Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn have attacked a new HBO documentary that re-examines a decades-old allegation that the Oscar-winning filmmaker

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Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn

Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn have attacked a new HBO documentary that re-examines a decades-old allegation that the Oscar-winning filmmaker molested his adopted daughter.

The first episode of the four-part documentary series Allen v Farrow landed on Australian streaming service Binge on Monday.

The series includes extensive interviews with Allen’s former partner Mia Farrow and with his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, who repeat their accusation that Allen sexually assaulted Dylan in 1992 when she was seven years old.

It also contains new material, including interviews with people who knew the family and a never-before-seen, controversial home video of Dylan filmed the day after the alleged abuse took place.

Allen has long claimed Dylan was coached

Shortly after the first episode aired, a spokesperson for Allen and Previn issued a statement saying the documentary makers “had no interest in the truth”.

“Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods,” the statement said.

The documentary’s makers, Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick, whose work includes other documentaries on sex abuse scandals, have said the series was not a collaboration with Dylan or her family.

Allen, the four-time Oscar-winning director of Annie Hall and other comedies, has repeatedly denied molesting Dylan Farrow. He did not take part in the documentary.

The filmmaker, 85, has long asserted that Mia Farrow fabricated the molestation claims against him and planted them in Dylan’s mind after learning that Allen was having an affair with the actress’s then-22-year-old adopted daughter Previn.

A close-up of smiling actor Rebecca Hall.

Rebecca Hall will donate her salary from Allen’s film, A Rainy Day in New York, to charity.(Reuters: Yves Herman)

The newly unveiled video tape of Dylan is central to that claim, which Mia Farrow has rejected and which a New York appeals court in 1994 found was unsubstantiated.

Allen has never been arrested or prosecuted over the allegation of sexual abuse, which was first made in 1993.

It was investigated by state police in Connecticut, where Mia Farrow and her children lived. The resulting report concluded Dylan Farrow was not sexually abused, though many aspects of that investigation were criticised.

Following a high-profile custody trial in the mid-1990s, a New York judge found there was not enough evidence to support the allegations, a finding later upheld at appeal.

‘Speaking the truth is difficult’

The statement also said it was “sadly unsurprising” that the show aired on HBO, “which has a standing production deal and business relationship with Ronan Farrow”.

Ronan Farrow, a journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations, is Dylan’s brother and has spoken in support of his sister.

“While this shoddy hit piece may gain attention, it does not change the facts,” the statement said.

A spokesperson for HBO had no immediate comment.

On Monday, Dylan Farrow offered thanks for an “outpouring of support” and included a link to a group that helps people who have been sexually abused.

Allen had a long and successful career after the initial allegations in the 1990s, though that changed following the #MeToo movement in 2017.

He sued Amazon in 2019 after it cancelled a movie contract with him. Several high-profile actors said they would not work with him again, while a publisher cancelled a book contract.

News.com.au film and TV critic Wenlei Ma said the new docuseries was “gripping”, particularly in the way it used the home video footage of Dylan captured by Mia Farrow in 1992.

“This is a [contested] space for the last 30 years. What you believe going into it will probably colour what you think of the series,” she told RN Breakfast.

“But I think it is very persuasive.”

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