HBO Max's documentary Allen v. Farrow is currently halfway through its four-episode run, and so far hasn't had a ton of new revelations. As EW critic Kristen Baldwin put it in her review, "what makes Allen v. Farrow all the more devastating is that it isn't packed with explosive revelations — it just puts all the evidence together and lays it at our feet." But even though Dylan Farrow's sexual assault allegations against Woody Allen have been public record since the early '90s, Sunday's episode of Allen v. Farrow had something that hadn't been seen in public before: Raw footage of 7-year-old Dylan telling her mother Mia Farrow about the alleged abuse. Allen denies all claims of wrongdoing and has never been charged with a crime.
Ahead of the episode, Dylan released a statement on social media explaining her complicated feelings about the footage. "My mother gave me this video when I became an adult to do whatever I wanted with it," Dylan wrote, noting that she almost didn't offer it to Allen v. Farrow filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering because she was terrified of being so vulnerable in public. But ultimately, Dylan says, "I decided to let them share it in the hopes that Little Dylan's voice might now help others suffering in silence feel heard, understood, and less alone."
Another reason Dylan decided to share the video was personal. She refers to her 7-year-old self as "Little Dylan," and says that for a long time she tried to repress the experience she went through back then. "So part of my goal in allowing her to speak is also to try and find some healing for me and my childhood self," she writes. "It's an attempt to make them whole again, and find some peace and closure."
Read Dylan's full statement below, and stay tuned for more coverage of Allen v. Farrow at EW.
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.
My mother gave me this video when I was 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.
I almost didn't offer it to the filmmakers, because being this vulnerable in public is absolutely terrifying to me. My fear in letting this tape come to light is that I am putting Little Dylan in the court of public opinion. 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 the 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.
There's a third reason as well.
Personally, I had, for decades, pushed "Little Dylan" away as a coping mechanism. So part of my goal in allowing her to 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.
Ever since news of her abuse was inadvertently made public, I, my siblings, and my mother have all been subjected to an endless barrage of vitriolic slander and baseless rebuke; derision so painful that I separated myself from her in self-defense. I hid her away in a closet with the tape too -- hidden, afraid, sad, and hurt.
If you watch this video, I very much hope you will do so 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. 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.
To all other survivors, please know that your truth is valid and there are those who will listen. RAINN is always available at 800-656-4673.