Woody Allen has described allegations of sexual abuse made by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow as "untrue and disgraceful" a day after she renewed her claims.
Allen's publicist Leslee Dart said Allen had read Farrow's open letter, published in The New York Times, in which she details the claims of sexual abuse. The movie director would respond soon, Dart said.
Allen's lawyer Elkan Abramowitz also released an official statement today in response to Farrow's letter:
"It is tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces after it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities," says Abramowitz.
"The one to blame for Dylan's distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen."
In 1992 Allen was accused of sexually assaulting the then seven-year-old Dylan, who he had adopted with his former partner Mia Farrow. He was investigated but never charged as prosecutors decided to drop the case to protect Dylan.
Dylan Farrow claims that in 1992 Allen led her to a “dim, closet-like attic” in their home and sexually assaulted her.
The fact that the director was never charged “haunted me as I grew up”, Farrow said in the letter. She said she became terrified of being touched by men, developed an eating disorder and self harmed. Farrow said seeing Allen's face everywhere – at awards ceremonies, on posters and T-shirts – had made her panic and fall apart.
Farrow said that Allen's latest Oscar nomination, combined with support from survivors of sexual abuse, “have given me a reason to not be silent”.
In the letter she asked actors Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin, “what if it had been your own child?” Blanchett and Baldwin star in Allen's latest film, Blue Jasmine, with Blanchett being nominated for a best actress Oscar for her titular role.
Dart said: “At the time, a thorough investigation was conducted by court-appointed independent experts. The experts concluded there was no credible evidence of molestation . . . No charges were ever filed.”
The handling of the investigation was criticised at the time after Litchfield County state attorney Frank Maco said at a media conference that he believed Allen was guilty but he dropped the charges to avoid traumatising the young Dylan.
A disciplinary panel found that Maco may have prejudiced the ongoing custody battle between Allen and Mia Farrow by making an accusation without formal charges.
Maco, who retired in 2003, told the Associated Press on Sunday that the statute of limitations on Farrow's accusations ran out at least 15 years ago. He said he hopes Farrow was able to watch his media conference and read his statement about his decision not to prosecute Allen.
"I hope she has access to that statement, to know what I did and why I did it," Maco said. "I hope she finds some peace and solace at this time."
A spokesman for the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice says the case will not be re-examined by the prosecutor's office unless it is asked to do so.
Allen is married to Mia Farrow's adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn. The two became involved shortly before the 1992 allegations, when Previn was about 19 years old and the director was in his mid-50s. The couple has two adopted daughters.