Seriously, WTF Is Happening

Journalist Maureen Orth, who reported on the case for Vanity Fair in 1992 and whose profile on Mia in 2013 helped jog a lot of memories, recalls thinking there had to be another side to the scorned-Mia angle. The actress wasn’t giving interviews, but talking to André Previn, the babysitters and numerous other sources, the writer was told that Mia “didn’t want these allegations to be true because this was completely unraveling her entire life.” Maureen recalls hearing that Mia had repeatedly asked Dylan if she was sure, telling her daughter that if it hadn’t happened, she just needed to say so. But Dylan insisted, “‘No, it happened and if he says it didn’t happen, then he’s lying.'”

The Report

Frank Maco, state’s attorney for Connecticut at the time, oversaw the investigation. He recommended bringing in the Yale New Haven Child Sex Abuse Clinic to interview Dylan. Social workers Jennifer Sawyer and Dr. Julia Hamilton, overseen by the director of the program, Dr. Jonathan Leventhal, interviewed Dylan nine times—an excessive number, according to experts interviewed for this series and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Herman, who testified on Mia’s behalf during the custody trial.

The child had to point out where she was touched, using an anatomical doll, “and I would repeat the story over and over and over again,” Dylan says. “It was grueling, it was intense and I hated it.”  

The Yale report, issued March 17, 1993, infamously concluded that Dylan’s story had “inconsistencies,” that she had “difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality” and was “likely reinforced and encouraged by her mother who was enraged with Mr. Allen.”

The clinic informed Woody and Mia of the results, and Woody immediately held a press conference on the steps of the hospital instead of waiting for the report to be processed by the state attorney’s office. “Certainly I never, ever abused my daughter,” he said. “There was no sexual abuse that ever took place. It was either an imagined thing or a concocted thing.”

All Mia said was, ” I will always stand by my children, and that’s it.”