulted her in Mia’s Connecticut home. At that point, Mia and Dylan went to Dylan’s pediatrician, who reported the allegations to authorities.Allen did not sue for custody of Dylan and her two brothers, Moses and Ronan, until Aug. 13, 1992, a week after he was informed of Dylan’s accusations.
Does Slate have editors? If they followed the link provided to the 1992 New York magazine story they will learn that the papers about to be signed in early August were the culmination of many months of negotiation described in the story as including "histrionics worth of a grade-B movie". The subsequent filing of a custody suit was simply the next move in the legal chess match; it hardly indicates that the two sides had been getting along swimmingly beforehand. (bonus laugher, or head-scratcher - part of the negotiation was about whether Mia would appear in Woody's next movie; nice to know she was furious but not that furious.)
That said, the story also includes one of the dumber rhetorical questions I have seen: in commenting on the timing of the alleged incident, an Allen supporter asks "Why would someone on their right mind select the day when they are minutes away from signing papers?". Hmm, so now Woody and Mia are exemplars of mental health and good judgment?