Woody Allen’s Publicist Strongly Denies Abuse Allegations


Allen’s wax double wins the creepy contest

Only one thing is certain: Woody Allen has had a rough few weeks.

As we begin to recover from our shock over the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, we can expect to hear a lot more about the other story that rocked the entertainment world last week: the newly resurfaced allegations that Allen abused partner Mia Farrow‘s adopted daughter more than 20 years ago—when she was only 7 years old.

Dylan Farrow’s open letter, published by The New York TimesNicholas Kristof, went into graphic detail about the allegations, which first surfaced during Allen’s very public separation from Farrow. As Kristof himself reported, the public’s response was mixed:

One woman is definitely not thanking him: Woody Allen’s publicist Leslee Dart.

Here’s the statement Dart gave to reporters over the weekend. She didn’t mince words:

“…a thorough investigation was conducted by court-appointed independent experts” back in 1992 when the allegations first emerged.

“The experts concluded there was no credible evidence of molestation; that Dylan Farrow had an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality; and that Dylan Farrow had likely been coached by her mother Mia Farrow.”

Dart also said that Allen would issue his own statement “very soon”, and we noticed that her comments were very similar to the ones he made way back in 1992:

“…an unconscionable and gruesomely damaging manipulation of innocent children for vindictive and self-serving motives.”

A refresher: Dart is well-known for her many loyal celebrity clients, many of whom followed her after her her 2004 dismissal from agency PMK/HBH.

Of course, these recent developments follow Mia and Ronan Farrow’s very public denunciations of Allen during this year’s Golden Globes ceremony. For what it’s worth, Dart isn’t the only one casting doubt on the allegations: Robert B. Weide, who directed the PBS documentary chronicling Mr. Allen’s career and helped organize the Golden Globes tribute, discussed the allegations in a lengthy Daily Beast article published before Ms. Farrow’s letter went live.

He didn’t so much dismiss the accusations as cast doubt on Ms. Farrow’s motivations by reminding us that, despite her denunciations of Woody Allen, she remains a friend and defender of convicted child molester Roman Polanski; she also neglected to take a polygraph test at the time.

This story will stay in the news for a while, and none of it will be pleasant.

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.