(JTA) — The son of Woody Allen and actress Mia Farrow said the director’s “powerful publicist” pressured reporters to drop investigations into his alleged sexual abuse of Dylan Farrow, his then 7-year-old daughter.
In an essay in The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, Ronan Farrow said Allen’s “PR engine revved into action” when allegations were raised that the Jewish filmmaker sexually assaulted his daughter.
“Every day, colleagues at news organizations forwarded me the emails blasted out by Allen’s powerful publicist,” Farrow wrote. “Those emails featured talking points ready-made to be converted into stories, complete with validators on offer — therapists, lawyers, friends, anyone willing to label a young woman confronting a powerful man as crazy, coached, vindictive. At first they linked to blogs, then to high-profile outlets repeating the talking points — a self-perpetuating spin machine.”
Farrow said Allen’s publicity team may have have threatened to cut reporters off from its other “A-list clients,” such as Meryl Streep and Will Smith.
Farrow also said Dylan attempted to speak out in multiple publications, including the Los Angeles Times, before publishing an account in The New York Times in 2014.
“There were too many relationships at stake,” Farrow said of the Los Angeles Times. “It was too hot for them.”
In The New York Times account, Dylan Farrow said her father held her down as a 7-year-old and sexually assaulted her in the attic of her then-house.
Ronan Farrow’s essay coincided with the premiere of Allen’s latest movie —“Café Society,” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively and Steve Carell — at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday.
During the festival’s opening ceremony, French actor and master of ceremonies Laurent Lafitte made a rape joke aimed at Allen.
“It’s very nice that you’ve been shooting so many movies in Europe, even if you are not being convicted for rape in the U.S.,” Lafitte said to gasps from the Cannes audience.
Variety noted that the jab could have also been partly aimed at Jewish director Roman Polanski, who has narrowly avoided extradition from Europe to the U.S. over the years for rape charges dating back to 1977.