Woody Allen backlash grows as daughter says telling ‘truth'

Film-maker makes first comments after Dylan Farrow revives allegations of sexual assault

Legendary US film-maker Woody Allen issued another denial of child molestation, accusing his ex-lover's family of "cynically" jumping on the Time's Up movement in Hollywood to repeat a "discredited allegation".

Allen issued the statement after his estranged, adopted daughter Dylan Farrow revived allegations that he sexually assaulted her as a seven-year-old girl, with her first full television interview broadcast on CBS television yesterday.

"Even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time's Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn't make it any more true today than it was in the past," said Allen, 82, in a statement.

"I never molested my daughter - as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago," he added.

He faces a growing backlash after his daughter asked the world to finally believe her as a sexual harassment watershed sweeps the US.

Dylan Farrow's claim that Allen sexually assaulted her as a seven-year-old first surfaced a quarter of a century ago in the wake of her mother Mia's bitter split from him. Allen ran off in 1992 with Mia Farrow's adoptive daughter from a previous marriage, Soon-Yi Previn, 21 years old at the time. They are now married and have two children.

Allen, director of more than 50 movies, winner of four Oscars and various awards in Europe, has always denied the allegations.

The claims were never proven and he has continued to enjoy a glittering career. But the sexual harassment firestorm that has brought down Hollywood titans such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey has fuelled the backlash against him.

In the wake of the Time's Up movement launched by Hollywood women to counter sexual harassment and sexism, Allen's estranged, adopted daughter said it was time for the world to finally listen.

"Why shouldn't I want to bring him down? Why shouldn't I be angry? Why shouldn't I be hurt?" she told CBS This Morning in her first television interview.

"Why shouldn't I feel some sort of outrage that after all these years, being ignored and disbelieved and tossed aside?"

Asked why people should believe her now, she replied: "I suppose that's on them, but all I can do is speak my truth and hope, hope that somebody will believe me..." - AFP