The 28-year-old son of actress Mia Farrow penned a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter
, in which he defends his sister, Dylan Farrow, who accused Woody of molesting her as a child
in a February 2014 Op-Ed for The New York Times
. The original sexual assault claims in 1992 prompted a six-month investigation that turned up no credible evidence, and the prosecutor declined to charge the director with a crime. Woody, 80, has also strongly denied the claims.
"Here is exactly what charges not being pursued looked like in my sister's case in 1993: The prosecutor met with my mother and sister. Dylan already was deeply traumatized -- by the assault and the subsequent legal battle that forced her to repeat the story over and over again," Ronan claims to THR. "The longer that battle, the more grotesque the media circus surrounding my family grew."
"My mother still feels it was the only choice she could make to protect her daughter," he adds. "But it is ironic: My mother's decision to place Dylan's well-being above all else became a means for Woody Allen to smear them both."
Woody spoke out about Dylan's claims in 2014 to The New York Times, writing bluntly, "I did not molest Dylan."
"Not that I doubt Dylan hasn't come to believe she's been molested, but if from the age of 7 a vulnerable child is taught by a strong mother to hate her father because he is a monster who abused her, is it so inconceivable that after many years of this indoctrination the image of me Mia wanted to establish had taken root?" he also wrote.
Ronan criticizes "old-school media" for helping to create a "culture of impunity and silence" surrounding sexual assault allegations, and compares his own family's history with disgraced comedian Bill Cosby. Ronan says he faced plenty of opposition when he wanted to ask Cosby's biographer about omitting allegations of rape and sexual abuse against the entertainer in his book during an on-air interview, which took place before the now more than 50 allegations against Cosby
became public. Ronan said he eventually got to ask only one question late in the interview, in which the biographer said the allegations "didn't check out." Cosby has also denied all wrongdoing.
"I'm ashamed of that interview," Ronan admits. " ... Very often, women with allegations do not or cannot bring charges. Very often, those who do come forward pay dearly, facing off against a justice system and a culture designed to take them to pieces."
Clearly, Ronan is disheartened by those who continue to collaborate with Woody.
"Actors, including some I admire greatly, continue to line up to star in his movies," he points out. "'It's not personal,' one once told me. But it hurts my sister every time one of her heroes like Louis C.K., or a star her age, like Miley Cyrus, works with Woody Allen. Personal is exactly what it is -- for my sister, and for women everywhere with allegations of sexual assault that have never been vindicated by a conviction."
Ronan specifically calls out the stars of Woody's new film, Cafe Society, including Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, and Jesse Eisenberg.
"Tonight, the Cannes Film Festival kicks off with a new Woody Allen film. There will be press conferences and a red-carpet walk by my father and his wife (my sister)," Ronan notes. "He'll have his stars at his side -- Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg. They can trust that the press won't ask them the tough questions. It's not the time, it's not the place, it's just not done."
"That kind of silence isn't just wrong. It's dangerous," he continues. "It sends a message to victims that it's not worth the anguish of coming forward. It sends a message about who we are as a society, what we'll overlook, who we'll ignore, who matters and who doesn't."
Kristen recently defended working with the controversial Woody in an interview with Variety
, revealing that she did have a discussion about it with Eisenberg.
"I was like, 'What do you think? We don't know any of these people involved. I can personalize situations, which would be very wrong,'" the 26-year-old actress recalls. "At the end of the day, Jesse and I talked about this. If we were persecuted for the amount of sh*t that's been said about us that’s not true, our lives would be over. The experience of making the movie was so outside of that, it was fruitful for the two of us to go on with it."
Meanwhile, Woody gave his own interview with The Hollywood Reporter
last week, in which he talked about his relationship with his wife
, 45-year-old Soon-Yi Previn. Soon-Yi is the adopted daughter of Woody's ex, Mia.
"One of the great experiences of my life has been my wife," he said, also noting that he was "immune" to all of the controversy surrounding their marriage. "She had a very, very difficult upbringing in Korea: she was an orphan on the streets, living out of trash cans and starving as a 6-year-old. And she was picked up and put in an orphanage. And so I've been able to really make her life better."
"She's given me a lot of pleasure," he added. "I adore her, and she's given me a wonderful life. I guess whenever you meet somebody and they're the right person for you, there is a great emotional contribution they make to your life."