On Wednesday, Moses Farrow, the adopted son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, published an explosive 4,600-word personal essay in which he defended his filmmaker father against sexual-assault allegations; accused his mother of inflicting “fatal dysfunction” on their household; and recalled his memory of events on August 4, 1992—the day Dylan Farrow claims Allen lured her, at age 7, to the attic of the family home and assaulted her. Moses, a family therapist who is reportedly not in touch with his mother or siblings, writes that it “has taken years of self-reflection, professional help, and support from those I love—and who love me in return—for me to appreciate the sad truth of my childhood and of what my mother did to my siblings and me.”
In a blog post titled “A Son Speaks Out,” Moses claims, “The fatal dysfunction within my childhood home had nothing to do with Woody. It began long before he entered the picture and came straight from a deep and persistent darkness within the Farrow family. It was common knowledge in Hollywood that my grandfather, the director John Farrow, was a notorious drinker and serial philanderer. There were numerous alcohol-fueled arguments between her parents, and Mia told me that she was the victim of attempted molestation within her own family.”
Moses goes on to accuse his mother of mentally, verbally, and physically abusing, as well as brainwashing, him and his siblings. He alleges Mia coached Dylan in her accusations against Allen. He claims that, on August 4, 1992—when Moses was 14—he had “promised [his mother] to keep an eye out for any trouble. . . . I do remember that Woody would leave the room on occasion, but never with Dylan.” And he compares Allen to alleged serial predator Harvey Weinstein—whom adopted brother Ronan Farrow helped topple with his bombshell New Yorker exposés—writing, “In this time of #MeToo, when so many movie heavyweights have faced dozens of accusations, my father has been accused of wrongdoing only once, by an enraged ex-partner during contentious custody negotiations. During almost 60 years in the public eye, not one other person has come forward to accuse him of even behaving badly on a date, or acting inappropriately in any professional situation, let alone molesting a child.”
Though the essay is a lengthy, articulate defense of Allen, it fails to disprove the facts about the sexual-abuse allegation that Vanity Fair contributor Maureen Orth compiled in her two decades of reporting, research, and extensive conversations with family members (including eight Farrow children), as well as authorities with knowledge of the alleged incident and aftermath. Moses does not address, for instance, the fact that “Allen had been in therapy for alleged inappropriate behavior toward Dylan with a child psychologist before the abuse allegation was presented to the authorities or made public.” Per Orths 1992 feature, Allen voluntarily sought treatment over two years for his alleged “inappropriate fatherly behavior toward Dylan”—several disturbing accounts of which are detailed in the report.
Though Moses paints the allegation as a claim manufactured by Mia and drilled into Dylans brain out of retribution, Moses does not discuss the fact that Mia never went to the police about the allegation. According to Orth, Mias “lawyer told her on August 5, 1992, to take the seven-year-old Dylan to a pediatrician, who was bound by law to report Dylans story of sexual violation to law enforcement and did so on August 6.” Even when Allen was in therapy, a family friend told Orth that Mia attempted to keep it out of the media: “She didnt want Woodys name tarnished,” the source said.
Moses claims that the attic—the scene of the alleged assault—was implausible because it was “an unfinished crawl space, under a steeply-angled gabled roof, with exposed nails and floorboards, billows of fiberglass insulation, filled with mousetraps and droppings and stinking of mothballs, and crammed with trunks full of hand-me-down clothes and my mothers old wardrobes.” He does not explain why, then, according to Orth, “Allen changed his story about the attic where the abuse allegedly took place. First, Allen told investigators he had never been in the attic where the alleged abuse took place. After his hair was found on a painting in the attic, he admitted that he might have stuck his head in once or twice. A top investigator concluded that his account was not credible.”
At the end of his essay, Moses addresses his sister Dylan—who shared her recollection of events in a 2014 open letter: “Like you, I believe in the power of speaking out. I have broken my silence about the abuse inflicted by our mother. My healing began only after getting away from her. And what she has done to you is unbearable. I wish you peace, and the wisdom to understand that devoting your life to helping our mother destroy our fathers reputation is unlikely to bring you closure in any kind of lasting way.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Dylan Farrow responded to the essay, tweeting, “As I said when he last made these claims, this is an attempt to deflect from a credible allegation made by an adult woman, by trying to impugn my mother who has only ever been supportive of me and my siblings. Its easily disproven, contradicts years of his own statements, is beyond hurtful to me personally, and is part of a larger effort to discredit and distract from my assault. My brother is a troubled person. Im so sorry hes doing this.”
This is not the first time that Moses has defended Allen. In Eric Laxs 2017 book, Start to Finish: Woody Allen and the Art of Moviemaking, Moses accused his mother of being emotionally manipulative and physically abusive throughout this childhood.
In response, Mia Farrow released the following statement: “Moses has cut off his entire family including his ex-wife who was pregnant when he left. Its heartbreaking and bewildering that he would make this up, perhaps to please Woody. We all miss and love him very much.”
A representative for Allen could not be reached.
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Julie MillerJulie Miller is a Senior Hollywood writer for Vanity Fairs website.