Allen v. Farrow Producer Amy Herdy Defends Disturbing Evidence Revealed in Docu-Series

In an exclusive chat with E! News, producer Amy Herdy responded to Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn's claim that Allen v. Farrow is a "shoddy hit piece." Read on for what else she had to say.

By Alyssa Ray Mar 09, 2021 4:00 PMTags
Watch: Woody Allen & Soon-Yi Previn Slam HBO's "Allen v. Farrow"

Letting the facts speak for themselves.

If there was one major takeaway from E!'s exclusive chat with Allen v. Farrow producer and investigator Amy Herdy, it's that the HBO documentary series is meant to highlight the unknown facts surrounding the 1992 sexual abuse accusations against Woody Allen made by Dylan Farrow. "It was a story that had been told," Amy told E! News, "but, had not been fully told and it had not had all of the facts revealed—ever."

For those who've yet to tune into Allen v. Farrow, the series takes a closer look at the allegations of sexual abuse against the Annie Hall director, the custody trial that followed and Woody's headline-making relationship—and eventual marriage—with Mia Farrow's adult daughter Soon-Yi.

While Woody and Mia's family drama made countless headlines, Amy revealed to E! News that she wasn't familiar with the case prior to her investigative work for Allen v. Farrow.

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"I had not paid attention to very much of the media coverage," she admitted. "What prompted me saying I think this is worthy of a project was conversations that I began having with Dylan Farrow because we were working on a project about incest."

After hearing details from Dylan, she was inspired to start her own investigation. "The more I found out, the more I realized that this was a case where facts had been misrepresented," Amy said. "There was so much more behind the headlines that people weren't aware of and that it really deserved to be told."

Woody has denied his adopted daughter Dylan's accusation of sexual abuse on several occasions, including a 2014 opinion piece for The New York Times.

Courtesy of HBO

In episode three of Allen v. Farrow, which aired Sunday, March 7, a voiceover revealed that, during a three-year investigation, the filmmakers obtained access to "60 boxes of documentation," which had been "untouched since the '90s." Their research included police files from the case, additional evidence, sworn testimony, private audio and video recordings.

One piece of evidence highlighted in the third episode called into question the result of the Yale-New Haven Report. As detailed in the episode, a team from the Yale-New Haven Hospital Child Sexual Abuse Clinic—which included Dr. Jon Leventhal, Dr. Julia Hamilton and social worker Jennifer Sawyer—conducted a seven-month-long investigation, which included interviewing Dylan nine times over a three-month period. The findings concluded that there were inconsistencies in Dylan's statements and that she may've been encouraged by her mother. Yet, after the Yale-New Haven Report came out, the notes associated with the case were destroyed.

Sawyer and Leventhal both declined the Allen v. Farrow team's interview requests.

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A separate investigation, conducted by Paul Williams of NYC Child Welfare Administration, came to a different conclusion. Specifically, Williams found Dylan "quite credible" at the time and felt there was enough evidence for a criminal investigation to be opened. Notably, Allen v. Farrow revealed that Williams' notes showed that he was in communication with Sawyer and they appear to reveal the Yale-New Haven social worker's stance on Dylan.

As Amy noted to E! News, this discovery was particularly noteworthy, especially for those who support Dylan. "The Yale-New Haven Report has been held up as a defense of Woody Allen for years," Amy said. "It's been held up by people who defended him, it's been held up by Woody Allen to say he was cleared. So, the notes from the other social worker out of New York clearly show that at least one of the social workers who interviewed Dylan, at the time, believed her and found her credible."

Furthermore, Amy called the footage of 7-year-old Dylan detailing the alleged abuse "an incredible piece of evidence, that would be considered outcry and I think that would've been evidence that could've been used in a criminal trial."

Courtesy of HBO

As for how Woody and wife Soon-Yi feel about the docuseries? Prior to the premiere, the couple called Allen v. Farrow a "shoddy hit piece" and "a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods." (For their full statement, click here.)

In response to Woody and Soon-Yi's statement, Amy concluded, "Well, I would invite them to state what they think the falsehoods are. Because, this series is based on facts that are represented in the records that we have. And so, everything in this series is backed up and corroborated, there are no falsehoods."

The final episode of Allen v. Farrow airs Sunday, March 14 at 9 p.m. on HBO.