Talking to People magazine, Dylan Farrow's brother Moses defended Woody Allen against allegations of child molestation and blamed his mother, Mia, for turning the family against Allen.
Moses' comments come as a response to the aftermath of Dylan's powerful open letter published on Nicholas Kristof's New York Times blog over the weekend. Dylan wrote:
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. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies.
Moses alleges now that Allen did not molest Dylan. "Of course Woody did not molest my sister," he told People. "She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him. The day in question, there were six or seven of us in the house. We were all in public rooms and no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces. My mother was conveniently out shopping. I don’t know if my sister really believes she was molested or is trying to please her mother. Pleasing my mother was very powerful motivation because to be on her wrong side was horrible."
Moses leveled a number of accusations against his mother, saying that she coached the family to hate Allen through the charges of molestation, adding "that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi." He also said he was "often hit as a child."
The characterization of Mia as a vengeful lover scorned by Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi has been a trend among Allen's defenders. Allen's attorney told Mother Jones in response to Dylan's piece that "it is tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces after it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities."
Moses' belief that Dylan was not molested was alluded to in a Daily Beast piece by Robert Weide, which came out before Dylan's letter. Weide wrote that "during a recent conversation, he spoke of 'finally seeing the reality' of Frog Hollow and used the term 'brainwashing' without hesitation." However, in Jessica Winter's eloquent takedown of Weide's piece at Slate, she wrote that "if Weide did conduct an interview with Moses, that’s huge." She added: "If Moses has indeed cut off contact with his mother, reconciled with his father and sister/stepmother, and is talking to Weide about it, then it’s extremely puzzling that Weide chooses to quote Moses using a grand total of five words’ worth of sentence fragments. It’s one of many moments in the Daily Beast piece where the lack of editorial judgment is glaring."
Dylan responded to Moses' comment in People, saying:
My mother never coached me. She never planted false memories in my brain. My memories are mine. I remember them. She was distraught when I told her. When I came forward with my story she was hoping against hope that I had made it up. In one of the most heartbreaking conversations I have ever had, she sat me down and asked me if I was telling the truth. She said that Dad said he didn’t do anything, and I said, 'He's lying.'
As for the allegations that Mia was physically abusive, Dylan said: "I don't know where he gets this about getting beaten. We were sent to our rooms sometimes." She added: "My brother is dead to me. My mother is so brave and so courageous and taught me what it means to be strong and brave and tell the truth even in the face of these monstrous lies."
Update: According to public editor Margaret Sullivan, Allen may get a chance to respond to Dylan in the form of a Times Op-Ed. Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal said, "they asked and we said, 'yes, send it in.'"