In a previously unreleased interview recorded in July that premiered Sunday on the subscription streaming service Paramount Plus, filmmaker Woody Allen addresses decades-old allegations by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow that he had molested her when she was a child. Contemporaneous investigations by Yale-New Haven Hospital and the New York State Department of Social Services in the 1990s found no abuse had occurred, and the Connecticut state's attorney did not bring a case to trial.
"It's so preposterous, and yet the smear has remained," Allen, 85, told "CBS Sunday Morning" correspondent Lee Cowan in an interview shot during Allen's promotion for his memoir. "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."
During the interview, the Oscar winner recalled his acrimonious 1992 breakup with actress Mia Farrow and a subsequent custody battle over their two adopted and one biological child among Farrow's large adopted brood. "Why would a guy who's 57 years old and never was accused of anything in my life, I'm suddenly going to drive up in the middle of a contentious custody fight, at Mia's country home, yet, [and molest] a 7-year-old girl?" he asked. "It just, on the surface, I didn't think it required any investigation, even."
He added of the now 35-year-old Dylan Farrow, "I believe she thinks it. She was a good kid and I believe she thinks it. I do not believe that she's making it up. I don't believe she's lying. I believe she believes that."
The program Sunday also reprised Gayle King's 2018 "CBS This Morning" interview with Dylan Farrow, who has given a consistent account through the years. Her older adoptive brother, Moses Farrow, disputes her recollection, saying that Mia Farrow had coached the young girl. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow, the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, sides with Dylan.
When Cowan asked Allen whether he believes critics will change their minds about him, Allen replies, "Some might, and some might not. To me it doesn't matter … Do I care that some guy sitting home or some woman is thinking, 'Oh, I don't care how many, what investigators say, I still believe he's a pedophile.' It's as meaningful as a person sitting home saying, 'I believe him and he's a wonderful guy and he's gotten a raw deal.' "
Using an old expression, he added, "That and 15 cents gets me on the subway."
HBO and its streaming service, HBO Max, recently ran a four-part documentary series, "Allen v. Farrow," that reexamined the issue.