Photo Credit: Ander Gillena/ AFP
Filmmaker Woody Allen and Amazon Studios have settled a breach of contract lawsuit the director filed after the studio backed out of a four-picture deal with him in 2017 due to resurfaced allegations that Allen had sexually abused his adopted daughter.
During the height of the #MeToo movement, Dylan Farrow spoke out again about the alleged abuse that she says occurred when she was 7 years old. Allen sued Amazon in February for at least $68 million to cover payments for the films and other damages.
The parties reached the settlement Friday, according to a one-page filing in the Federal District Court in Manhattan. Details of the deal remain under wraps, but a source that Deadline characterized as "close to the situation" told the trade publication that "there were no winners in this in the end."
Allen first worked with Amazon in 2016, when the company (with Lionsgate) distributed his film Café Society. (Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) The following year, Allen and Amazon entered a four-movie contract, which Amazon ended without releasing any of the films - even though one, A Rainy Day in New York, was completed.
As The Washington Post's Sonia Rao wrote, "Allen's adopted daughter ... wrote an open letter published by the New York Times in 2014 that accused him of sexually abusing her in the early 1990s ... As the #MeToo movement picked up in late 2017, Farrow wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times asking why the movement had 'spared' him. Allen has repeatedly denied the allegations."
"Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year-old, baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen," Allen's lawyers wrote in a complaint filed inthe Southern District of New York earlier this year. "And, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract."
The re-emergence of these allegations has made Allen a divisive figure in Hollywood, as actors he's worked with in the past have both defended and decried him to various degrees.
Many actors, such as Colin Firth, Timothée Chalamet and Greta Gerwig, have vowed to never work with the director again. (Chalamet, the lead in A Rainy Day in New York, notably donated his salary from the film to three charities, including Time's Up, which was created in response to the #MeToo movement.)
Others, such as Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem, have staunchly defended the director, painting him as a victim.
The most recent actor to wade into the debate was Jeff Goldblum, who briefly but memorably appeared in Annie Hall. "I would consider working with him again," he told a British newspaper last week, "until I learned something more."
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