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February 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sony Pictures Classics, which has distributed Woody Allen’s films for the last seven years, said on Sunday that Allen “deserves our presumption of innocence.” The statement came after Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, alleged publicly for the first time that Allen had molested her when she was seven years old. Farrow set out her allegations in an open letter to Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times in which she wrote that the alleged abuse “haunted” her during her childhood and that as a result she became “terrified of being touched by men.” On Sunday Allen released a brief statement through his publicist saying that Farrow’s allegations are “untrue and disgraceful” and that he “will be responding very soon.” Farrow’s letter touched off a firestorm online. There were calls for a boycott of Allen’s films and condemnation of actors who deigned to work in Allen’s movies. Richard Stellar, a regular contributor to the industry blog, wrote that while he had always been fan of Allen’s, after reading Farrow’s account, “my disgust will override any fandom feelings that may linger.” He applauded Farrow’s for speaking out in advance of the final voting for the Oscars (Allen’s most recent film, Blue Jasmine, has been nominated for three awards) and said that he would not only boycott Allen’s movies but those of every actor who worked with him and disregarded Dylan Farrow’s accusations. One of those actors, Cate Blanchett, who starred in Blue Jasmine, released a brief statement expressing the hope that Allen and Farrow “find some resolution and peace.” When they initially surfaced, the court appointed a panel of experts to interview Dylan Farrow and assess her charges. The panel concluded that there was no credible evidence of Dylan’s claims and that she was likely coached by her mother. There have been numerous cases involving children who have made similar claims but who were later revealed to have fabricated them. The most famous case in this realm was the McMartin Preschool affair in which members of the McMartin family were charged with hundreds of acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. After the longest and most expensive trial in California history, the defendants were acquitted. Later, one of the alleged victims confessed that she had lied to prosecutors. “I said a lot of things that didn’t happen. I lied. … I felt uncomfortable and a little ashamed that I was being dishonest,” she said, “but at the same time, being the type of person I was, whatever my parents wanted me to do, I would do.” It may not be sheer coincidence that in Blue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett plays a woman who is a pathological liar.