‘I love Woody and I believe him’: Scarlett Johansson defends Allen

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Actor says she has spoken extensively to the director about claims of sexual abuse and ‘would work with him any time’

Andrew Pulver

‘He’s very direct with me, I believe him’ … Scarlett Johansson. Photograph: Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Scarlett Johansson has come out strongly in defence of Woody Allen, saying she “loved” the film-maker and “believed” he is innocent of the abuse accusations made by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Johansson was asked how she felt about Allen, who has directed her in three films: Match Point, Scoop and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She said: “I love Woody. I believe him, and I would work with him any time.”

Johansson’s position is in clear opposition to actors such as Timothée Chalamet, Greta Gerwig and Colin Firth, all of whom expressed regret at working with Allen after the re-emergence of Farrow’s allegation of sexual abuse against him. Allen has always denied the allegations, which have been investigated twice by authorities and no charges brought. Other actors such as Javier Bardem and Anjelica Huston have proclaimed their support.

Johansson added: “I see Woody whenever I can, and I have had a lot of conversations with him about it. I have been very direct with him, and he’s very direct with me. He maintains his innocence, and I believe him.”

Allen is currently in a legal dispute with Amazon, the backer of his most recently completed film A Rainy Day in New York. Amazon terminated a four-film agreement with him, citing his comments about the #MeToo movement. Johansson, a founding member of the Time’s Up campaign, acknowledged others’ concerns about Allen. “It’s hard because it’s a time where people are very fired up, and understandably,” she said. “Things needed to be stirred up, and so people have a lot of passion and a lot of strong feelings and are angry, rightfully so. It’s an intense time.”

Allen is currently working on a film in Spain, Rivkin’s Festival, starring Christoph Waltz and Gina Gershon, while A Rainy Day in New York is to be released in a number of international territories after its premiere at the Deauville film festival on 6 September. It is yet to secure distribution in the US or UK.

 

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