Barbara Walters Controversially Defends Woody Allen on 'The View' In Light of Sexual Abuse Scandal
It seems that Dylan Farrow's emotional and powerful open letter in the New York Times, where she begs Hollywood figures to think about what if Woody Allen had molested their daughters, didn't strike that chord with Barbara Walters at all. Farrow, Allen's estranged, adopted daughter, detailed sexual abuse allegations that she endured from him as a young girl in the letter — but that wasn't what Walters wanted to talk about on her show. On Monday, Barbara Walters defended Woody Allen on The View , and disturbingly only said Farrow's name once during the whole conversation.
Walters first pointed out that the "statute of limitations" had run out on the case and Allen couldn't be prosecuted for any of Farrow's sexual abuse allegations. She then went on to read a statement from Allen's lawyer:
It is tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces even though it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities. The one to blame for Dylan's distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen.
This statement blames Mia Farrow, Dylan's adoptive mother, as the one who "engineered" the letter out of spite.
I know Mia, I have a good relationship with her... but I have been with I've been with Woody many times with his two daughters, Walters says. I have rarely seen a father as sensitive, as loving and as caring as Woody is and Soon-Yi to these two girls [their adopted daughters, Bechet and Manzie]. I don't know about Dylan. I can only tell you what I have seen now.
This is a bold statement from Walters, since she seems to say that she doesn't "know" about Dylan, the woman that's supposedly the victim of a horrific crime and the whole reason for their roundtable discussion, since she courageously came forth and told her story. If Walters is only resolute in her current observations of Allen's life, perhaps she shouldn't get involved in such a personal sexual abuse allegation that happened decades ago.Co-hosts Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd were shocked at Walters' stance.
"[Dylan] has noting to gain by coming out and saying this," McCarthy said, to which Walters replied that Farrow is "angry" because Allen is up for an Oscar this year. Shepherd also struck back at Walters by saying that many people accused of sexual crimes "are often described as 'the most wonderful person.'"
Walters denied that was what she meant, but Shepherd heard differently:
Barbara, when you say, 'I'm speaking from what I've seen,' there are so many things that go on behind closed doors. We also know that he was with Soon-Yi when she was very young. [Mia] had adopted this girl when she was young and Woody was around her… You've also got a man who's got a track record. He liked younger women, so it's not that far off.
Shepherd made it very clear that Allen's relationship with Previn when she was 17-years-old was not of age, even though Walters argued that it was mutual.
Walters stance sparked controversy on Twitter, as well:
You can watch the clip below: