Film director Woody Allen at the premiere of his film Blue Jasmine
Film director Woody Allen at the premiere of his film Blue Jasmine Reuters

In an open letter, Dylan Farrow has renewed claims that she was sexually molested by film-maker Woody Allen when she was seven years old.

In the letter, published in The New York Times on Saturday, she alleges that she was assaulted as a young child when she was adopted by Allen and actress Mia Farrow.

Speaking about the incident, which happened in 1992, Farrow told columnist Nicholas Kristof that she wanted to speak out because of Hollywood's continued praise of Allen.

Allen was honoured at the Golden Globes last month with the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. His latest film, Blue Jasmine, has received three Academy Award nominations, and a screenwriting nomination for Allen.

"That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up," Farrow wrote. "I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls."

In 1992 at the family's home, Farrow says that Allen took her to an attic and "told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother's electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret."

Farrow also alleges that Allen would climb into bed with her, and at other times "place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out".

"For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn't like," Farrow said. "These things happened so often, so routinely, so skilfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal."

Allen has always maintained his innocence. The film director was investigated over child molestation claims for the alleged 1992 incident, but prosecutors decided not to charge him.

State attorney Frank Maco later said in a press conference there was "probable cause" to charge Allen.

"Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse," continued Farrow.

The American film director later became involved with Mia Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, who was about 19 at the time and Allen in his mid-50s. The two married in 1997 and have two adopted daughters.

Watch the video of Woody Allen being questioned about child abuse claims