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Clinician's Digest

Clinician's Digest

Therapists’ Perspectives on the Woody Allen Allegations

By Garry Cooper, Mary Sykes Wylie

March/April 2014

Unless you’ve lived off the grid of American culture for the last 50 years, you know that Woody Allen is a renowned screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, author, and playwright, who’s written, directed, or acted in more than 60 movies, received 24 Academy Award nominations, and introduced the world to a certain kind of antihero: the insecure, morose, whiny, thin-skinned, not particularly handsome, but strangely winning neurotic. His movies have never been popular blockbusters in the manner of, say, Harry Potter, Titanic, Star Wars, or Spider Man, but he’s become something between a tradition and an institution among a certain urbanized swath of filmgoers, who—given the uneven quality of his work—have become used to being periodically disappointed that this or that film hasn’t reflected his reputation as a master filmmaker and an authoritative voice for his—and their—era.

Of course, even his most devoted admirers have sometimes admitted they’ve found his predilection for women many decades younger than himself—teenagers, when he was in his 50s!—a little creepy. And people were even more ruffled when he courted (or “seduced”) and married the adopted 20-year-old daughter of Mia Farrow, his long-time partner. Then in 1993, during the long, ugly custody fight between Allen and Farrow over their three children (two adopted, one biological), allegations were made that Allen had sexually abused their adopted seven-year-old daughter, Dylan, the previous…

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