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The home video footage will be featured in Sunday night's episode of the HBO docuseries, Allen v. Farrow

By Nicholas Rice
February 28, 2021 04:45 PM
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Dylan Farrow is asking for "empathy" ahead of the upcoming episode of Allen v. Farrow on Sunday evening.

The second episode of the HBO four-part documentary series will feature home video footage of a then-7-year-old Dylan telling her mother, Mia Farrow, about the abuse she allegedly suffered by her adoptive father, Woody Allen.

The video — in which Dylan, now 35, details the alleged incident that occurred back in 1992 — has previously never been released to the public, according to IndieWire, which reported that the footage was used as evidence in the 1993 custody battle between Mia and the director.

Allen v. Farrow, which premiered last week, features Mia and Dylan speaking about their longstanding allegations that Allen sexually abused Dylan, a claim which the director has denied.

Allen vs Farrow
Credit: HBO

"These documentarians had no interest in the truth," a spokesperson for Allen and his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, previously alleged in a statement provided to media outlets. "Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods."

Allen vs Farrow
Credit: HBO

Speaking about the footage, Dylan shared a lengthy social media statement on Twitter ahead of Sunday night's episode.

"I'm writing this, because to be totally honest I have been losing sleep and overcome with anxiety. Tonight's episode of the Allen v. Farrow docuseries features a video of me as a seven-year-old child disclosing my abuse to my mother," she began. "My mother gave me this video when I became an adult to do whatever I wanted with it. It shows me as I was then, a young, vulnerable child. 'Little Dylan,' whom I've tried ever since to protect."

"Deciding to allow this tape to be viewed now publicly in this way has not been easy. I myself had resisted ever watching it until now. It had been long stored away in a closet. Scared. Buried," she continued. "I almost didn't offer it to the filmmakers, because being this vulnerable in public is absolutely terrifying for me. My fear in letting this tape come to light is that I am putting Little Dylan in the court of public opinion."

Dylan added, "While I have been able to take the stones thrown at me as an adult, to think of that happening to this little girl is stomach-churning. But I decided to let them share it in hopes that Little Dylan's voice might now help others suffering in silence feel heard, understood, and less alone. And that my testimony might also help parents, relatives, friends, loved ones and the world in general understand first-hand how an abused child might speak and interpret these horrific events."

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Then, noting that she has "pushed 'Little Dylan' away as a coping mechanism" for "decades," Dylan detailed that "part of my goal in allowing her to now speak is also to try and find some healing for me and my childhood self.  It's an attempt to make them whole again, and find some peace and closure."

She also said she hopes viewers will watch the video "with empathy, compassion and an open mind and heart and not use this as an opportunity to attack, turn away, criticize, mock; or to further shun 'Little Dylan' and in doing so shame and silence the millions of abused children who are suffering in the world today."

Dylan added, "This is the most vulnerable part of who I am. I hope this tape helps us all find ways to allow painful secrets to come safely out of their closets so we all can heal and move forward in strength and peace. No longer ashamed, buried, scared, sad, and silent."

Closing out her message, Dylan shared a note for "all other survivors," writing, "please know that your truth is valid and there are those who will listen," before including the number to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times about the forthcoming episode, Allen v. Farrow producer Amy Herdy said viewers who see the video will learn more about the pain Dylan suffered from the alleged abuse. "There's no way that you can watch that tape and come away with any other conclusion that she was incredibly harmed," Herdy said.

The four-part series, which was filmed in secret by On the Record directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, includes new interviews with other members of the Farrow-Previn family, including Ronan Farrow and Fletcher Previn as well as Quincy and Tam Farrow.

Their family friend, singer Carly Simon and prosecutor Frank Maco are also interviewed, and never-before-seen home footage from Mia and Allen's life together before their split in 1992 is shown.

Allen is currently married to Soon-Yi, 50, and they share two daughters. They did not participate in the series, although portions of the audiobook of the director's memoir Apropos of Nothing are included.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.