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Woody Allen responds to Dylan Farrow's molestation claim in open letter

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FILE - This Aug. 27, 2013 file photo shows director and actor Woody Allen at the French premiere of

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FILE - This Aug. 27, 2013 file photo shows director and actor Woody Allen at the French premiere of "Blue Jasmine," in Paris. Allen is again denying he molested adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow and is calling ex-partner Mia Farrow vindictive, spiteful and malevolent in an open-letter published online Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 by The New York Times. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Woody Allen is again denying he molested adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow and is calling ex-partner Mia Farrow vindictive, spiteful and malevolent in an open letter published online Friday by The New York Times.

The 78-year-old filmmaker says Dylan Farrow's open letter published last week by The New York Times includes "creative flourishes that seem to have magically appeared during our 21-year estrangement."

"Of course, I did not molest Dylan," writes Allen. "I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter's well-being."

Allen was investigated for the alleged molestation, but was never charged. A team of child abuse specialists from the Yale-New Haven Hospital, brought in to the case by prosecutors and police, concluded that Dylan Farrow had not been molested.

"Now it's 21 years later and Dylan has come forward with the accusations that the Yale experts investigated and found false," Allen said.

At the time of the breakup of their 12-year relationship more than two decades ago, Mia Farrow accused Allen of molesting Dylan Farrow. Allen has consistently denied the abuse allegation.

Their split followed the discovery of an affair between Allen and the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, Soon-Yi Previn, when Previn was 19 or 21. (Her official date of birth is uncertain.) Allen and Previn married in 1997 and have two adopted daughters.

"I still loved (Dylan) deeply, and felt guilty that by falling in love with Soon-Yi I had put her in the position of being used as a pawn for revenge," Allen said.

The "Annie Hall" and "Blue Jasmine" director again claims in his open letter that 7-year-old Dylan Farrow was coached by Mia Farrow.

"Not that I doubt Dylan hasn't come to believe she's been molested, but if from the age of 7 a vulnerable child is taught by a strong mother to hate her father because he is a monster who abused her, is it so inconceivable that after many years of this indoctrination the image of me Mia wanted to establish had taken root?" Allen said.

In a statement made to The Hollywood Reporter late Friday, Dylan Farrow called Woody Allen's op-ed "the latest rehash of the same legalese, distortions, and outright lies he has levelled at me for the past 20 years."

She wrote that Mia Farrow was not the one who brought criminal charges — "in fact, it was a pediatrician who reported the incident to the police based on my firsthand account." She also stated that the prosecutor found probable cause to prosecute Allen, but decided against it to protect what they called "the child victim."

In her letter last week, Dylan Farrow said that in 1992 at the family's Connecticut home, Allen led her to a "dim, closet-like attic" and "then he sexually assaulted me." She didn't specify Allen's actions, but described other abusive behaviour.

Allen said in his letter he believes Mia Farrow concocted those details, and they were inspired by the song "With My Daddy in the Attic."

"Does the letter really benefit Dylan or does it simply advance her mother's shabby agenda?" Allen said. "That is to hurt me with a smear. There is even a lame attempt to do professional damage by trying to involve movie stars, which smells a lot more like Mia than Dylan."

In his letter, Allen recounts several anecdotes to call Mia Farrow's integrity into question. He also addressed the claim by Mia Farrow that her ex-husband Frank Sinatra could be the father of son Ronan Farrow, not Allen.

"Even if he is not Frank's, the possibility she raises that he could be, indicates she was secretly intimate with him during our years," said Allen. "Not to mention all the money I paid for child support. Was I supporting Frank's son? Again, I want to call attention to the integrity and honesty of a person who conducts her life like that."

The 28-year-old Dylan Farrow, now married, currently lives in Florida under another name. Her letter caused an uproar, reawakening a case more than two decades after it made headlines.

"For 20 years, I have never wavered in describing what he did to me," she said Friday in the statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

Some have challenged Dylan Farrow's account, most notably her 36-year-old brother, Moses Farrow. He told People magazine this week that "of course" Allen didn't molest Dylan Farrow, which she called "a betrayal."

Allen said his open letter "will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments on it by any party."

He ended the letter by saying, "Enough people have been hurt."

Messages left by The Associated Press for Dylan Farrow, Mia Farrow and Ronan Farrow were not immediately returned.

___

Online:

http://www.nytimes.com

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

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