'Allen v Farrow' on HBO: What Woody Allen Says About Abuse Allegation in His Book

Allen v Farrow is airing now on HBO, and sees many of the key figures in the long and troubled saga of the Woody Allen and Mia Farrow family speak out. This includes Mia herself, as well as son Ronan and daughter Dylan Farrow, who alleges that Allen sexually abused her as a child.

Allen himself declined to appear in the HBO documentary, airing now on HBO Max. His voice, however, is heard in the documentary through excerpts from his memoir, Apropos of Nothing, published in March 2020.

In this book, published by Arcade after Hachette decided not to publish the book following a staff walkout, Allen is steadfast in denying the allegations.

The Manhattan director writes, "I never laid a finger on Dylan, never did anything to her that could be even misconstrued as abusing her; it was a total fabrication from start to finish, every subatomic particle of it."

woody allen apropos of nothing
Woody Allen leaves the Manhattan Supreme Courthouse in March 1993 during his custody battle with Mia Farrow. This time is explored in HBO documentary 'Allen v Farrow' and in Allen's book 'Apropos of Nothing.' Getty

He later adds, "It makes no sense why a fifty-seven-year-old man who has never been accused of a single impropriety in his life, while in the midst of a contentious and very public custody fight, drives up to the hostile environment of the country home belonging to the woman who hates him most, and in a house full of people sympathetic to her, this man, who is thrilled as he has just recently found the serious love of his life, a woman he'd go on to marry and have a family with, would suddenly choose that time and place to become a child molester and abuse his seven-year-old daughter whom he loved.

"It defied simple common sense. Especially since I had been alone with Dylan many times in my apartment over the years, and if I were actually fiend, I had ample opportunities to act like one. Yet it makes perfect sense for the angry woman who had announced she would take away my daughter and had a plan worse than death for me, to resort to the single most common cliché of custody warfare, accusing the spouse of abusing the child."

In the battle of Allen v Farrow, this is an argument often made by those on Allen's side. In a 2018 blog post, for example, Allen and Farrow's adopted son Moses wrote, "As a trained professional [he works as a therapist], I know that child molestation is a compulsive sickness ... yet some would have you believe that, at the age of 56, [Allen] suddenly decided to become a child molester."

The makers of HBO's Allen v Farrow, however, came to a different conclusion after conducting hours of interviews, reading court files and other elements of the case.

The doc's lead investigator Amy Herdy, for example, told The Guardian: "When you look at the records, the documents, the police investigation, and social workers' investigations, and that's plural, combined with the statements of the subjects that we have—all of that, in my opinion, points to the fact that Woody Allen absolutely did molest Dylan."

Allen v Farrow continues Sunday at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT on HBO. Episodes come to HBO Max the following day.