Barbara Walters defends Woody Allen amid molestation accusations

"The View" co-host says that the director is a doting father and therefore could never commit such a crime

By Prachi Gupta

Published February 4, 2014 9:03PM (EST)

"The View" co-host Barbara Walters is ardently defending director Woody Allen after his daughter Dylan Farrow wrote an open letter in the New York Times about the sexual abuse she allegedly endured at the hands of her father.

"I have rarely seen a father as sensitive, as loving and as caring as Woody is and Soon-Yi to [their two daughters]. I don't know about Dylan. I can only tell you what I have seen now, that it is a good marriage and that he is a loving and caring father," said Walters on Monday's program.

Walter's vehement defense ignited an intense debate between Walters, co-host Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd. McCarthy raised the point that Dylan, who changed her identity and now goes by another name, has "nothing to gain by coming out and saying this" 21 years after the alleged incident occurred.

Walters, however, painted Dylan as vindictive. "Supposedly, she is very angry. But she's doing it now because he's up for an (Oscar.) And so the question is: Does your personal life interfere with the awards that you may get?"

"Maybe she feels like she's been ignored, before," McCarthy posited.

Shepard raised the point that people are often shocked about friends or peers who were later convicted of crimes. "We've heard so many cases of people going, 'He was the most wonderful person in the world. I would have never thought he would've ...'

"Barbara, when you say, 'I'm speaking from what I've seen,' there are so many things that go on behind closed doors," continued Shepherd. "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."

"The fact that he likes 'younger women,' that has nothing to do with," Walters responded.

"But they're not of age! Seventeen is not of age, Barbara!" cried Shepherd, to applause. (It is worth noting that Soon-Yi was 21 when Mia discovered a relationship between Allen and Soon-Yi).

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Barbara Walters Dylan Farrow Molestation Sex Abuse The View Video Woody Allen