Woody Allen's friend Robert B. Weide rushed to his defense in The Daily Beast last Monday by—you guessed it—attacking the credibility of actress Mia Farrow and her daughter, Dylan Farrow, who accused Allen of molesting her as a child in an open letter published on
This is a basic principle: until it is proven otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s important to extend the presumption of innocence to Dylan Farrow, and presume that she is not guilty of the crime of lying about what Woody Allen did to her.
If you are saying things like “We can’t really know what happened” and extra-specially pleading on behalf of the extra-special Woody Allen, then you are saying that his innocence is more presumptive than hers. You are saying that he is on trial, not her: he deserves judicial safeguards in the court of public opinion, but she does not.
The damnably difficult thing about all of this, of course, is that you can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time. One of them must be saying something that is not true. But “he said, she said” doesn’t resolve to “let’s start by assume she’s lying,” except in a rape culture, and if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured.
Allen's response so far? His publicist issued a statement on Sunday calling the allegations "untrue and disgraceful," and his lawyer called it "a story engineered by a vengeful lover."