The View co-host defended the director on the Monday, Feb. 3, episode of her talk show, two days after his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow alleged that the filmmaker sexually assaulted her as a child.
Noting how the Blue Jasmine writer behaves around his two daughters with wife Soon-Yi Previn, Walters defended her friend. "I have rarely seen a father as sensitive, as loving and as caring as Woody is and Soon-Yi to these two girls. I don't know about Dylan. I can only tell you what I have seen now."
Co-host Jenny McCarthy argued that Farrow has "nothing to gain" by sharing her story via an open letter, which was published by The New York Times. "It just makes me stop and question it." Walters acknowledged that Dylan is "angry," but said, "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?"
Meanwhile, co-host Sherri Shepherd pointed out that seeing is believing. "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...,'" she began, before Walters to cut her off and said, "That's not what I'm saying."
"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 [Farrow] 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," Shepherd said. "So it's not that far off."
"The fact that he likes 'younger women,' that has nothing to do with…" Walters countered.
"But they're not of age!" Shepherd fired back. "Seventeen is not of age, Barbara." Walters conceded that the romantic relationship was "mutual," but Shepherd wasn't hearing it.
"It was his stepdaughter that he messed around with!" Shepherd said. "That was his stepdaughter!"
Allen, for his part, has denied the allegations made by Dylan. "Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful," his rep said in a statement. The filmmaker's attorney later added, "It's tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces after it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities. The one to blame for her distress is neither Dylan nor Woody."