As I already have indicated, I agree with Slate.com legal writer Dahlia Lithwick’s assertion that the Mia Farrow-Woody Allen family feud never should have been put before the court of public opinion, but Slate.com today also reports (hypocritically?) today that People magazine reports that Mia Farrow’s and Woody Allen’s other adopted child, Moses Farrow, who is now 36 years old, recently said this to the magazine:
“My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister [Dylan Farrow, who now is 28 years old]. And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi. … [Keep in mind that Mia Farrow and Woody Allen waged a nasty court battle for the custody of both of their co-adopted children, Dylan and Moses, and so it’s not like Mia Farrow had no reason to lie about Allen’s treatment of either child.]
“Of course Woody did not molest my sister. She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him.
“The day in question, there were six or seven of us in the house. We were all in public rooms and no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces. My mother was conveniently out shopping.
“I don’t know if my sister really believes she was molested or is trying to please her mother. Pleasing my mother was very powerful motivation because to be on her wrong side was horrible.”
Before members of the pro-Mia camp leave me a nasty comment, let me make it clear that I am not asserting that because Moses Farrow says that his sister Dylan Farrow was not molested by Woody Allen, Dylan Farrow is lying or is mistaken or confused about reality.
While I suspect that Moses is telling the truth — and his version of the facts of that fateful day are very different from the version that Mia Farrow and Dylan Farrow tell — when it comes down to it, I still just don’t know. It’s not impossible that Moses is lying or is mistaken or confused about reality.
However, Dylan Farrow got to have her testimony in the court of public opinion, so it’s only fair that Moses Farrow also got to testify in the same court, and Moses’ testimony, whether you tend to believe it or not, sure makes the whole picture a whole lot grayer, doesn’t it? I mean, he was in the house. I was not, and neither were you.
The more information that you have, the better, and Moses Farrow’s public statement certainly adds more information, is another important piece of the puzzle, but the puzzle never was ours to (try to) put together.
Welcome to the Court of Public Opinion. We have continued People v. Bieber (2014) so that we can instead relitigate Allen v. Farrow (1992). To be perfectly clear, the court must state upfront that in the Court of Public Opinion there are no rules of evidence, no burdens of proof, no cross-examinations, and no standards of admissibility. There are no questions and also no answers. Also, please be aware that in the Court of Public Opinion, choosing silence or doubt is itself a prosecutable offense.
She adds that
… the Court of Public Opinion is what we used to call villagers with flaming torches. It has no rules, no arbiter, no mechanism at all for separating truth from lies. It allows everything into evidence and has no mechanism to separate facts about the case from the experiences and political leanings of the millions of us who are all acting as witnesses, judges, and jurors. …
The Court of Public Opinion is a wonderful place to be heard, to test new ideas, and an even more gratifying place to tear apart those whose opinions offend us. It rarely brings about justice for the parties in a lawsuit, however, because the Court of Public Opinion is usually more about us than them. …
Indeed, as I have said, Farrow v. Allen (1992) has served as a national Rorschach test. (Indeed, if you read Lithwick’s full piece, she remarks about our “our woefully anti-woman, anti-victim culture,” so even she apparently has skin in this game. [I consider myself to be a feminist, too, but to point out that we have an “anti-woman, anti-victim culture” sure gives the appearance of taking a side, doesn’t it?])
And just saying, as I have said many times now, “I don’t know” whether or not Woody Allen molested his adopted daughter Dylan is enough for many if not most members of the pro-Mia camp to attack you as a misogynist pedophile-lover, if not a pedophile yourself.
This ugly national drama reminds me much of the plays (and the films) “The Crucible” and “Doubt.”
Shame on us for not having risen above this shit already.