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Sexual Assault And Celebrity

  • If you haven’t already, you should read Greg Hanlon’s extraordinary story about Dave Megget, who is finally in jail but got away with being a serial rapist for more than a decade.  The reasons he kept getting away with it are depressingly familiar — the women he raped were sex workers or drug users or otherwise vulnerable, meaning that the victims would ultimately be put on trial.
  • I didn’t know this, but Bill Cosby has been accused multiple times of sexual assault.  Perhaps this is all an extraordinary coincidence, and he’s entirely innocent.  But that’s really not how to bet.
  • Jessica Winter makes some points about Robert Weide’s inexplicably lauded defense of Woody Allen I should have.     Not only does he spend a long time trying to argue that Allen marrying his life partner’s barely adult daughter wasn’t really as bad as all that, he then proceeds to some grotesquely sexist, passive-aggressive attacks on the sexual history of the victim’s mother, before minimizing what Allen has been accused of. And this is the kind of thing you have to consider before accepting the conclusion psychiatric panel (based on notes that were destroyed, and without the court testimony of anyone who interviewed Farrow) that that Dylan Farrow wasn’t a credible witness.  This panel exists, after all, in a world in which articles as transparently misogynist as Weide’s can get extensive praise from people with otherwise progressive politics, in which people don’t want to believe that men are sexual predators, and really don’t want to believe that wealthy celebrities are sexual predators.  It’s possible that Allen is innocent, that his willingness to push sexual boundaries in ways that show a remarkably callous indifference to the familial relationships of his loved ones did not extend to sexually assaulting the girl he was demonstrably obsessed with before his life partner discovered his affair with her daughter.  But I maintain that it’s significantly more likely that Dylan Farrow is telling the truth.

UPDATE: Molly Lambert’s piece on the controversy is excellent.

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