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Ronan Farrow falls out with publisher over Woody Allen’s upcoming memoir

Ronan Farrow
Ronan Farrow, pictured with his mother, Mia Farrow, lashed out at Hachette over Woody Allen’s forthcoming memoir.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision)

Ronan Farrow has threatened to cut ties with Hachette over an upcoming memoir by his father, Woody Allen.

“I was disappointed to learn through press reports that Hachette, my publisher, acquired Woody Allen’s memoir after other major publishers refused to do so and concealed the decision from me and its own employees while we were working on ‘Catch and Kill,’” the journalist said in a statement posted to Twitter on Tuesday. “I’ve also told Hachette that a publisher that would conduct itself in this way is one I can’t work with in good conscience.”

Farrow’s 2019 book recounted the challenges he faced while reporting on the allegations of sexual misconduct against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. As Farrow explains in his statement, it is “a book about how powerful men, including Woody Allen, avoid accountability for sexual abuse.” The book was published by Hachette imprint Little, Brown.

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In his statement, Farrow also blasted the publisher for not fact-checking Allen’s upcoming book. His sister Dylan made similar accusations against the publisher Monday.

Dylan’s statement called the upcoming autobiography “deeply unsettling and an utter betrayal of my brother whose brave reporting, capitalized on by Hachette, gave voice to numerous survivors of sexual assault by powerful men.” She said she was never contacted by fact-checkers to verify any information.

“This provides yet another example of the profound privilege that power, money and notoriety affords,” she added. “Hachette’s complicity in this should be called out for what it is and they should have to answer for it.

Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group, announced Monday that Allen’s memoir, “Apropos of Nothing,” would be released April 7 in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and Spain, followed by other “countries around the world.” The book was shopped around last year but reportedly attracted little interest from major publishers in the era of #MeToo.

In fact, according to the Associated Press, Grand Central secretly acquired the book in March 2019 after Ben Sevier, the publisher and senior vice president, read a full draft of the memoir.

In a statement to The Times on Tuesday, Dylan Farrow said the publisher “has no interest in fact-checking” and had permitted Allen to continue “perpetuating a false and harmful narrative.” She added that her experience being published has been entirely different. “Every word I have published has had to go through a gauntlet of lawyers and fact-checkers. ... The journalists I have worked with always reached out for comment. It is a naked double standard. The lengths to which Hachette has gone through to hide this book’s existence from myself and my brother Ronan shows that money, not truth, is their motivation.”

Dylan Farrow called the decision to publish Woody Allen's forthcoming memoir "deeply unsettling."
(Frances Silver / Associated Press)

Farrow said she did not know what was in the book. A spokesperson for Hachette declined to comment beyond the press release announcing the publication.

According to the New York Times, Hachette Chief Executive Michael Pietsch had explained to Ronan Farrow via email that Hachette’s divisions operate independently.

Allen, 84, best known for his movies “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan,” is considered among the most influential filmmakers of his time. The director and actor, who starred in many of his own films, has won four Academy Awards.

In 1992, Dylan Farrow, who was then 7, accused Allen of molesting her in the home of her mother, actress Mia Farrow. Despite two separate investigations in the 1990s, Allen was never charged. He went on to direct several hit movies, including “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Mighty Aphrodite” and “Match Point.”

Woody Allen has repeatedly denied allegations that he molested Dylan Farrow.
Woody Allen has repeatedly denied allegations that he molested Dylan Farrow.
(Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

But in 2014, Farrow renewed her allegations in a New York Times column. Allen spoke out against the allegations in an opinion piece published shortly afterward, calling them “ridiculous.”

In the era of #MeToo, Allen suffered professional repercussions. Last year, Amazon backed out of a four-film production deal with the writer-director.

Grand Central described Allen’s book as “a comprehensive account of his life, both personal and professional,” touching on “his work in films, theater, television, nightclubs and print. Allen also writes of his relationships with family, friends and the loves of his life.”

Ronan Farrow and his mother, actress Mia Farrow, have been estranged from Allen for years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Updates

6:36 p.m. March 3, 2020: This article has been updated with Ronan Farrow’s statement.


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