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Woody Allen fears Hollywood ‘witch hunt’ for sexual predators amid Harvey Weinstein sex assault accusations

Woody Allen has spoken out about the accusations against producer Harvey Weinstein, telling the BBC that he was unaware of — or perhaps simply disbelieved — what many have described as an “open secret” in Hollywood.

“No one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness,” Allen told the BBC. “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 rumors all the time. And some turn out to be true and some – many – are just stories about this actress, or that actor.”

Beginning with a New York Times investigative report earlier this month, more than two dozen women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct ranging from inappropriate overtures to rape.

The director of Blue Jasmine and Match Point has faced accusations of his own: His adopted daughter Dylan Farrow published in op-ed in 2014 accusing Allen of sexually abusing her when she was a child. The director has denied the allegations, as Weinstein has denied accusations of forcible sex but not all of the claims.

Allen, who is married to his ex-wife’s daughter and cast a 17-year-old Mariel Hemingway as his character’s love interest when he was 44, said he hopes the Weinstein revelations mean that men can still feel safe to wink at their female co-workers with impunity.

“You also don’t want it to lead to 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.”

Allen conceded that he is “sad” over the allegations against the powerful producer.

“The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved,” he told the BBC. “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.”

[Feature photo: Associated Press]