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Sunday, February 09, 2014

One last (I hope) word on the Allen/Farrow thing

A lot of people are talking about Maureen Orth's piece in Vanity Fair "10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation." It has been thoroughly exploded by Robert Weide's piece here. After reading Weide, I am frankly infuriated with Orth, and with Vanity Fair for publishing such deceptive nonsense. One example should suffice to the record straight:
Mia’s allegations of molestation automatically triggered a criminal investigation by the Connecticut State Police, who brought in an investigative team from the Yale-New Haven Hospital, whose six-month long inquiry (which included medical examinations) concluded that Dylan had not been molested. I’ve since read a recurring canard that Woody “chose” the investigative team. Yet nobody has suggested how or why Mia’s team would ever outsource the investigation to a team “chosen” by Woody.

Others have said that the investigators talked to psychiatrists “on Allen’s payroll” before letting him off the hook. The only way I can explain this is that the investigators, naturally, would have spoken with Woody’s shrinks before giving him a clean bill of health. So technically, yeah, Woody’s shrinks would have been paid a lot of money by Woody over the years. (Let’s even call it an annuity.) The same would be true of his dentist, his eye doctor, and his internist.
And so on. On the other side of the aisle, I ask you to look at the court document Orth herself cites. You'll see that the entire idea of molestation arose not from any objectively provable facts but from the highly subjective perceptions of impropriety offered by a woman whose sanity I am not willing to stipulate.

That last remark was harsh, and I don't make it with any pleasure. But Farrow ruined her own reputation with her claims about the paternity of her son Ronan. She stated in court that Woody Allen was the father (no ifs, ands or buts); later, she claimed otherwise. The contradiction is inescapable. It's no small matter!

Moreover, we should also keep in mind the much earlier episode in which she made what I believe to be false claims of sexual impropriety against a Hindu religious teacher. Her story may have convinced John Lennon, but (I've recently read) George Harrison always understood the truth.

Look, I admire Farrow as an actress. I also happen to think she is a damned fine writer. IMDB published this small piece (I don't know where it's from) in which she describes her marriage to Sinatra:
"The women, who didn't seem to mind being referred to as 'broads', sat up straight with their legs crossed and little expectant smiles on their oh-so-carefully made-up faces They sipped white wine, smoked, and eyed the men, laughing at every joke...A long time would pass before any of the women dared to speak then, under the main male table conversation, they talked about their cats, or where they had bought their clothes; but more than half an ear was always with the men, just in case. As hours passed, the women, neglected in their chairs, drooped; no longer listening, no longer laughing."
I doubt that Woody Allen's aged typewriter has ever produced such an excellent vignette. Mia Farrow would do the world a favor if she decided to create literature instead of havoc.

This story hits home with me because I've known women of this sort -- women driven to the brink by their personal demons, women who love drama, women who lack all impulse control, women who have destroyed families because they confuse hallucination with reality. I once met a troubled lady who told the world that her daughter was sired by a space alien. You may smirk, but consider the ramifications: The mother told that "space alien" story not just to the press, but to her own daughter. The kid grew up believing that.

In the Farrow case, one of my readers has suggested a theory of psychological displacement. Mia did have one acknowledged child abuser in her life: her brother John Charles Villers-Farrow, now in prison. His victims were male. Is it possible that he might, at one time, have focused on an underaged female? That's a question best answered by those who have made a specialty of studying behavior that most of us prefer not to think about.

What a family! Now I'm even beginning to wonder about Maureen O'Sullivan's story that Cheeta was sexually attracted to Johnny Weismuller.

By all means, read Orth. But also read Weide. The superiority of his argument should be obvious. Instead of printing articles about whether we can ever again watch Woody Allen's movies, perhaps Slate should publish pieces asking if it will ever again be permissible to trust Vanity Fair.
And yet you disappear comments here.

I know, there's a rule not to diss you. But my remark about your misleading statement about Woody "letting" his daughter suck his thumb was not a diss on you, regardless of my request for the term where someone sets up a false conclusion.

That is a fact and my request was sincere...I can never remember those terms others bandy around!

Whether Mia was "crazy" before her man scummed on her daughter when she was teen is irrelevant. The man married his kids' sister. She's allowed to go nuts.

Ronan has spoken out on this for years, his dad marrying his sister. It's beyond sick. Your trotting out the other brother and not Ronan is a rare example from you in presenting a complete slanted and partial picture and to top it off you disappeared my comment on this. Come on, son. You're better than this.

I didn't "disappear" anything, at least not intentionally, and certainly not to my memory.

And apparently Ronan's dad is not his dad. Who knows with a messed-up mom like that?

Look, you're just going to have to have to admit defeat on this one. Mia is who she is and more people are understanding that there are indeed women like that out there.
Weide's article predates Orth's "10 facts" post and doesn't link to it either. Why do you call it a response?
You're right, Dan. I'll re-word.

In the earlier post about this issue you called me a "sicko". Hard to imagine you said this because I posted a quote from a reader of Talking Points Memo for the second time. I posted it again, and stated that I was doing so because you seemed not to have read the first posting in the comments. Both postings included quotation marks and reference to the source. My take is that you called me a "sicko" because you thought that I had written it myself. As such it doesn't reflect well on your awareness of what you observe.

The notion that Woody Allen would choose to sexually molest Dylan in Mia's own house, with witnesses present, during a bitterly acrimonious divorce, is beyond credible.
Orth, like Nicholas Kristof, is a personal friend of Mia Farrow's. She is not an objective reporter, and that alone undercuts anything she writes about the Allen-Farrow case. As I mentioned earlier, she is the widow of Tim Russert, and her son, Luke, works for NBC. I have no doubt they pulled strings to get Mia's son Ronan a job there.

People, get real. This was a sick publicity stunt on the part of Mia Farrow to influence the Oscars. If Allen had EVER been guilty of child molestation, he would NEVER have been allowed to adopt two more children with Soon-Yi.

The Farrow "supporters" remind me of Betty Broderick supporters. Because they may have been dumped in relationships, it's okay for a woman to retaliate or even murder somebody who dumped them.
I didn't know that Farrow was married to Sinatra. Allen and Sinatra are about as opposite as two people could be.

I wonder if Farrow thought that going with someone opposite to Sinatra would mean subservience and absolute fidelity, and once proven wrong, it was the classic women scorned angle.

At the end of the day, it seems like Farrow primarily associated with famous men, yet seemed to have issues with most of those relationships.

Does the very definition of insanity about trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result apply here?
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