On Wednesday, Woody Allen’s son, Ronan Farrow, published a forceful opinion piece in The Hollywood Reporter in which he called out the media for its “silence” about allegations his sister Dylan Farrow made two years ago that Allen sexually assaulted her when she was seven years old.
That was not the case on Thursday when reporters at the Cannes Film Festival were invited to a press luncheon for Allen’s new film “Cafe Society,” which kicked off the festival Wednesday night.
Vulture reports that journalists at a table brought up the Farrow story to Allen, who said he has not read the new Ronan Farrow article.
“I never read anything about me,” the 80-year-old filmmaker said. “Any of these interviews I do, anything. I said everything I had to say about that whole issue in the New York Times, I don’t know if you read it, some time ago. I have moved so far past that. You know, I never think about it. I work, and that’s the end of it for me. I said I was never gonna comment on it again because I could just go on endlessly.”
Allen wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times in 2014, reacting to Dylan Farrow’s molestation allegations. Dylan is the adopted child of Allen and Mia Farrow, who had a relationship for over a decade.
Allen said then:
“Twenty-one years ago, when I first heard Mia Farrow had accused me of child molestation, I found the idea so ludicrous I didn’t give it a second thought. We were involved in a terribly acrimonious breakup, with great enmity between us and a custody battle slowly gathering energy. The self-serving transparency of her malevolence seemed so obvious I didn’t even hire a lawyer to defend myself. It was my show business attorney who told me she was bringing the accusation to the police and I would need a criminal lawyer.”
Allen also accused Mia Farrow of coaching their daughter:
“Mia insisted that I had abused Dylan and took her immediately to a doctor to be examined. Dylan told the doctor she had not been molested. Mia then took Dylan out for ice cream, and when she came back with her the child had changed her story.”
According to Ronan Farrow’s opinion piece, the reason why the molestation case against Allen didn’t go to court was “the fragility of the child victim.”
“I never read what you say about me, or the reviews of my films,” Allen told journalists at the Cannes luncheon. “I made the decision 35 years ago to never read a review of my movies, never read an interview, never read anything. Because you could easily become obsessed with yourself.”
A reporter pressed Allen by saying, “But this isn’t a critic, it’s your son.”
Allen shrugged, “I’ve said all I have to say about it.”
The director was apparently also unfazed by a joke made at his expense by a comedian during the Cannes ceremonies. The MC said, with Allen in the room, “You’ve shot so many of your films here in Europe and yet in the U.S. you haven’t even been convicted of rape.”
Allen told the journalists he was not offended by the slight referring to allegations of rape.
“I’m completely in favour of comedians making any jokes they want,” Allen said. “I am a nonjudgmental, non-censorship person on jokes. I’m a comic myself, and I feel they should be free to make whatever jokes they want.”
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