Woody Allen feels “sad” for Harvey Weinstein over abuse allegations against the disgraced movie mogul, telling the BBC on Sunday the situation was “tragic” for the women involved.
“The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved,” he said of the scandal which has shaken Hollywood in recent days.
Scores of women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault and rape, since an initial investigation published by the New York Times.
“Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that (his) life is so messed up.
“There’s no winners in that, it’s just very, very sad and tragic for those poor women that had to go through that,” Allen told the BBC.
The director himself faced allegations in the 1990s of abusing his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, who in 2014 published an open letter in the New York Times outlining her father’s alleged abuse.
Allen’s son Ronan Farrow last year published a column in the Hollywood Reporter criticising the media for failing to ask hard questions about his sister’s case.
He went on to be one of the journalists who investigated Weinstein, penning a piece in The New Yorker in which three women alleged he raped them.
Despite Weinstein and Allen working together, Allen told the BBC he was not aware of the serious allegations against the Hollywood powerbroker.
One of the films Allen and Weinstein collaborated on was the Oscar-winning 1995 film Mighty Aphrodite.
The star of that film, Mira Sorvino, is one of the actresses who has come forward with claims against Weinstein.
“No one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness,” Allen said. “And they wouldn’t, because you are not interested in it. You are interested in making your movie.
“But you do hear a million fanciful rumours all the time. And some turn out to be true and some — many — are just stories about this actress, or that actor.”
Allen said he hoped the Weinstein case would lead to “some amelioration”, but cautioned against creating a “witch hunt atmosphere”.
“A Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself. That’s not right either.
“But sure, you hope that something like this could be transformed into a benefit for people rather than just a sad or tragic situation,” Allen told the British broadcaster.
Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex and has not been seen in public since leaving his daughter’s home in Los Angeles on Wednesday.