The Woody Allen Controversy Reader: (1) Debunking Maureen Orth’s “Undeniable Facts About The Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation” — Exploring The Relevance That Mia Farrow Never Went To The Police About The Allegations
This is an excerpt of a larger and more complete essay that debunks Maureen Orth’s false and misleading article “10 Undeniable Facts About The Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation”. This particular section focuses on Orth’s first claim — That Mia Farrow first took her daughter to a doctor who was bound by law to contact the police, rather than her going to the police directly herself.
Here is Orth’s precise contention as stated in her article:
1. Mia never went to the police about the allegation of sexual abuse. Her lawyer told her on August 5, 1992, to take the seven-year-old Dylan to a pediatrician, who was bound by law to report Dylan’s story of sexual violation to law enforcement and did so on August 6.
Let’s assume this is true (Orth is never clear on who her sources are for each allegation in her essay). How is that even remotely relevant to helping assess the believability of the allegations against Allen?
At best, Orth seems to imply that this is relevant to show that Mia never sought to make the allegations public. But this too is irrelevant since she didn’t need to make the allegations public in order to still gain leverage in what was, at the time, still a private custody dispute.
None of this changes the undeniable fact that the Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Child Sexual Abuse Clinic in Connecticut concluded that Dylan’s claims against Allen were made up fantasies and that Mia may have had a hand in coaching her.
None of this changes the fact that the allegations came only after Mia Farrow became furious with Allen for beginning a romantic relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, and thus had ample motive to seek revenge.
None of this changes the undeniable fact that Dylan’s own brother Moses, describes his own experience with Mia Farrow as one of “brainwashing” and has always believed that Dylan was coached by Mia based on his observations of her.
None of this changes the undeniable fact that Dylan’s own nanny, Monica Thompson, said in a sworn statement that it took Farrow two or three days to videotape Dylan making the accusations, that she would “stop taping for a while and then continue”, and that Dylan appeared to be completely uninterested in the process at times.
But there is an even more intuitive reason for the explanation behind Mia’s decision to take Dylan to a doctor before having them report things to the police — If Mia knew that she was planting a false story in her child’s mind and coaching her to make false statements against Allen, then Mia was certainly aware that she could be charged with a crime for knowingly filing a false police report had she gone to the police directly.
In fact, Connecticut law makes it a crime specifically “to have knowingly made a false report of child abuse”.
To avoid that scenario, all she had to do was get Dylan to say a few key phrases to her doctor (which took multiple attempts, since Dylan first pointed to her shoulders when asked where she had been touched. It was only when Mia took Dylan out of the office and they were alone and unaccounted for, that Dylan returned and said that she had been touched in her privates). Farrow then knew that the doctor was obligated by law to do her dirty work for her. This would give her a degree of deniability in terms of helping to perpetrate a fraud on the police.
So to effectuate her scheme of falsely accusing Allen without getting into trouble personally, Farrow first told her attorney Eleanor Alter. Alter then advised Farrow to take Dylan to a doctor.
The doctor, Vadakkekara Kavirajan of New Milford, Conn., was the regular physician for Farrow’s children and the one that she took Dylan to when needing a middleman to isolate her from the possibility of making a false charge.
Dr. Kavirajan regretfully passed away on February 10th, 2016, but it was notable that the only thing he ever had to say regarding the Dylan case was the general observation that if a parent or child makes a complaint of abuse, he is required, by state law, to report the case to the state’s Child Protection Bureau. He emphasized what the law required him to do under the circumstances, but refused to discuss it further.
We even know from Farrow’s own testimony that the doctor visits concluded that there was absolutely no physical evidence that Dylan had been abused.On that critical point, all sources are in agreement.
So to reiterate the timeline here:
August 5th — After months of contentious custody negotiations, Allen and Farrow prepare to sign an agreement the following day whereby Allen would pay $6,000 a month in child support along with visitation rights with his kids (Moses, Dylan and Ronan).
That same day (August 5th), the claims are first made that Allen had molested Dylan the previous day (on August 4th). Mia Farrow then immediately calls her attorney, Eleanor Alter, who tells Farrow to take Dylan to a pediatrician (Dr. Kavirajan), which she does that same day (August 5th).
Dylan refuses to tell Dr. Kavirajan that she had been molested, merely gesturing to her shoulder when asked where Allen had touched her.
That same day, Farrow calls psychologist Dr. Susan Coates to tell her that Dylan had accused Allen of molesting her. (Dr. Coates would later say of the conversation, “I was puzzled, because in that conversation she was very calm. I did not understand her calm.”)
Also that same day, Farrow also begins to tape Dylan (who appeared “not to be interested”) making statements accusing Allen of molestation — starting and stopping the tape when she could get Dylan to state something incriminating.
(It is admittedly unclear if Farrow’s call to Dr. Coates and the start of her videotaping Dylan began before the first visit to Dr. Kavirajan, or afterwards.)
August 6th — The signing of the custody agreement that Allen and Farrow had been negotiating contentiously for months does not take place. After first failing to get Dylan to admit to Dr. Kavirajan that Allen had molested her, and after videotaping her to capture instances of Dylan making such claims, Farrow brings Dylan back to Kavirajan for a second visit.
It is only during this second visit (after plenty of time had lapsed, allowing Farrow to coach Dylan as necessary) that Dylan tells Kavirajan that Allen had touched her inappropriately.
Upon returning from Dr. Kavirajan on the second trip, Farrow tells Dylan’s nanny Monica Thompson, “everything is OK now — everything is set.” Thompson also noted that Farrow seemed “very happy and excited for herself.”
No wonder that Dr. Kavirajan was reluctant to say anything else besides the fact that he was obligated by law to report any such allegations to the police, regardless of what he may have privately believed himself.
Orth’s own story claims that Kavirajan found no physical evidence of abuse by examining Dylan and finding that “she was intact”. He then “called his lawyer and then told Mia he was bound by law to report Dylan’s story to the police.”
Why would a doctor think to call his lawyer before reporting this claim to police, unless he himself had serious, personal doubts about the veracity of the allegations and needed to know what he was still obligated to do despite his misgivings?
It was this same legal obligation that compelled Dr. Susan Coates, who evaluated Dylan, to also inform the New York City Child Welfare Administration after she heard Farrow’s strangely calm allegation that Dylan had been molested. She was compelled to do this despite concluding that Allen had never acted in a sexual manner towards Dylan and that she was easily “taken over by fantasy”.
Naturally, this is what ultimately led to a separate, second investigation against Allen in New York, in addition to the concurrent investigation in Connecticut.
As with the Connecticut investigation, the New York investigation concluded that the allegations were unfounded.
The bottom line is that the fact that Mia went to doctors and lawyers before the police were alerted to accusations has no bearing whatsoever on the credibility of the accusations themselves.
Mia surely knew that the end result would culminate in an investigation by officials to be used in court against Allen in her custody battle, regardless of the specific timeline trajectory of how the investigation got started.
Farrow’s own attorney was the one who advised her to take Dylan to her pediatrician. If it turns out that Mia was responsible for coaching Dylan to say what she did, then the chronology of when or through what route the police became involved in the investigation is entirely irrelevant.
Gail Collins said it best, back in 1992, the day after Allen held a press conference to denounce Farrow in her accusations concerning Dylan:
We have come to a point in this country where the idea of one parent making up a charge of sexual abuse to gain points in a court case does not sound all that far-fetched.
This kind of thing happens every day. Our legal system has become so warped that divorce lawyers are now using child abuse charges as their favorite assault weapon.
“Every client seems to have a friend whose lawyer is doing it,” says Louis I. Newman, a veteran divorce attorney with Moore, Wohl and Newman. “I’ve had clients walk in and say flat out: `Why can’t we claim my husband is abusing the child?’ “
The people who play this game throw a shadow over all the spouses who make child-abuse claims in good conscience.
For instance, the Allen case began when Farrow took her young daughter to a pediatrician and asked him to check for signs of sexual abuse. This is exactly what any right-thinking parent would do if she was concerned about possible molestation.
It is also what slick divorce lawyers tell their clients to do when they want to put the child-abuse card into play.
(Newsday, Aug. 19, 1992, pg. 4; emphasis added.)