Son of Woody Allen ex­acts his re­venge

Taranaki Daily News - - World -

UNITED STATES: When Woody Allen’s Cafe So­ci­ety pre­miered at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val ear­lier this year, the di­rec­tor’s son is­sued a chal­lenge to re­porters cov­er­ing Hol­ly­wood.

Ro­nan Far­row claimed that jour­nal­ists and broad­cast­ers were ig­nor­ing the al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual abuse by ‘‘pow­er­ful men’’ like his fa­ther, in the same way they had ig­nored al­le­ga­tions of rape against Bill Cosby, he wrote in the Hol­ly­wood Re­porter news­pa­per.

His younger sis­ter, Dy­lan, had much ear­lier al­leged that Allen sex­u­ally as­saulted her when she was 7 and Far­row, a lawyer and re­porter, found her ac­count cred­i­ble.

Allen de­nied it and a pros­e­cu­tor de­cided not to press charges at the time, but too of­ten the le­gal sys­tem ‘‘fails the vul­ner­a­ble’’ and, too of­ten, re­porters fail to give vic­tims a voice ‘‘as they face off against the pow­er­ful’’, Far­row wrote.

‘‘It’s time to ask some hard ques­tions.’’

Now, an in­ves­tiga­tive piece by Far­row for The New Yorker has swung like a wreck­ing ball through the Hol­ly­wood es­tab­lish­ment.

The tar­get was the man who helped to restore his fa­ther to a lofty place in the in­dus­try.

A year af­ter the al­le­ga­tions were aired dur­ing a bit­ter di­vorce and cus­tody bat­tle be­tween Allen and the ac­tress Mia Far­row in 1993, the film-maker found him­self shunned in Hol­ly­wood. He was res­cued by Har­vey We­in­stein and his brother Bob, who were then run­ning Mi­ra­max.

‘‘Shunned by Hol­ly­wood means noth­ing to Mi­ra­max,’’ We­in­stein de­clared: ‘‘We’re talk­ing about a comic ge­nius. [Char­lie] Chap­lin was shunned by Hol­ly­wood, so were a great many other in­ter­na­tional film-mak­ers and those are the peo­ple who be­long with Mi­ra­max.’’

Allen made a se­ries of films with Mi­ra­max and af­ter the We­in­stein broth­ers left and founded the We­in­stein Com­pany, they con­tin­ued to dis­trib­ute his work.

Far­row, 29, also a Rhodes scholar and a diplo­mat, said he had long ‘‘avoided com­ment­ing on my sis­ter’s al­le­ga­tions’’ as he sought to dis­tance him­self ‘‘from my fam­ily his­tory’’.

But watch­ing a trib­ute to his fa­ther, dur­ing the Golden Globes cer­e­mony in 2014, he raised the al­le­ga­tions him­self, tweet­ing that he had ‘‘missed the Woody Allen trib­ute’’ and asked if it men­tioned that ‘‘a woman pub­licly con­firmed he mo­lested her at age seven?’’

His in­ves­ti­ga­tion of We­in­stein and his claim that NBC had de­cided that the story he had gath­ered was ‘‘un­re­portable’’, caus­ing him to take it to The New Yorker ,is now rais­ing the hard ques­tions he hoped for. –

PHOTOS: REUTERS

Ro­nan Far­row was ig­nored when he claimed the me­dia was not cov­er­ing claims of sex­ual abuse by pow­er­ful men in Hol­ly­wood, in­clud­ing his fa­ther Woody Allen. Now his re­port­ing has swung like a wreck­ing ball through the Hol­ly­wood es­tab­lish­ment.

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