Woody Allen says report clears him of abuse charge

March 19, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Woody Allen said yesterday that a team of physicians and social workers had exonerated him of Mia Farrow's allegation that he molested their adopted 7-year-old daughter Dylan last summer at the actress' home in nearby Bridgewater.

"The conclusion is no molestation, no sexual abuse ever took place," the actor and filmmaker said at a news conference in an outdoor courtyard of the Yale-New Haven Hospital. "There is a strong recommendation that Mia, herself, seek psychiatric help."

Ms. Farrow, 47, appeared before reporters before quickly departing, said only, "I just want to say that I will always stand by my children."

Mr. Allen, 57, and his former leading lady ended their 12-year relationship explosively last summer when he disclosed that he was romantically involved with Ms. Farrow's 22-year-old daughter.

In addition to the child molestation dispute, Mr. Allen and Ms. Farrow are engaged in a bitter custody battle over Dylan, their 4-year-old biological son, Satchel, and their adopted son Moses, 14.

Ms. Farrow's lawyer, Eleanor Alter, quickly disparaged the lengthy report that was relayed jointly to both Mr. Allen and Ms. Farrow during a conference at the hospital that lasted more than three hours.

Ms. Alter said that the report was "incomplete and inaccurate" and that the hospital team had "declined to meet with people whose information would have been vitally important to their findings."

"Dylan has been consistent in the description of abuse, and Miss Farrow will continue to support her," the lawyer said.

Mr. Allen's lawyers said the ruling strengthened his side in his custody battle with Ms. Farrow. Mr. Allen said he intended to seek custody of Dylan and his other children immediately.

In addition, the report probably headed off any possible indictment by Connecticut prosecutors, who had ordered the special team at Yale to seek to determine whether there had been any child abuse.

The report was compiled by Dr. John Leventhal, a pediatrician and director of the child sexual abuse clinic at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and two clinical social workers trained to detect child sexual abuse. Dr. Leventhal had met with Mr. Allen, Ms. Farrow and Dylan since Thanksgiving.

Ms. Farrow's lawyers have moved to void Mr. Allen's adoptions of Moses and Dylan on grounds of fraud because he failed to disclose his "virtually incestuous relationship with their sister," Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, one of the actress' adopted daughters from her former marriage to composer-conductor Andre Previn.

Mr. Allen repeated yesterday what he has said before, that his affair with Ms. Previn began after the adoption.

Mr. Allen charged that a videotape Ms. Farrow made of Dylan in which the girl leveled the child abuse charge, may have been "doctored," and that Ms. Farrow had made 10 copies of the tape to distribute.

"A terrible, terrible crime has been committed against my daughter," he said.

"I feel that Eleanor Alter and Mia are going to have to really squirm to get out of this, because they [the team members] have come to a decision that is an accurate one. It is the only one that they could have come to, that any responsible group would have come to."

The report was not made public, and a spokesman for the hospital said that Ms. Farrow and Mr. Allen had asked that the team not discuss the nature of its evaluation. Mr. Allen, however, said he thought the report could be made available to news organizations later.

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