Archive for January, 2018

Michael DouglasImage copyright
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Michael Douglas has said the claims are “a complete lie”

A former employee of Michael Douglas has described how she says she was sexually harassed by the actor – more than a week after he issued a pre-emptive denial of the claims.

Author and journalist Susan Braudy said Douglas’s alleged treatment left her feeling “humiliated”.

Her claims include that he performed a sex act in front of her.

The Hollywood star responded by saying: “This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth in it whatsoever.”

His statement came 10 days before Braudy’s allegations were published in The Hollywood Reporter.

Douglas explained he “felt the need to get ahead” of the situation and share his concerns about the “nightmare” scenario.

‘More powerful’

Braudy worked for Douglas’s company Stonebridge Productions in the late 1980s.

She claims he used sexual language in front of her, including openly discussing extra-marital affairs, while she was running the firm’s New York office.

Braudy also alleges that Douglas commented about her body, which made her then wear loose, dark clothing.

She alleged he masturbated in front of her during a one-on-one script meeting in his apartment in 1989 and that she rushed out, feeling humiliated.

“I realised he thought he could do anything he wanted because he was so much more powerful than I was,” she said, adding that she ran home and vowed to never be alone with him again. She finished working for him later that year.

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Susan Braudy said the #MeToo movement had helped her to come forward

Douglas, who originally spoke to Deadline, said: “I pride myself on my reputation in this business, not to mention the long history of my father and everything else.

“I don’t have skeletons in my closet, or anyone else who’s coming out or saying this. I’m bewildered why, after 32 years, this is coming out, now.”

He also claimed there is no evidence against him and he feared that such accusations could set back the #MeToo movement that has grown in the wake of the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal.

‘No due process’

Douglas said: “Being accused, without a chance [to defend yourself] in court. To not even really have the information in front of you, to be able to argue or defend yourself.

“There is no due process, no chance of seeing evidence in front of me from my accuser. It worries me.”

Braudy told The Hollywood Reporter she was not surprised by the way Douglas had issued his denial.

She claimed the manner in which he did so was “part of the problem, as is his pretext of victimisation”.

She added: “These are some reasons why so many women don’t come forward with their stories – Lord knows it’s taken 30 years and a movement for me to gather my courage.”

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Fast  Furious and Dwayne JohnsonImage copyright
Fast Furious Live / Getty

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Dwayne Johnson has starred in the Fast Furious movies – which the live show is based on

Your average Friday night probably doesn’t involve high-speed car chases, a submarine explosion and a fuel tanker catching on fire.

We hope not, anyway.

But that’s exactly what fans of Fast Furious are expecting when the first ever live incarnation of the franchise premieres in London later.

The live show is an extension of the film series – but rather than being a recreation or continuation of the timeline of the films, it takes on a whole new narrative.

“We have new characters that you meet at the beginning, and they have their own new storyline,” explains creative director and executive producer Rowland French.

“So we’ve been able to dig into the world of Fast Furious, and it’s a journey that takes you through all of these massive moments from different parts of the movie.”

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Fast Furious Live

The show recreates some of the most daring stunts from across the eight films, which have taken more than $5bn (£3.6bn) at the global box office since 2001.

French, a former producer at the BBC, says he got the idea for a live version of Fast Furious while working on Top Gear Live.

“I wrote Fast Furious Live, storyboarded it, and took it to the US, and pitched it to the licensing team, and they asked me to pitch it to their bosses, and it just kind of rolled from there,” he explains.

“Then I found myself in front of the board of Universal Pictures, so it wasn’t something they were necessarily looking for, I just believed it would be an amazing show.”

Why is Fast Furious so popular?

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The eighth film was called The Fate of the Furious, because ‘fate’ rhymes with ‘eight’, y’see

Film critic Rhianna Dhillon told BBC News the success of the Fast Furious franchise is down to its “universal appeal”.

“They’re films people of all ages can enjoy, because they have that pure, unadulterated escapism about them, children and adults alike are quite happy to watch things get blown up and smashed up,” she said.

“A lot of what drags movies like The Avengers down is the plot, and Fast Furious isn’t trying to compete with those heavy, convoluted storylines. This is just cars smashing into each other and it’s okay to enjoy that.

“This franchise isn’t trying to be anything it’s not. Ultimately, from the bottom up, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

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The live show involves a car chasing a jack-knifed lorry

Because it’s taken four years to pull together, the production of the live show quite literally couldn’t keep up with the movies.

French remembers: “[The producers] flew me over to America and said ‘Look, we’re going to show you a really early cut of Furious 7 because we want you to put it in the show.

“Then I came back to London, wrote a scene for 7. And then just because of the way the process works, the show still hadn’t been built when the eighth film came out.”

He was soon back on a plane to the US and shown a cut of The Fate of the Furious – and a certain scene involving a submarine caught his attention.

“I said, ‘You’ve got a submarine in the final act that breaks through the ice and smashes through cars, we’ve got to do that’,” he laughs.

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Fast Furious Live

It sounds like just the kind of show a health and safety department might be a bit anxious about.

But, French says: “The great thing is the majority of the team are all ex-Top Gear Live. They have such a wealth of experience. And that was a hugely safe show but also had a lot of danger in it.

“So we’ve become very good over the years at making something look incredibly dangerous and giving the audience that shot of adrenaline, but it’s all safe.”

Arguably, one risk of bringing a huge brand from the screen to the stage is that fans end up disappointed that the stunts in real life don’t look as daring as they do on film.

But, French says the lack of CGI and special effects means that the real thing is actually more exhilarating.

“I spent seven years on the side of the race track in the pouring rain watching cars go past me when I was working on Top Gear,” he says.

“Seeing things happen live, especially with cars, there’s something visceral when you can actually feel and see a car.

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Anna Warrington

He adds: “My pitch [to Universal] was you’ll never really connect with the fans until you show them it in real life.

“The stunts are absolutely on the edge of what’s possible within an arena show. And some of these stunts will be the first time they’ve ever been done.

“For example, the fuel tanker in Fast Furious 4 is a CGI fuel tanker, but ours isn’t, ours is real, and our driver really drives underneath it.”

If the tour is well received by fans, it could give the brand a new lease of life once the 10th and apparently final film is released in 2021.

“As a fan, I hope the Fast Furious films go on forever,” French says.

“But Fast Furious live will have its own separate life span, it’s like the greatest hits album, so hopefully it will always be relevant in its own way.”

Fast Furious Live premieres at the O2 on Friday evening before touring Europe.

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Sofia Vergara, Kim Cattrall and Tiffany HaddishImage copyright
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Kim Cattrall gave her blessing to Sofia Vergara (left) and Tiffany Haddish (right)

When Kim Cattrall ruled out appearing in Sex and the City 3, saying her relationship with her co-stars was “toxic”, it looked like there was no prospect of the film ever being made.

But the actress, who played Samantha Jones, has now suggested two women who could play her part instead.

She endorsed Tiffany Haddish from Girls Trip and Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara.

They are among the “many fabulous actresses to choose from that will make Samantha their own”, Cattrall said.

The Liverpool-born actress played the PR executive in two films, as well as all six series of Sex and the City.

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Would Sex and the City be the same with a new Samantha Jones?

She denied that her decision to turn down the third film was due to pay or “diva” demands.

Her latest comments came after Sarah Jessica Parker, who starred as Carrie in the long-running comedy-drama about a group of New York friends, suggested another instalment could still happen – without Cattrall.

“You know, who knows,” she told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show. “Perhaps, we’ll find a way. Right now I don’t know.”

She also suggested DeGeneres herself could take the role of Samantha – to which Cattrall replied on Twitter with two thumbs up emojis, saying: “She’d be fabulous.”

Cattrall went on to say that fellow talk show host Oprah Winfrey was her first love and she’d also enjoy seeing “goddesses” Haddish or Vergara play the part.

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Twitter post by @KimCattrall: I am partial to @TheEllenShow but @Oprah was always my 1st . But then there are the goddesss @TiffanyHaddish or @SofiaVergara So many fabulous actresses to choose from that will make Samantha their own! Image Copyright @KimCattrall

It wouldn’t be the first time a long-running character has been played by more than one actor.

Characters who’ve changed faces

  • Nanette Guzman, Frasier Crane’s first wife, was played by two women in Frasier – Dina Spybey and Laurie Metcalf. In Cheers, she was played by British star Emma Thompson
  • Another Laurie Metcalf series, Roseanne, has had several changes of cast. Perhaps most notably, Roseanne’s daughter Becky was played first by Lecy Goranson and then by Scrubs’ Sarah Chalke
  • Aunt Vivian in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was played by Janet Hubert-Whitten for three years, from 1990 to 1993, and then for another three by Daphne Maxwell Reid
  • Briton Ed Skrein originally played Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones – but was replaced by Dutchman Michiel Huisman
  • EastEnders recently saw Jenna Russell take on the role of Michelle Fowler, which divided fans who were more used to seeing Susan Tully play the part. And in 2010, Jacqueline Jossa took on the role of Lauren Branning, which had been played by Madeline Duggan
  • There’ve been lots of changes in other soaps, including in Coronation Street. Tracy Barlow has been played by no fewer than four actresses – including Dawn Acton from 1988-1999 and Kate Ford from 2002 to present. Nick Tilsley’s been played by a number of actors too – including Adam Rickett from 1997-2004 and Ben Price from 2009-2017

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Author Peter Mayle, who wrote A Year in Provence, has died aged 78, his publisher has said.

The 1989 international bestselling book, which chronicled Mayle’s move from England to France, was turned into a TV series and inspired a 2006 film.

He wrote follow-ups Toujours Provence and Encore Provence, as well as educational and children’s books.

Publisher Alfred A Knopf said he died in a hospital near his home in the south of France after a short illness.

‘Beloved writer’

In a statement on Twitter, Knopf said: “We are sad to report that Peter Mayle, the beloved writer who wrote multiple bestselling books about life in Provence, died early today.”

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Mayle moved from Devon to France in the late 1980s and wrote A Year in Provence about his first year as a British expat in a village in the south of France.

It was turned into a TV series starring John Thaw, which screened in 1993.

The 2006 film A Good Year, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard, was also loosely based on the book.

In 2002, the French government awarded Mayle a Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur, or Knight of the Legion of Honour, for his contributions to culture.

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Akshay Kumar playing MurugananthamImage copyright
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Bollywood star Akshay Kumar plays Arunachalam Muruganantham

The world’s first feature film on periods is set to be released in the UK. Can a comedy help break the taboo of female menstruation?

It’s a scene that captures the 20-year struggle by a poor school drop-out from southern India to buy sanitary pads for his wife – and ended up changing the lives of millions of women around the world.

Arunachalam Muruganantham – played by Bollywood star Akshay Kumar – cycles through his local village waving cheerfully.

Unbeknown to his neighbours, he is testing the effectiveness of his new invention by wearing pink pants and a home-made sanitary pad which is slowly filling with goat’s blood from a football bladder tied around his waist.

But behind the laughter of the comedy- Pad Man – is the true story of how Muruganantham invented a low-cost machine that revolutionised women’s healthcare.

It started in 1998 when newly married Muruganantham noticed his wife Shanti hiding something.

“It was a nasty rag cloth – she was going to use it during her menstruation. I wouldn’t even use it to clean my vehicle,” he tells the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

“So I decided to gift her a sanitary pad. The shopkeeper gave it to me as a smuggled product. Out of curiosity I opened the packet. The cotton product was sold for four rupees (4p) – 40 times what it cost to make.”

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Arunachalam Muruganantham

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Muruganantham works with non-governmental organisations so his sanitary pads help as many women as possible

Muruganantham, now 55, threw himself into researching a cheaper alternative.

Period poverty leaves an estimated 300 million women in India without access to sanitary products – making them vulnerable to disease, infertility and even death.

He began analysing pads from Western companies, canvassing opinions – and used napkins – of female medical students and, finally, tested his inventions out himself.

“I wanted volunteers to try my new pads and give me feedback – but not even my wife was ready.”

It all came at a cost.

“My wife left, mother left. The whole village thought I had a sexual disease,” he explains.

But he persevered, and in 2006 launched not-for-profit Jayaashree Industries, which supplies machines making Muruganantham’s sanitary pads at cost-price to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and women’s organisations across India.

Today it reaches an estimated 40 million Indian women, and there are plans to take the machines to Kenya, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

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Akshay Kumar, Twinkle Khanna and Arunachalam Muruganantham on the set of Pad Man

Twinkle Khanna, Pad Man’s co-producer, spotted his story online and says she was immediately gripped by the magnitude of what he had achieved.

“I thought this was a remarkable story which really needed to reach every household in India, and globally, because I think the taboo around menstruation is not just in India, it’s a global problem.”

Khanna’s husband, actor Akshay Kumar, immediately signed on to play Muruganantham.

The 50-year-old, who is a popular and powerful role model in India, has a history of political message projects and is calling for sanitary pads to be made free for all women in India.

“Tackling the taboo is very important to me, because I am only now learning about the extent of the crises that countries around the world have been suffering with,” he tells the programme.

“I’m ashamed to say how little of all this I knew, which is why this issue has become so close to my heart.

“The conversation is starting though – I’ve seen men talking about pads on my social media account.

“After Pad Man starts the conversation, it will be up to audiences to take it forward and help to end all of the taboos around periods worldwide.”

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Akshay Kumar is hugely popular in India

But period poverty is not only a problem affecting women in India.

In the UK, one in 10 disadvantaged girls below the age of 21 cannot afford sanitary products, according to charity Plan International UK.

Manjit Gill, who co-runs London based charity Binti – which campaigns against period poverty – says the film is a watershed moment for “smashing shame around periods”.

“We have worked with Muruganantham for a few years now – we use one of his machines in India – and he really does have a halo,” she says.

“The conversation has definitely been started around this film – the words ‘pad’ and ‘periods’ have been used more in the last month than in the last 10 years.”

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Arunachalam Muruganantham

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Muruganantham at one of his machines

The potentially revolutionary nature of Pad Man lies not only in how it tackles a subject that is still considered unmentionable in many countries, but also in the vote of confidence from distributors Sony Pictures in giving a foreign language film about periods a worldwide release as a major motion picture.

The real ‘Pad Man’, who now has a daughter with his wife after she came back to him, feels “happy” about seeing his life on the big screen but prefers to throw a spotlight on the women taking the movement forward.

Despite his success, he owns no shares in his company and earns roughly 70,000 Rupees (£790) a month – enough for him to cover the storage and transportation for the raw material he imports from the US and Germany.

“A school drop-out, to a rural innovator, to now [there being] a movie, shows the power of dreams,” Muruganantham says.

“My vision is to make India into a 100% sanitary-pad using country. Menstruation is no more a taboo.”

Pad Man will be released across the UK in January.

Watch the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel.

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John BartonImage copyright

Theatre director John Barton, a co-founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), has died aged 89.

Working with the company since its beginnings in 1960, Barton directed more than 50 works – some adapted by him from the texts of Greek drama.

He was “a Shakespeare genius”, RSC artistic director Gregory Doran said.

Actor Sir Patrick Stewart said “the names William Shakespeare and John Barton will be for me forever united”.

Sir Patrick, who worked with Barton on The Merchant of Venice, said that no one in his career “had the impact John had”.

Paying tribute to a “mentor and friend”, Doran said Barton was “one of the greatest influences in the acting of Shakespeare of the last century”.

Generations of actors had been and still were influenced by Barton’s series of Shakespeare workshops, Doran said.

Doran recalled directing Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, when Barton joined him for sessions “in which he delivered whole sections of the book from memory, including, most wonderfully, the list of a hundred knights”.

‘Inestimable legacy’

Barton’s acclaimed productions include the War of the Roses, Twelfth Night, The Hollow Crown and The Greeks.

Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons, Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen are among the actors to have worked with him.

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Josie Rourke, artistic director at the Donmar Warehouse, paid tribute the “fierce, funny” director.

The associate director of London’s Almeida Theatre, Robert Icke, called his legacy “inestimable”.

“We don’t make them like him any more,” he added.

Meanwhile actor, John Bowe, wrote that he was “honoured” to have been directed by him.

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This autumn’s RSC production of Troilus and Cressida – Barton’s favourite play – will be dedicated to him.

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Kevin SpaceyImage copyright

Police are investigating a new allegation of sexual assault against Kevin Spacey.

Scotland Yard received the claim on 13 December. It alleges that a man was assaulted by the Oscar-winning actor in Westminster, London, in 2005.

The police force did not name Spacey but said the alleged perpetrator is the same person who was the subject of two earlier complaints.

Those are alleged to have taken place in Lambeth in 2005 and 2008.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “On 1 November, City of London Police referred an allegation of sexual assault to the Metropolitan Police Service.

“It is alleged a man assaulted another man (victim one) in 2008 in Lambeth. On 17 November we received allegations that the same man sexually assaulted a man (victim two) in 2005 in Lambeth.

“On 13 December we received an allegation that the man sexually assaulted a man (victim three) in 2005 in Westminster.”

Spacey, 58, has won two Oscars – best actor for American Beauty in 2000 and best supporting actor for The Usual Suspects in 1996 – and was artistic director of The Old Vic theatre in London between 2004 and 2015.

Spacey has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by a number of men and, according to his spokesperson, is “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment”.

The first allegation was made in October by Anthony Rapp, who said Spacey made advances towards him when he was 14 and Spacey was 26. Spacey claimed to have no memory of the events and has issued an “absolute” denial of the other allegations that later emerged.

He has since been dropped from Netflix series House of Cards and was replaced by Christopher Plummer in Sir Ridley Scott’s film All the Money in the World.

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Katy Perry says she is a “victim” of social media because of society’s pressure to share every move online.

The singer and American Idol judge says Instagram and Twitter are proof of the “decline of civilisation”.

She also encouraged fans to not care about social media and to instead live their lives.

Perry has over 68 million Instagram followers and 108 million Twitter followers, but says she would rather not document her whole life online.

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Perry is an American Idol judge alongside Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie

“It’s hard because I’d rather not care about that and just live my life,” she told Refinery29.

“We buy clothing and products or pose a certain way or go to an event to get a picture – it’s not good for us as a society.

“I think it’s actually the decline of civilisation if we’re going extreme about it.”

The 33-year-old says she is trying to find a balance in what she posts online, because she is as susceptible to the pressure as everyone else.

Perry is not the first star to talk about the pressure of having a social media account, especially ones with big followings.

Celebrities who have spoken out about social media

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Selena Gomez takes regular breaks from social media

  • Selena Gomez says when she found out she was the most followed person on Instagram, (she currently has 132 million followers) she “freaked out”.
  • “It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see.”
  • That’s the reason she regularly takes breaks from posting content, she told Vogue in 2017.
  • Justin Bieber’s 96 million Instagram followers got too much for him in 2016 when he accused them of online bullying over his then-girlfriend Sofia Ritchie.
  • “If you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like,” he wrote in a post on the platform.
  • The problems didn’t stop, so Bieber quit the platform for six months.

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Lily James says she has a “constant inner battle” about social media

  • Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley said becoming famous made her delete her social media. The 25-year-old quit Instagram last year.
  • In an interview with Radio Times, she says she did it because of how bad it is for mental health.
  • Ridley said: “The more I read about teenage anxiety, the more I think it’s highly unhealthy for people’s mental health.
  • She added: “It’s such a weird thing for young people to look at distorted images of things they should be.”
  • Cinderella actress Lily James agreed with her comments, telling the BBC: “I’m not on Twitter, I don’t want to always have something to say, I want to save that for my life.
  • “Also I think, especially as a young person, you change your opinions every second, so [you shouldn't] put something down in concrete that’s going to come back and haunt you.”

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The star returned to social media in December 2016.

  • Ed Sheeran famously took a year-long break from social media in between his second and third albums as he said he was spending too much time on his phone.
  • “I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes so I’m taking this opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I missed,” he wrote in December 2015.

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Farrow said she was “traumatised” by the alleged event

Dylan Farrow says she wishes Woody Allen had been charged over allegations he sexually abused her as a child.

“He’s lying and he’s been lying for so long,” she told CBS’s This Morning, in her first TV interview about her adoptive father.

Allen repeated his denial of the claims and issued a new statement on Thursday saying: “I never molested my daughter.”

Several actors have recently distanced themselves from Allen, as Hollywood’s sexual harassment scandal continues.

Farrow has long alleged that Allen sexually abused her when she was seven, in her mother Mia’s country house.

Allen said in his statement: “Even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn’t make it any more true today than it was in the past.”

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Dylan said her mother Mia Farrow urged her to “tell the truth”

In the CBS interview, Farrow said she was giving the interview because “I want to show my face and tell my story. I want to speak out, literally.”

She repeated her allegation that that on 4 August, 1992, “I was taken to a small attic crawl space in my mother’s country house in Connecticut by my father”.

She said: “He instructed me to lay down on my stomach and play with my brother’s toy train that was set up. And he sat behind me in the doorway and as I played with the toy train, I was sexually assaulted.”

Allen’s denial

Film director Allen was never charged, and Farrow told CBS she wishes charges had been filed following investigations at the time, because she would have “had” to take the stand.

“I do wish that they had, even if I’m just speaking in retrospect. I was already traumatised.”

Farrow, now 32, was visibly emotional as she was shown a clip from US show 60 Minutes, dating back to 1992, in which Allen, now 82, vehemently denies the alleged molestation.

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Woody Allen’s response to the CBS This Morning Dylan Farrow interview

When this claim was first made more than 25 years ago, it was thoroughly investigated by both the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital and New York State child welfare. They both did so for many months and independently concluded that no molestation had ever taken place.

Instead, they found it likely a vulnerable child had been coached to tell the story by her angry mother during a contentious breakup.

Dylan’s older brother Moses has said that he witnessed their mother doing exactly that – relentlessly coaching Dylan, trying to drum into her that her father was a dangerous sexual predator. It seems to have worked – and, sadly, I’m sure Dylan truly believes what she says.

But even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn’t make it any more true today than it was in the past. I never molested my daughter – as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.

Farrow told interviewer Gayle King her mother had taken her to the doctor following the alleged incident.

When the doctor first asked her to point to where she had been touched, she pointed to her shoulder.

She said she felt “embarrassed” but then did tell the doctor about the alleged abuse.

Farrow also denied Allen’s suggestion that her mother had “coached” her into to believing her father had molested her.

“Every step of the way, my mother has only encouraged me to tell the truth. She has never coached me,” she said.

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Dylan saw a clip of actress Natalie Portman, saying she believed her, during the interview

Farrow also alleged that Allen “would follow me around. He was always touching me, cuddling me and if I ever said I want to go off by myself, he wouldn’t let me”.

The actors who have distanced themselves from Allen include Timothee Chalamet, who announced this week he will give his salary for appearing in Allen’s next film, A Rainy Day in New York, to charity.

His co-star, Rebecca Hall, also donated her fee to charity and said she “regretted” her decision to appear in the film.

Other stars include Natalie Portman, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page and Mira Sorvino.

However, Alec Baldwin, who worked with Allen on Alice, Blue Jasmine and To Rome With Love, said the “renunciation of him and his work” was “unfair and sad”.

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Alec Baldwin also said it had been a privilege to work with Allen

In Thursday’s CBS interview, Farrow spoke about actors who have starred in her father’s films and continue to stand by him.

“I’m not angry with them.

“I hope that… especially since so many of them have been vocal advocates of this Me Too and Time’s Up movement, that they can acknowledge their complicity and maybe hold themselves accountable to how they have perpetuated this culture of silence in their industry.

When asked how she thought they were complicit, Farrow replied: “Because I have been saying this – I have been repeating my accusations unaltered for over 20 years and I have been systematically shut down, ignored or discredited or not believed.

“If they can’t acknowledge the accusations of one survivor’s, how are they going to stand for all of us?”

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Media captionJessica played Hope Morrison in Home and Away

Home and Away actress Jessica Falkholt has died from injuries she suffered in a car crash three weeks ago, an Australian hospital has confirmed.

The accident in New South Wales on 26 December had already killed her parents, sister and the other driver.

The actress, 29, played Hope Morrison in the soap.

Her life support was switched off last week and she died on Wednesday morning local time, said St George Hospital in Sydney.

“The family has asked for privacy during this very difficult time,” it said in a statement.

Jessica’s parents Lars, 69, and Vivian, 60, were killed instantly in the crash and her sister Annabelle, 21, died in hospital three days later.

Australian police are still investigating the crash, which also killed 50-year-old Craig Whitall, who was driving the other car.

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Lars, Vivian, Annabelle and Jessica seen together in a photo supplied to the media

At the time of the crash, authorities said they were examining whether Mr Whitall’s car had been on the wrong side of the road.

Last week, hundreds of people attended a funeral service for Lars, Vivian and Annabelle Falkholt in Sydney.

Vivian Falkholt’s brother Paul Ponticello spoke at the funeral, saying he had thought he and his sister “would grow old together”.

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A funeral held for the Falkholt family in Sydney last week

Falkholt’s stint on the long-running series only lasted for 16 episodes and ended in November 2016. She then filmed a role in the US film Harmony, which is set for release this year.

Channel Seven, the show’s broadcaster, said “the entire Home and Away family is heartbroken”.

“Jessica’s shining talent was recognised and respected by all her cast-mates and crew and her beautiful friendship treasured,” the statement read.

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farewell wonderful Jess ♡ beautiful pic by David Newman. ♡

A post shared by Pia. (@piamiller) on Jan 16, 2018 at 5:33pm PST

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Former Home and Away star Pia Miller paid tribute to the “wonderful” actress on Instagram. She and other co-stars had regularly asked for prayers and support for the actress since the crash.

The National Institute of Dramatic Art, where Falkholt had studied, said it was mourning “the tragic passing of our talented young graduate”.

Her death has also sparked messages of grief from the show’s fans.

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