Allen never molested daughter, 7, panel rules A major victory in custody fight with actress


NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Woody Allen never molested his daughter Dylan, a Connecticut child-abuse team ruled yesterday, signaling a major victory for Mr. Allen in his vicious custody battle with ex-lover Mia Farrow.

Mr. Allen made the announcement after he and Ms. Farrow met with sex-abuse investigators at Yale/New Haven Hospital.

Ms. Farrow did not contest his version of events, and a hospital spokesman said the report, which has been sent to the Connecticut state attorney, would remain sealed.

The six-month study found no evidence to support claims that Dylan, the couple's 7-year-old adopted daughter, was sexually molested by Mr. Allen at Ms. Farrow's country house last summer, Mr. Allen said.

Though only part of the criminal investigation into Mr. Allen, the report, ordered by Connecticut authorities, is considered by both sides to be the cornerstone of the police inquiry.

"No child abuse ever took place," Mr. Allen said, standing in the pillared hospital courtyard as melting snow dripped on the steps. "They were conclusive about that."

He claimed the report "strongly recommended that Mia get therapy."

Mr. Allen said the team found that Dylan was either coached into making the statements or imagined the abuse because of the "dreadful and ugly atmosphere" Ms. Farrow had fostered against him.

"I'm going to rescue the children instantly," Mr. Allen said. "I want to see my daughter and to see my son immediately." He used the word "rescue" several times -- apparently referring to a full-court battle to gain custody.

Mr. Allen said he had been told by Ms. Farrow and her attorney, Eleanor Alter, that the Yale team -- a pediatrician and two social workers -- was the "best in the world."

Now that he has been vindicated, "Mia and Eleanor Alter are going to have to really squirm to get out of this one," a voluble Mr. Allen said after he and Ms. Farrow met with the study team for more than 2 1/2 hours.

Mr. Allen said that during the meeting, he proposed to Ms. Farrow that they settle their dispute "immediately," and then "go in front of the kids and say, 'Yes, we fought.'"

"But there is no dealing with her," Mr. Allen went on. "She's been in frenzy for a long time. She's still trying to seek vengeance."

Earlier, a withdrawn Ms. Farrow told reporters only: "I just want to say that I will always stand by my children."

Answering no questions, she turned and left with her daughter Daisy. She was later described by Mr. Alter as being "in shock. She believes if you're honest and straight, people will believe you."

Ms. Alter said defiantly the study was "incomplete and inaccurate," claiming the team failed to interview an eyewitness and had not seen Dylan for three months.

"Dylan has been consistent in her description of abuse, and we will continue to support her," Ms. Alter said. "We do not believe the child made this up." The lawyer vowed to continue the custody fight in New York courts.

But even if the allegations are untrue, Ms. Alter said, "Mr. Allen's affair with Dylan's sister, Soon-Yi, cannot be underestimated."

Mr. Allen said he understood Ms. Farrow's anger, "but I don't think any horribleness could justify what she did to the children, no matter the conflict Mia and I were having at the time. Particularly someone who represents herself as a spectacular mother. You don't use children as pawns."

The ugly family warfare between Mr. Allen and Ms. Farrow erupted publicly in early August when Mr. Allen filed for custody of the couple's three children -- Dylan, adopted son Moses, 14, and natural son Satchel, now 5.

Within days, Mr. Allen acknowledged he was in love with Soon-Yi Previn, Ms. Farrow's adopted college-age daughter.

Mr. Allen then said he was seeking custody because Ms. Farrow had drummed up the abuse allegations against him and was manipulating her children to turn against him.

The child's allegations were included in a video tape Ms. Farrow made -- a tape that failed to convince several experts and, ultimately, the Yale team.

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