Body Language Analysis of Woody Allen in Response to Sexual Abuse of Dylan Farrow

What does a guilty person look like and what does and innocent person look like?

Dylan Farrow, adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, has accused Allen of sexual abuse when she was a child.  Last night on Dr. Drew I talked about Woody Allen’s body language in his first media response to the allegation in his interview with CBS “60 Minutes” in 1992. 

Allen is a well-documented recluse and granted this rare interview in his home the first time he was accused of sexually molesting Dylan Farrow. Here is the link to the key 11 minutes in the interview that I analyzed.

Over the years I have read his books, biographies of Allen, taken a Film class on his movies and then for the first time I read about the allegations in a recent Vanity Fair piece. Here are my rough notes in preparation for the interview.  Again let me repeat these are rough notes, not an article so the writing and thoughts are rough.

Remember Woody Allen is a brilliant actor, writer and comedian. And he uses his skills in the interview that he gave in his home.

First he avoids the seriousness of the accusation calling it a “NON Event.” He does not say he didn’t do anything, that it didn’t happen nor does he say that he didn’t harm his child. That is unusual.

As he is being asked if he took his daughter into the attic and touched herm he does not look horrified at what is said, in fact,  he poses and smiles.
When asked if there was any truth to the allegations, he does not say no... he does not shake his head no... he does not give any definitive emotional limbic brain response. 
Instead he gives six anxiety cues he retreats going back, closes his eyes, and then looks down, does a seat adjustment then another retreat signal, then he puts his hand over his mouth and coughs as he says, “Be logical about this.” Again he does not look the interviewer in the eye and say, “NO I didn’t do this.”
NO, he uses humor to counteract and his communication becomes smoother less halting and makes a few anxiety cues. He actually begins to enjoy the interview as he spends most of it making Mia seem like she is crazy for being upset about his affair with Soon-Yi. He goes into a rather scripted comedy routine as he bashes her.
Notice how he does falter and have trouble with words “daughter” and explaining what he did and didn’t do with Soon-Yi.

It is very interesting how he spends his time in this long interview. People who are guilty of something want to avoid responding to the accusations and change the subject. Innocent people want to spend any time saying and showing they are innocent. Innocent people want to repeat their innocence over and over again till they feel the interviewer believes them. They don’t want the subject changed till that is clear.

 If an innocent person has been wrongfully accused they may be mad at their accuser, but they don’t have to use humor to attack them. They may be mad at their accuser, but they do not do what Woody Allen did. They are not comfortable during the interview nor do they smile and use humor to attack their accuser. 

This is also significant - Notice he does not show concern for Dylan or any of the other children for whom he acted as a father.  Innocent people whose children have been harmed are concerned with the victim. If Woody Allen is innocent would he not be concerned that his adopted daughter is as he says, “been coached” by Mia to make these accusations?

Also notice how much pleasure he gets in saying how he hired another actress to replace Mia. If you read the Vanity Fair piece you realize Mia was paid minimally for all her parts in his movies and he at this time controlled her entire income and career. To go up against him and make these accusations would have been very frightening.

This was a media interview controlled by Allen, not an interrogation. I believe he is guilty of something, perhaps concerning Soon-Yi, but he is not asked enough interrogative questions concerning the molestation charges to have a firm conclusion on that event.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at