Saturday, September 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

 
Memorial focuses on hope, healing from addiction

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Solano jobless rate drops, jobs rise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Vacaville High graduate shines at tech event

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
New law aimed at urban water district reports

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Travis celebrates KC-10′s 20 years at base

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Highway 37 detours in place

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Maintenance begins on Rio Vista Bridge Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Mother gives late daughter a voice by helping others

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Record-setting retardant used on California fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Brown vetoes diaper changing-station bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Oakland mother charged in cocaine death of son, 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California school gender equity ruling upheld

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
State to ban smoking at home day cares

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Driver of stolen van that hit dog gets prison time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
License plate scanner networks capture movements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Feds approve California’s immigrant license words

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
California man accused of killing fellow gym-goer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Fence-jumper makes it into the White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Florida town knew shooter had troubled past

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Daughter calls Utah doctor a monster at sentencing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
3 guilty in Ga. salmonella-tainted peanut trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Fierce fighting in Yemeni capital kills 120

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Sierra Leone begins 3-day Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ambush suspect could be aided by dense woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
France joins US against Islamic State over Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

After vote to stay in UK, Scots must heal divide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Lots of services available for Solano veterans

By Ted Puntillo | From Page: A8

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Fairfield Ford boosts animal adoption efforts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Make sure you get educated during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

 
Fallon to pay up, broadcast show in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Legs power Mustangs in win over Falcons

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s Lester holds Phillies to 5 hits in 7 innings in 3-1 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Big plays in second half lift Vanden past Center

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

Gordon has suspension reduced to 10 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
After NFL, baseball addresses domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Goodell: ‘Same mistakes can never be repeated’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kershaw gets 20th win as Dodgers pound Cubs 14-5

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders could be down 2 starters on defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks open with new vibe after playoff collapse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers’ Davis, McDonald questionable for Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stewart slogs through tough day at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rio Vista gets easy football win over Delta

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Keselowski wins pole at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
China fines GlaxoSmithKline $492M for bribery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble cancels on-field NFL promotion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
California adopts olive-oil labeling standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

Yahoo rakes in another jackpot from Alibaba’s IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

The Kuro taste: Peppery tang and hint of squid ink

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Charles Randolph Orr

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Corazon Libunao Thompson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Allie M. Zell-Jones

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
George Junior Rhode

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 09/20/14

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.23 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

New Standard Pacific models in Vacaville

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3