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‘Allen v. Farrow’ Directors On Tracking A Hollywood Family’s Tragedy

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Aug. 4, 1992: the day Dylan Farrow’s life was forever changed.

The then 7-year-old was visiting with her adoptive father, Woody Allen, at the Connecticut country home of his ex and her mother, Mia Farrow, when she alleges he took her up to the attic and sexually molested her.

The tragic event is dissected in the four-part HBO special “Allen v. Farrow,” which debuted Sunday night. Directed by “The Hunting Ground” and “On the Record” filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, the docuseries features in-depth interviews with Dylan, Mia, Ronan Farrow and other relatives, investigators and witnesses, who recount the details surrounding the damning allegations. Although Allen, who continues to deny Dylan’s claims of abuse, does not take part in the project, his acclaimed body of work and relationship with Mia Farrow is heavily documented and analyzed.

“Allen v. Farrow” presents a strong case against the Oscar-winning director. Home-video footage, as well as court documents, police evidence and never-before-heard audio tapes paint a picture of a man who silenced his adolescent victim and used his power and standing in Hollywood to manipulate his way out of facing real consequences.

“It’s really hard to believe that somebody you respect and, for me, somebody who you love deeply, love so much, could be capable of doing something so awful to a child,” Mia Farrow says in Episode 2 of the doc, following footage of a young Dylan detailing Allen’s behavior. “You have one job. That is to stand by your child and keep her safe.”

At the time of the alleged incident, Mia had nine other children ― her three biological sons with second husband André Previn: Matthew, Sascha and Fletcher; adopted children Soon-Yi, Lark, Daisy, Moses and Tam; and her biological son with Allen, Ronan. (She later adopted four more kids ― Thaddeus, Frankie-Minh, Isaiah and Kaeli-Shea.) A few months before the abuse case erupted, Allen had admitted to having a sexual relationship with Farrow’s 21-year-old daughter Soon-Yi, whom he eventually married in 1997.

“Allen v. Farrow” covers that affair, as well as the trauma and backlash that followed the Farrow family for years, most recently after Dylan re-shared her story in a 2014 New York Times essay and again amid the Me Too reckoning.

In this interview, Dick and Ziering discuss working with investigative producer Amy Herdy to earn the trust of Dylan Farrow and charting the controversial legacy of Allen.



Dylan Farrow in “Allen v. Farrow.” 

As filmmakers, you have released incredible documentaries focusing on victims and survivors of sexual assault. Tell me why it’s important for you to choose these stories to put out into the world.

Amy Ziering: Our life’s work has kind of happened very organically. I don’t really feel like we chose it so much as the stories chose us, honestly. “Invisible War” happened in that way. We just read an article online about some women who had reported their experiences in the military and we started investigating and exploring it. We had a surprisingly successful release and response when we started showing that film on campuses and students started coming up to us and saying, “Come see what’s going on here at Bowdoin or Harvard or USC.” So we started working on “The Hunting Ground.” Once that came out, our cellphones exploded and people were like, “You guys should be out there collecting Me Too stories.”

And that’s sort of how this project happened. We weren’t intending to look at the Woody Allen/Mia Farrow story, but we were casting a wide net and talking to many people who, in the wake of Me Too, had come out and spoken. And Amy Herdy, our amazing investigative producer, got us an interview with Dylan Farrow. Watching the interview, we looked at each other and were like, “Oh, my. There’s so much more to this story that we never knew.”

When Dylan re-shared her story in 2017, it was right during the Me Too reckoning, and more people started questioning what actually goes on behind closed doors in Hollywood and how some people are able to escape consequences.

Kirby Dick: Well, yes. One of the things that I think is really important about this story is that the Woody Allen case is the most high-profile incest case in this country in the last 50 years. It has really influenced the way the media has covered this and it’s influenced the way that the public has looked at this. And by examining this case and all the misperceptions around it and the spin that Woody Allen was able to generate around it, we thought this would help audiences understand more what the truth is.

What else about this story struck you and made you want to make a docuseries?

Dick: First of all, I actually was reluctant to [take this on] because I thought it had been extensively covered. I sort of mistakenly thought that most of the story had been made public. And so once we started realizing that there was so much more information that wasn’t out there and there were cover-ups that prevented the information from coming out, that created a sort of urgency around this. People have looked at this story one way for 30 years. The public has had only the tip of the iceberg of the information around it.

Ziering: And also, we weren’t just motivated to tell this particular story, but it is a prism in a way and a lens to look at bigger issues in society at large: incest, misogyny, the criminal justice system. This is a family story and a family tragedy, but sort of analogous to the O.J. Simpson case, it does say so much more about our culture.

Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen and Ronan Farrow.



Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen and Ronan Farrow.

The public has never been given this much access to Dylan Farrow and her story, memories, home videos. I imagine it was hard earning her trust. Can you talk about the process of meeting Dylan?

Ziering: I think it’s important to say it was hard earning any of their trust. I mean, people close to the story had never really been given a fair platform in the media. And not only not fair, but the family mostly had been presented in only one way over and over and over again, and in a way that elided the facts and the truth. And so they all were extremely trepidatious, it wasn’t just Dylan.

We were fortunate enough that, after a lot of hesitation, Dylan said yes. And I think part of that yes came from our former body of work that people can look at and say, “OK, these people don’t have an agenda. They don’t have a bias. They approach things with a lot of integrity. And they’re not sensational.” I think that helped her get emotionally comfortable in talking with us.

Did you find it was similar process with Mia Farrow? Due to aforementioned misogyny and just Woody’s power at that time, Mia was viewed as “a woman scorned.” She lost her career as he ascended. I imagine going back and reliving this was not easy for her.

Ziering: No. Mia only did this because Dylan implored her to speak and just said, “Can you back me up, Mom?” It was not something that Mia had any desire to do. Mia wanted to stand by her child and not let her down. She was severely traumatized by this and she felt severely trepidatious about speaking to anyone part of media because she’s been treated so unfairly by them for so long.

How did you approach Woody Allen? Did you have any communication with him, or did he just shut down every reach-out?

Dick: Amy Herdy reached out to him multiple times in multiple ways. Obviously we would have loved to have an interview with him so that he could say, on camera, what his perspective is on these last three decades. And likewise with Soon-Yi. We were hopeful, but we didn’t expect Woody Allen to say yes. He very rarely says yes to any interview, even interviews just about his films, so it wasn’t a surprise that he didn’t agree to do an interview.

But it’s important to realize that we actually have his voice and perspective because he spoke about this extensively in his [2020] memoir, “Apropos of Nothing,” and then made an audiobook of it. So you hear Woody’s voice talking about when he and Mia first met, when they dated, how they decided to adopt Dylan, all the way through to all the events that follow, not only in the ’90s, but even up to the present. And so he’s very much a presence and a voice and a figure throughout this series.

That audiobook was probably a mini treasure trove for you as directors. 

Ziering: Kirby was very happy. That was fortunate.

Mia Farrow in "Allen v. Farrow."



Mia Farrow in “Allen v. Farrow.”

Then you have the home video footage. Like you said earlier, it’s going to change a lot of people’s minds about what they thought they knew.

Ziering: We got very lucky that Mia just happened to be a phenomenal photographer with a beautiful eye … before there were cellphones and iPhones. She had a big old, one of the early kind of cameras and was filming her family. What we love about that is you don’t have to believe what people say, just look for yourself. If you watch the footage, you really do see how it was this incredibly loving family, how the adults did really operate and function for all intents and purposes as parents despite any portraits to the contrary, how integral both Mia and Woody were in all of the children’s lives, how young they were when he came into all of their lives and how much of a father figure he was throughout their lives. You see that firsthand. It’s all thanks to Mia having had this incredible hobby and saving all this footage. She was willing to let us look at it and then give us permission to use some of it in our series.

You see the beautiful side of the family, but you also see footage of Woody’s strange behavior around Dylan. She, and the whole family, mentions that he would hover. He felt he always needed to be near her. When you guys started to uncover this footage and listen to interviews, did any of it surprise you at all?

Ziering: Oh, 100%. Everything surprised us. It was shocking.

Dick: Yeah. I mean, again, what was out in the media was the fact that this accusation about inappropriate sexual behavior only happened once. In fact, there were people witnessing inappropriate sexual behavior over many years. And he went into therapy in part because of that, long before this incident in the attic. This is one of the things that I think is very striking about the first episode is just the psychological experience of Mia. You are with her step by step as she first views this kind of interaction and behavior between Woody and Dylan as really loving and then it just starts to turn and she can’t accept that. Episode 1 is just kind of a gripping, chilling, psychological horror story.

I don’t want to say it feels one-sided as other critics have, but the docuseries does really give you the Farrow side of the story. I think people are going to change their minds a bit on Woody Allen and what his innocence is.

Ziering: I don’t think it gives you the Farrow side of the story. I think it gives you the story. A definitely treacherous thing that’s happened in our public discourse is the belief that every story has multiple sides, and an analogy I give is climate change. 100% of scientists say that climate change is 100% happening, but people with vested interests in saying it isn’t real, because they profit from that myth, present the case that it isn’t real. And then every news show has to have someone who says there’s climate change and someone who denies it. And likewise when crime happens, it isn’t a matter of opinion. It’s a matter of fact. And what the series reveals is you didn’t even hear one side of the story, you heard a spin. And a spin by someone who’s been accused of a crime.

We didn’t have an agenda or a bias. We just went forward ourselves and we would’ve been happy to find different results, but this is what we found. This was the story that was never told. This is the comprehensive story. This is a story told from Woody’s perspective in his book and Woody’s perspective in all his news conferences and from what our investigation yielded from eyewitnesses, from babysitters and nannies, from friends, close relatives, from Dylan and Mia and siblings. So that’s how I see it.

For sure. As investigative filmmakers, part of the fun or the intrigue of doing these projects is uncovering the truth. Did you have an “aha” moment in the editing suite when the pieces started falling together?

Dick: It never seems like everything just falls together. It’s always a great deal of digging work, but there were certainly a lot of aha moments, particularly, I think, learning about the work that Amy Herdy was doing and what she was coming up with. I think the most significant was to see how extensive the cover-up was of the investigation into this accusation, particularly the New York investigation, which, even now people are saying, “Well, it cleared him.” Well, it cleared him because the investigator, who fully believed Dylan and had an extensive range of evidence supporting her story, was shut down over and over and over again at multiple levels all the way through the New York administration and all the way up to the mayor’s office. And people just are completely unaware of that story. When people watch the series, it’ll be a real ride because the audience goes into this thinking they know the story and they come out and realize there’s so much more here.

Ziering: Everyone will be extremely surprised. There’s going to be private phone calls between Woody and Mia that were taped contemporaneously. They’re going to hear their own voices and what they were talking about at the time. It’s extraordinarily revelatory. And we do talk to more people about the nature of Woody’s relationship with Soon-Yi and how the siblings reacted to the news. It’s pretty intense.

“Allen v. Farrow” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.



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Joe Rogan Admits He’s A ‘F**king Moron’ After Offering Selfish COVID-19 Vaccine Advice

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Wildly popular podcast host Joe Rogan admitted he’s a “f**king moron” and “not a respected source of information, even for me” when he addressed his selfish comments about young, healthy people not needing to get vaccinated from COVID-19.

Rogan, whose audience is in the hundreds of millions, drew backlash — and a rebuke from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert — when he said on an episode of his “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast released on Spotify last week that “if you’re a healthy person and you’re exercising all the time and you’re young and you’re eating well, I don’t think you need to worry about this.”

On Thursday, Rogan clarified in a video shared on YouTube that he was “not an anti-vaxx person.” “In fact, I said I believe they’re safe and I encourage many people to take them. My parents were vaccinated,” he explained. “I just said, ‘I don’t think that if you’re a young, healthy person that you need it.’ Their argument was, you need it for other people.”

“So you don’t transmit the other virus,” said his cohost.

“That makes more sense,” agreed Rogan. “But that’s a different argument. That’s a different conversation.”

Rogan, whose show was snapped up by Spotify in a $100 million deal last year, later attempted to explain away the comments by saying how he doesn’t plan what he says on air.

He’s often high or drinking alcohol during the shows, he said, before accusing “clickbaity” journalists of blowing his comments out of proportion.

“I’m not a doctor, I’m a fucking moron and I’m a cage fighting commentator who’s a dirty standup comedian who just told you I’m drunk most of the time and I do testosterone and I smoke a lot of weed but I’m not a respected source of information, even for me,” he said.

“If I say things, I’m always going ‘check on that Jamie, I don’t know if that’s true,’” Rogan added. “But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying.”

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus



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Gabrielle Union Talks Baby Kaavia’s Free Spirit: ‘Shade Is Her Super Power’

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Gabrielle Union recently talked about her daughter, Kaavia James, and her funny “shady” moments, characterizing those times as her 2-year-old’s “super power.”

“Shade is her super power because when Kaavia gives you a look, it’s either you’re not respecting her boundaries or something is happening that she doesn’t like,” the actor told People in an interview published Wednesday.

Union and her retired NBA star husband, Dwyane Wade, welcomed Kaavia in November 2018.

The couple has since poked fun at the toddler’s occasional adorably shady facial expressions — and hilarious side-eyes — like when a photo of Kaavia seated on a couch looking pensive and slightly unbothered became a meme last year.

Or when the little one looked less than pleased with the outcome of her face paint design at her second birthday party:

Inspired by Kaavia’s witty personality, Wade and Union created an Instagram account for the little girl, often using the hashtag ”#Shadybaby” in the posts’ captions. The couple also collaborated to write a Kaavia-influenced children’s book titled “Shady Baby” due for release next month.

Union explained in Wednesday’s People interview that she celebrates Kaavia’s freedom to be her authentic self amid a long history of harmful ways Black women and girls have been treated in society.

“The main takeaway is that she’s free to be this amazing, dynamic, shady at times, loving at times Black little girl when the world has not been so kind to Black girls and women,” she added.

In addition to Kaavia, Wade is father to Zaya, Zaire and Xavier. Union and Wade also parent his nephew Dahveon Morris.

Wade told People that he and Union make a point to encourage their children to be their true selves.

“If we allow our kids to be their true selves we don’t have to worry about them conforming with anything or anyone,” he said. “Why wouldn’t we push our kids to be their authentic selves?”

Last month, Kaavia took a side-eyeing break to enjoy a sweet play date with 2-year-old Cairo, the daughter of actors Tia Mowry and Cory Hardrict.

After some hugs, Kaavia generously took Cairo for a spin in her toddler-sized electric car:





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Anne Heche Says Ellen DeGeneres Didn’t Want Her To ‘Dress Sexy’

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Anne Heche took an unexpected swipe at former girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres this week during an online fashion retrospective.

In a short TikTok video Tuesday, Heche looked back at some of her favorite looks from years past, including the 1998 VH1 Fashion Awards and a memorable “Dancing with the Stars” routine from last fall.

The actor’s enthusiasm for nostalgia, however, notably dipped when she came upon a photo of her and DeGeneres from the 1998 Golden Globe Awards. The pair appear to have color-coordinated their outfits, with DeGeneres in a navy suit and Heche in a blue velvet gown and matching coat.

“Why do I look like a hippie? It’s because Ellen didn’t want me to dress sexy,” Heche, who has starred in films like “Donnie Brasco” and “Six Days, Seven Nights,” declared. After giving the look a zero out of 10 and a thumbs down, she added, “Bye, no!”

Heche and DeGeneres dated from 1997 to 2000. During their time together, the women were among Hollywood’s most-buzzed-about same-sex couples.

The former couple has remained mostly tight-lipped about the specifics of their relationship in the media. Heche, however, touched on her ex in a number of interviews timed to her appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” last year.

Chatting with Mr. Warburton magazine last year, she recalled angering Hollywood executives when she brought DeGeneres as her date to the premiere of 1997’s “Volcano.”

“I was told by Fox Studio executives that if I brought Ellen to the premiere, my contract would be terminated,” she told the publication. “I brought Ellen despite those threats, and we were escorted out of the theater before the lights came on by security and not allowed to attend the premiere party because they did not want any photos of us together.”



Ellen DeGeneres (left) and Anne Heche at the 1998 Golden Globe Awards.

“I was a part of a revolution that created social change,” she added, “and I could not have done that without falling in love with her.”

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight last October, Heche noted that she hadn’t spoken to DeGeneres “in years,” but would be open to a reunion under the right circumstances.

“With relationships, I think many of us have [been there], you come to a fork in the road, ‘What do you want and what do I want?’” she said. “Those goals, that intent in life, is determined by the individual. Her intent and my intent were different and that’s why we separated.”



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Elliot Page Emotionally Shares What’s Given Him The Most Joy Since Coming Out As Trans

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Elliot Page is sharing the moment that has brought him the most joy since he announced he was a transgender man in December 2020.

In a peek at an interview with Oprah Winfrey slated for release on her Apple TV+ series “The Oprah Conversation” on Friday, the 34-year-old said that he’s found “the most joy.”

“Getting out of the shower and the towel’s around your waist and you’re looking at yourself in the mirror and you’re just like, ‘There I am.’ And I’m not having the moment where I’m panicked,” he said, before breaking down in tears. “It’s being able to touch my chest and feel comfortable in my body for the — probably the first time.”

The actor added his tears were “tears of joy.”

Earlier this year, Page talked to Time magazine about his decision to get top surgery and described the experience as something that allowed for him to recognize himself. Page recalled puberty as “total hell” and told the publication that the surgery “has completely transformed my life.”

He also told the publication that he spent much of his energy being uncomfortable with his body and the surgery has helped bring that energy back.

Page notably came out to fans last year with a heartfelt Instagram post, sharing that he would be using the pronouns “he” and “they” and said: “I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.”

He went on to say: “I love that I am trans,” Page wrote. “And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive.”  



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‘Bachelor’ Matt James Is Seeing Final Rose Recipient With Racist Past

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It isn’t over.

Matt James, who became the first Black lead of the dating reality series “The Bachelor,” told People on Wednesday that he’s been seeing Rachael Kirkconnell, the woman he chose but then rejected after her past racially insensitive social media posts were unearthed.

“I’ve seen Rachael a handful of times,” James said. “I’m not pursuing any relationships right now outside of that. I said I was going to focus on my relationship with her and that means focusing on it.”

Kirkconnell received James’ final rose on ABC’s reality series. After the season was in the can, pictures emerged on social media showing Georgia native Kirkconnell attending a slavery-era plantation-themed party and liking photos containing Confederate flags.

Kirkconnell apologized and said she “will continue to learn how to be anti-racist.” James said in the “After the Final Rose” episode last month that they broke up and that Kirkconnell had work to do on her own.

As for her progress, James told People “that’s something you could talk to her about.”

A report last week said the two were not speaking to each other, but that does not appear to be the case.

Stay tuned.





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Halle Berry Reacts To A Joke About Her Blunt Bob Debut At The Oscars

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Halle Berry joined the fun on Twitter after she debuted her new bob hairstyle at the 2021 Oscars on Sunday night.

The Oscar winner responded to a Twitter user who linked her new ’do to a popular lighthearted video from rapper Saucy Santana, who channels Nicki Minaj from the B.o.B. song “Out of My Mind” while rocking a bob.

“Halle Berry tonight,” the user tweeted on Sunday alongside the video. Berry retweeted the post on Tuesday and playfully responded with two emojis, including a laughing-face one:

Berry stunned on the Oscars red carpet in a pink-toned Dolce & Gabbana gown that featured a prominent bow. She showed off her new bob with bangs after she teased the hairstyle on Twitter earlier in the evening with a photo that only showed her hair chopped off.

Her hairstyle sparked a lot chatter on Twitter, with people sharing memes and all sorts of opinions of the ’do.

The legendary actor and style icon, who made history becoming the first (and still only) Black woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress in 2002, apparently wasn’t phased by the blunt-bob-detractors.

Berry arrived at the ceremony with her Grammy-winning musician boyfriend Van Hunt.

Hunt posted photos on Instagram Monday of him and Berry getting ready to attend the ceremony. His caption said it was the couple’s first date night. The two publicly confirmed their relationship on Instagram in September last year.





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Kate Middleton, Prince William Mark 10th Anniversary With New Portraits

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Kate Middleton and Prince William are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary with brand-new photos.

Kensington Palace released two portraits on behalf of the couple on Wednesday, one day before their anniversary. The new pictures were snapped earlier this week at the palace by photographer Chris Floyd.





The two appear to have recreated the official photo William and Kate released for their engagement, which was taken by Mario Testino:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who have been together nearly 20 years, officially tied the knot at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. Millions lined the wedding procession route, while an estimated 2 billion tuned in from around the world.

Celebrities including Elton John, Guy Ritchie and David and Victoria Beckham made up some of the 1,900 guests invited to the ceremony. Ellie Goulding performed at the couple’s evening reception, an honor she called quite “scary.”

“I did their first dance and like, talk about scary,” the singer told Vanity Fair in 2016. “I was so nervous, my hands were shaking.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smile following their marriage at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, in London.



The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smile following their marriage at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, in London.

Ten years since their wedding day, the duke and duchess now have three children: Prince George, 7; Princess Charlotte, 5; and Prince Louis, 3.

William and Kate celebrated Louis’ birthday last week by releasing a brand-new photo of their little one taken before his first day at nursery school.

Louis’ birthday is just two days after his great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s big day.

The queen turned 95 on April 21 and released a statement thanking people for the tributes to her late husband, Prince Philip.

“My family and I would like to thank you for all the support and kindness shown to us in recent days,” she said. “We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”

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Kate Middleton’s Most Memorable Looks Of 2019



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