LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
8 February 2014
It's Boaring

Oh dear. Good Wills hunting I think not. More spouting blood sport.

Prince William and accompanying brother are off to slaughter wild boar and
deer in private in Spain at the same time he is calling for the prevention of
‘endangered’ wildlife. Presuming boar and deer are fair game or they’re game
– as it were. Clearly they lack any sort of positive animal image; better for
target practice. Didn’t Wills ever see
Bambi?

In the current save-the-animals video Wills and Prince Charles are asking for
the world to be aware of mass slaughter; curiously he doesn’t look his most
sincere.

Oh well. Wills could have merely been distracted by the very salivating-
producing-images of a trophy body piled up to come. Even Peppa Pig and
George would be horrified at the thought of any deliberately dead pigs – furry
and wild or not. Do I hear Miss Piggy screaming?
                                                            

Siding With Winners

From animal hunts to witch hunts. When continuous Coronation Street star Ken
Barlow, played by 81-year-old William Roache, was cleared of all sex offences
against five women, prosecutor Anne Whyte said that if Roache was telling the
truth and the complainants were all liars then he was a victim of "a huge,
distorted, perverse witch-hunt" in her closing statement to the jury. Was she
referencing the women? Women as witches? As you do, as you would if you
were dealing with any sex-based case against women.

“Oh those spell-inducing bitches...oops...witches. Messing with the black arts
those seductive slags.”

The soap star was accused of using his popularity and fame to exploit the
'starstruck’ under 16s in the late 60s and early 70s. Roache referred to the five
accusers as 'money-grabbing' women who falsely accused him of sex offences
and blamed the Saville scandal.

Roache’s
Coronation Street ‘family’ were adamant that he would never do such
as he was accused of. How do they know? How does anyone know? He didn’t
wear a sign, a badge, carry an award for inappropriate behaviour, he didn’t ...
he was a lovely man, He was allegedly nicknamed ‘Cock Roache’ and ‘King
Stud’ by other cast members. So surely they know he is above reproach
(sorry....).

Defenders of Roache complain that time was on their side; abusers shouldn’t
be able to report the abuse as it happened soooo long ago. WTF? Their
memories are not accurate. Really? We all know that recent memories are no
more reliable than past memories – so mute point.

A follower of the Circle of Love spiritual love sect, Roache claimed only less
than a year ago that sex abuse victims were being punished for past life sins.
No. Really. How does Roache explain his sex-addiction exactly? Casanova?
Caligula?

Evidently in real life ‘rampant promiscuity’ in the 60s and 70s was his preferred
activity. “I didn’t have any control over my own sex drive.” Goodness me. This
manifested in having sex with over 1000 women (the man kept count?) but he
“didn’t go for older ladies. I liked them slender, young, delicate and feminine.”
Lovely.

Roache-at-the-ready: he didn’t bother with underpants because he ‘made love
so quickly, he had no time to take them off’. “Often I slept with several women in
one day. It was all to do with availability”. I’m not really liking this guy.

Mr Justice Holroyde decided that the figure of at least 1,000 sexual conquests
would have ‘a tendency to stick in the mind’ of jurors. Sigh. This is not from the
soap script.

Holroyde sided with Roache’s defence barrister’s claim that Roache’s claim
had been ‘banter’ and refused to allow it to be mentioned in any way before the
jury in the 4 week trial. I see. It was boasting banter. Blimey.

Post script: police might review information from ‘a number of other people’
who have come forward; 3 more from the 1,000. "Mr Roache was acquitted of
all the charges in the trial and there is no current investigation." ‘Ken’ returns to
his soap home in August. Roache said at the end of the trial: “There are no
winners.” He doesn’t look like a looser – or does he....

                                      
***
And then there’s Woody. Oh my. The world has chosen sides and clearly
Woody has won. Chosing sides. I didn’t quite realise it was a game. But it
surely is.

Grace Dent in the
Independent: Back then [the brilliant by the way] Maureen
Orth produced an epic-in-length Vanity Fair feature on the Dylan Farrow case.
It is a bewilderingly dark story examining Woody Allen’s obsessive behaviour
towards Dylan, of astounded babysitters, intimate suncream application
sessions, and an incident in “an attic” – which is more accurately a space at
the back of Mia Farrow’s bedroom closet that the children would crawl inside to
hide – in which Dylan says that terrible things occurred.”

At the time it seemed that everybody (at least in New York) was aware of Allen’s
Dylan obsession; common knowledge. What really tipped it all over the edge
was when Mia’s mother (actress Maureen O’Sullivan) made it known that Allen
had taken graphic, hard-core photographs of his adopted daughter, Soon Yi. I
will not go into detail – but they were not ‘artful’.

Personally I have never been seduced by that narcissistic-neurotic-New York
genre that Allen repeats ad nauseum, supplemented with the additional romantic
element of young-girl-easily-falls-in-love-with-old man. No, Woody. They don’t.
Not that anyone sees it that way...apparently.

Taking side is cases where famous/rich/successful/admired/revered celebrities
have been accused of inappropriate advances to paedophilic acts is bizarre
and surely wrong. Guilty or innocent, there is a case to answer and the
accuser is repeatedly maligned, mocked, reviled. Wrong.

Curious that there is such vitriol against Mia and Dylan but Woody is held in the
highest regard as a sainted genius. Sainted? Genius? Fantasy.

OK. Enough. Read below for the facts.

5:15 PM, February 7 2014
10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation
By  Maureen Orth

This week, a number of commentators have published articles containing
incorrect and irresponsible claims regarding the allegation of Woody Allen’s
having sexually abused his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. As the author of
two lengthy, heavily researched and thoroughly fact-checked articles that deal
with that allegation—the first published in 1992, when Dylan was seven, and the
second last fall, when she was 28—I feel obliged to set the record straight. As
such, I have compiled the following list of undeniable facts:

1.   Mia never went to the police about the allegation of sexual abuse. Her
lawyer told her on August 5, 1992, to take the seven-year-old Dylan to a
pediatrician, who was bound by law to report Dylan’s story of sexual violation to
law enforcement and did so on August 6.
2.   Allen had been in therapy for alleged inappropriate behavior toward Dylan
with a child psychologist before the abuse allegation was presented to the
authorities or made public. Mia Farrow had instructed her babysitters that Allen
was never to be left alone with Dylan.
3.   Allen refused to take a polygraph administered by the Connecticut state
police. Instead, he took one from someone hired by his legal team. The
Connecticut state police refused to accept the test as evidence. The state
attorney, Frank Maco, says that Mia was never asked to take a lie-detector test
during the investigation.
4.   Allen subsequently lost four exhaustive court battles—a lawsuit, a
disciplinary charge against the prosecutor, and two appeals—and was made to
pay more than $1 million in Mia’s legal fees. Judge Elliott Wilk, the presiding
judge in Allen’s custody suit against Farrow, concluded that there is “no
credible evidence to support Mr. Allen’s contention that Ms. Farrow coached
Dylan or that Ms. Farrow acted upon a desire for revenge against him for
seducing Soon-Yi.”
5.   In his 33-page decision, Judge Wilk found that Mr. Allen’s behavior toward
Dylan was “grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect
her.” The judge also recounts Farrow’s misgivings regarding Allen’s behavior
toward Dylan from the time she was between two and three years old.
According to the judge’s decision, Farrow told Allen, “You look at her [Dylan] in
a sexual way. You fondled her . . . You don’t give her any breathing room. You
look at her when she’s naked.”
6.   Dylan’s claim of abuse was consistent with the testimony of three adults
who were present that day. On the day of the alleged assault, a babysitter of a
friend told police and gave sworn testimony that Allen and Dylan went missing
for 15 or 20 minutes, while she was at the house. Another babysitter told police
and also swore in court that on that same day, she saw Allen with his head on
Dylan’s lap facing her body, while Dylan sat on a couch “staring vacantly in the
direction of a television set.” A French tutor for the family told police and
testified that that day she found Dylan was not wearing underpants under her
sundress. The first babysitter also testified she did not tell Farrow that Allen and
Dylan had gone missing until after Dylan made her statements. These sworn
accounts contradict Moses Farrow’s recollection of that day in People
magazine.
7.   The Yale-New Haven Hospital Child Sex Abuse Clinic’s finding that Dylan
had not been sexually molested, cited repeatedly by Allen’s attorneys, was not
accepted as reliable by Judge Wilk, or by the Connecticut state prosecutor
who originally commissioned them. The state prosecutor, Frank Maco, engaged
the Yale-New Haven team to determine whether Dylan would be able to
perceive facts correctly and be able to repeat her story on the witness stand.
The panel consisted of two social workers and a pediatrician, Dr. John
Leventhal, who signed off on the report but who never saw Dylan or Mia
Farrow. No psychologists or psychiatrists were on the panel. The social
workers never testified; the hospital team only presented a sworn deposition by
Dr. Leventhal, who did not examine Dylan.
All the notes from the report were destroyed. Her confidentiality was then
violated, and Allen held a news conference on the steps of Yale University to
announce the results of the case. The report concluded Dylan had trouble
distinguishing fantasy from reality. (For example, she had told them there were
“dead heads” in the attic and called sunset “the magic hour.” In fact, Mia kept
wigs from her movies on styrofoam blocks in a trunk in the attic.) The doctor
subsequently backed down from his contention.
The Connecticut state police, the state attorney, and Judge Wilk all had serious
reservations about the report’s reliability.
8.   Allen changed his story about the attic where the abuse allegedly took
place. First, Allen told investigators he had never been in the attic where the
alleged abuse took place. After his hair was found on a painting in the attic, he
admitted that he might have stuck his head in once or twice. A top investigator
concluded that his account was not credible.
9.   The state attorney, Maco, said publicly he did have probable cause to press
charges against Allen but declined, due to the fragility of the “child victim.”
Maco told me that he refused to put Dylan through an exhausting trial, and
without her on the stand, he could not prosecute Allen.
10.   I am not a longtime friend of Mia Farrow’s, and I did not make any deal
with her. I have been personally accused of helping my “long-time friend” Mia
Farrow place the story that ran in Vanity Fair’s November 2013 issue as part of
an effort to help launch Ronan Farrow’s media career. I have also been
accused of agreeing to some type of deal with Mia Farrow guaranteeing that
the sexual-abuse allegation against Woody Allen would be revisited. For the
record, I met Mia Farrow for the first time in 2003, more than 10 years after the
first piece was published, at a nonfiction play she appeared in for a benefit in
Washington, D.C. I saw her and Dylan again the next day. That is the last time
I saw her until I approached her in April 2013 to do a story about her family
and how they had fared over the years. I talked to eight of her children,
including Dylan and a reluctant Ronan. There was no deal of any kind. Moses
Farrow declined to be interviewed for the 2013 piece.
Read:
The scathing 33-page decision from the presiding judge in Woody
Allen's 1992 custody suit against Mia Farrow.
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