CBS has released a previously unseen interview with Woody Allen in which he again denies Dylan Farrow's claims he molested her when she was a child. The director also addresses Hollywood's public response to the allegations, deeming actors who have expressed regrets about working with him "well-meaning, but foolish."
Though it was just released Sunday, March 28 (via Paramount Plus), the sit-down shows Allen, 85, speaking to Lee Cowan for "CBS Sunday Morning" last July. As multiple outlets have noted, the footage was shot before the release of HBO's "Allen v. Farrow" docu-series, so claims made in that film are not referenced.
What does get discussed are allegations made by the daughter of Allen's ex, Mia Farrow, who was 7 when she said Allen molested her. The allegations became public during Allen and Farrow's high-profile split in 1992, according to People. The longtime couple broke up after Mia discovered Allen was romantically involved with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, who Allen would eventually marry. (He was in his late 50s at the time, while Previn was either a freshman in college or a senior in high school.)
Allen has long denied Dylan's sexual abuse claims, which led to an investigation, but not to any charges, for the director.
"Nothing that I ever did with Dylan in my life could be misconstrued as that," Allen says in the CBS interview when asked about Dylan's allegations. He goes on to suggest, as he's done previously, that Mia coached Dylan to view interactions she had with him as inappropriate and sexual in nature.
"Why would a guy who's 57 years old … I never was accused of anything in my life," Allen says at one point in the segment. "I'm suddenly going to drive up in the middle of a contentious custody fight at Mia's country home (with) a 7-year-old girl?" he asks. "It just – on the surface, I didn't think it required any investigation, even.
"It's so preposterous, and yet the smear has remained. And they still prefer to cling to if not the notion that I molested Dylan, the possibility that I molested her. Nothing that I ever did with Dylan in my life could be misconstrued as that," Allen says.
Allen says he thinks Dylan has come to believe she was molested.
"I believe she thinks it. She was a good kid. I do not believe that she's making it up. I don't believe she's lying. I believe she believes that," he tells the CBS reporter.
In "Allen v. Farrow," Dylan described undergoing "grueling" evaluations as investigators sought to determine whether she was telling the truth in claiming Allen molested her. She said being interviewed so extensively and repeatedly over the course of three months made her worry she "was lying" because she had to defend herself so often.
Asked in the 2020 CBS interview about actors who have distanced themselves or said publicly they would not work with him again because of Dylan's claims, Allen says, "I think they're foolish. They're well-meaning, but they're foolish. All they're doing is persecuting a perfectly innocent person, and they're enabling this lie."
He issued a similar response to the question last spring, when he told The Guardian, "The actors have no idea of the facts and they latch on to some self-serving, public, safe position. … That's how actors and actresses are, and [denouncing me] became the fashionable thing to do, like everybody suddenly eating kale."
The 2020 CBS interview coincided with the release of Allen's memoir last summer. Addressing why CBS News held onto the footage for so long, producers said in a statement, via Variety: "The interview, which occurred last summer during an active news cycle, is being presented now given the renewed interest in the controversy surrounding the filmmaker."
The interview was packaged for Paramount Plus alongside a 2018 interview with Dylan Farrow about her side of the story.
Allen's rep, Letty Aronson, told Variety early Sunday that Allen's team was not told the 2020 interview would be paired with Dylan's 2018 interview and streamed.
"It's completely dishonest and scandalous. I hope future people will consider this before trusting the show," Aronson said.
After the "Allen v. Farrow" docuseries premiered last month on HBO, Allen and Previn slammed the project as a "hatchet job riddled with falsehoods," and Allen again "categorically" denied Dylan's accusations. They also said, through their spokesperson, that the filmmakers gave them only "a matter of days to respond" to claims made in the film, so they declined.