This week, actress Scarlett Johansson publicly defended director Woody Allen in a way few others in Hollywood have been willing to do. On The View, Thursday morning, Joy Behar joined her.
“I love Woody. I believe him, and I would work with him anytime,” Johansson said in a revealing interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Referring to the allegations that he sexually molested his daughter Dylan Farrow nearly three decades ago, she added, “He maintains his innocence, and I believe him.”
“When somebody is accused of such a heinous crime as child molestation, you say to yourself, what do I believe?” Behar said on Thursday, noting that like Johansson she has worked with Allen—in her case on his much-maligned Amazon series Crisis in Six Scenes.
She went on to cite the “evidence” that Allen has said exonerates him. “The Connecticut State Police brought in an investigative team from the Yale New Haven hospital, all right?” she said. “Their six-month long inquiry, which included medical examinations, concluded that Dylan had not been molested.” Noting that Dylan’s brother Moses has also denied that anything happened, Behar said, “So based on that, there has to be a point where you say, what am I going to believe? The authorities who investigated this, or people who are making accusations?”
From there, she went on to compare Allen’s situation to that of Al Franken, who resigned from the Senate after facing his own, less serious sexual misconduct accusations. “I'm still mad that Al Franken never got his day in court, that he was just accused and suddenly he's gone out of the Senate.”
“I'm not defending Woody's behavior with Soon-Yi, that was deplorable,” Behar stressed, referring to the adopted daughter Allen went on to marry. “It's creepy, but it's not a crime. She was over 18 apparently when he married her. But this, with the little girl, I mean he has been exonerated by the experts.”
It was left to co-host and former sex crimes prosecutor Sunny Hostin to push back against the notion that Allen has been “exonerated” of the alleged assault. She pointed out that Dylan Farrow has maintained her story over the years and that another brother, the journalist Ronan Farrow, has corroborated some of Allen’s inappropriate behavior. On top of that, she said, a judge “found that she had to be protected against his advances towards her.”
She was referring to a 1993 ruling in which Justice Elliott Wilk stated, “we will probably never know what occurred on August 4, 1992... [but] Mr. Allen’s behavior toward Dylan was grossly inappropriate and... measures must be taken to protect her.”
“I will tell you in my experience, because I spent the majority of my career prosecuting child sexual predators, so I consider myself somewhat of an expert in this area,” Hostin added, “abusers groom their character witnesses just as thoroughly as they groom their victims.” When she hears Scarlett Johansson say things like, “I spoke to Woody and I believe him,” she thinks, “Woody wants her to believe him. He’s probably very good at this.”
By the end of the segment, after Meghan McCain had somehow used the topic to defend comedian Dave Chappelle, Whoopi Goldberg returned to the refrain she used for years to give Bill Cosby the benefit of the doubt.
“As you know, I have always felt that people should have their day in court,” Goldberg said. “I have always believed that, and the backlash has been really big and harsh and rough on me, but you know what? I'm still here.”