Monday, October 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Is Woody Allen a child molester?

By
From page A11 | February 19, 2014 |

Filmmaker Woody Allen’s integrity – really, his decency and humanity – was called into question on Feb. 1 when Nicholas Kristof, a prominent columnist for the New York Times, published on his blog an open letter from Dylan Farrow, Allen’s 28-year-old adoptive daughter, accusing him of sexually assaulting her when she was 7.

On the same day, Kristof produced a column for the Times questioning whether it’s appropriate to honor with a Golden Globe lifetime achievement award someone who was accused of child molestation, even 21 years ago.  He quotes Dylan Farrow’s open letter at length and describes the psychological trauma and pain with which she says she lives.

Kristof suggests that guilt beyond a reasonable doubt might be the proper standard for sending someone to prison in our judicial system, but that the Golden Globes should apply a higher standard, honoring only those who are “unimpeachably, well, honorable.”  Which, he implies, Woody Allen is not.

But, he says, the Golden Globes sided with Allen, “in effect accusing Dylan either of lying or not mattering.” But are those the only two choices?

A recent Time magazine article cites a Canadian study that finds that in the context of divorce or custody battles, unfounded allegations of sexual abuse, whether fabrications or in mistaken good faith, occur at “a relatively high rate,” perhaps as much as 50 percent.   Even Kristof acknowledges that the evidence is “ambiguous.”

A week after Kristof’s column, Allen defended himself in the Times, noting that the charges of molestation emerged during the bitter dissolution of his 12-year relationship with Mia Farrow.  He points to various pieces of exculpatory evidence, most of which are ignored or dismissed by Kristof.

In fact, in his column Kristof discloses his friendship with Mia Farrow and Dylan’s access to him through Farrow, and while he admits that “none of us can be certain what happened,” he suggests that the Golden Globes treat Allen as if we are.

Surely this is a significant journalistic lapse by Kristof and the Times, which on March 26, 1993, during the vicious child custody battle between Farrow and Allen, reported that “Farrow conceded that the girl would not tell a doctor of the abuse, and that a medical examination a few days later showed no signs of it.” Further, the story reports on an investigation by the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic at the Yale-New Haven hospital that “concluded that Dylan had not been molested.” Clearly, sympathy for Dylan Farrow is in order.  Whatever happened, she is a victim.  Her earliest bad fortune was probably the dubious honor of having been adopted into the tempestuous, semi-functional Farrow/Allen household and subsequently becoming a pawn in an ugly custody battle.

Furthermore, it’s difficult to imagine a crime more despicable than child molestation; I wouldn’t want to come near the circle in Hell reserved for those who prey on children.

But the flip side of our disgust with child molestation is the shame and embarrassment connected with a mistaken or false accusation of sexual misbehavior with a child, a charge almost impossible to eradicate.

My admiration for Allen’s films and writing is no more relevant than Kristof’s friendship with Farrow.  It’s the presumption of innocence that must remain paramount.

If sufficient evidence indicates Mr. Allen’s guilt, he should be prosecuted.  If the statute of limitations has expired, he should be denounced and shunned.

But his reputation and dignity shouldn’t be collateral damage to a well-intended effort to encourage victims of child molestation to speak out.  Are we sufficiently certain about Allen’s guilt to continue to subject him to these unseemly suspicions? At the end of his column in the Times, Allen says, “This piece 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.  Enough people have been hurt.”  Perhaps the rest of us should put it behind us, as well.

John M. Crisp, an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune, teaches in the English Department at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. Readers may send him email at jcrisp@delmar.edu.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Girl Scouts explore sweet side of chemistry

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Time again for my Cheers and Jeers

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 4 Comments

Red Kettle Program returns for holidays

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Holiday Fashion Extravaganza registration deadline looms

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

Elder depression and substance abuse topic of discussion

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville library to host composting series

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

Senior Center hosts monthly travel presentation

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Total Home, Garden & Harvest Festival wraps up

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Pumpkin Patch Festival set for final weekend

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Sessions teach about child support process

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Arrivederci! Italian Festival

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Local governments schedule meetings

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Napa man jailed for running over ex-girlfriend

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Weather for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Cruise ship docks with Ebola-watched health worker

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Friends, family of Ebola patient reach milestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Obama switches gears, confronting Ebola head on

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
CDC to revise Ebola protocol, Pentagon preps team

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Expelled Nazis paid millions in Social Security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California lottery sales top $5B for first time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Archaeologists seek movie set in California sands

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
The 10 semifinalists for World’s Funniest Person

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

On the road to find the world’s funniest person

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police hunt for clues near where Va. remains found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Super drunk woman arrested, mistook jail for bar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Robotic device helps paralyzed groom walk aisle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Coroner: 6 fire victims died of smoke inhalation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
New England raking in millions from leaf peepers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

UN says Iraq has executed 60 people this year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Pope beatifies Paul VI at remarkable synod’s end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

S. Korea: 2 Koreas exchange gunfire along border

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Sweden: 3 credible sightings in submarine search

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

5 Things to Know about Pope Paul VI

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Marine accused in Philippine killing tests US ties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

.

Opinion

Beware a Trojan horse

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Pulse poll question

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Is it truly affordable health care?

By Jim Mccully | From Page: A8, 18 Comments

Suisun mayor offers his endorsements

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Which candidates support Alzheimer’s cure?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Oct. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

I’m too scared to leave my abusive husband of 15 years

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
Report: Nashville songwriter Paul Craft dies at 76

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Reported ‘Easy Rider’ chopper sells at auction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
‘New Girl,’ ‘Cosmos’ win Environmental Media Award

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
‘Fury’ blasts ‘Gone Girl’ from top of box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

TVGrid Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Manning breaks Favre’s TD mark in 42-17 win over 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Tim Lincecum waits his turn, still yet to pitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Keselowski keeps title hopes alive at Talladega

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Palmer leads Cardinals past Raiders 24-13

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Rangers net 2 in 4 seconds; Lundqvist stops Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
NFL roundup: Jaguars bounce Browns, gets first win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

SEC is 1st conference to put 4 in top 5 of AP poll

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ski champ Svindal injured while playing soccer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams hits back at Russian official

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kings pick up G Ben McLemore’s option

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rockets beat Warriors 90-83 in exhibition game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pacquiao makes professional basketball debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal receiver Trevor Davis released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sounders rally for 2-2 tie with LA Galaxy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Royals dependent on 3-headed bullpen monster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Hend wins Hong Kong Open in a playoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Baek wins playoff to take LPGA South Korea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Ilonen beats Stenson in World Match Play final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Jay Haas wins Greater Hickory Kia Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Ben Martin wins 1st PGA Tour title in Las Vegas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Denkinger’s miss revisited as Series returns to KC

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Facebook, Apple pay for egg freezing, sperm donors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Rose is Rose Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield October 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7