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Shawn defends Allen over claims

Dylan Farrow has accused Woody Allen of sexually abusing her: Photo © Shawn defends Allen over claims Photo

Wallace Shawn has come to the defence of Woody Allen over sex abuse allegations by Dylan Farrow.

The 70-year-old actor, who first worked with the Oscar-winning filmmaker on 1979's Manhattan, revealed it would take "overwhelming evidence" to convince him of the claims his adopted daughter has made.

He wrote in the Los Angeles Times: "I've never become a friend of Woody Allen or even had any terribly lengthy conversations with him, but I've been in his orbit enough so that I can't possibly see him as the abstract, weird cardboard fantasy figure that one reads about.

"In fact, like so many of those who have worked with him repeatedly over the decades, I've found him to be not merely thoughtful, serious and honest, but extraordinary and even inspiring in his thoughtfulness, seriousness and honesty."

He continued: "Of the people I've known, he's one of those I've respected most. And for that reason, I personally would have to say that it would take overwhelming evidence to convince me that he had sexually abused a child, just as it would take overwhelming evidence to convince me that Desmond Tutu, Franklin D. Roosevelt or Doris Lessing had sexually abused a child.

"We don't have overwhelming evidence about what happened or didn't happen on the day in question. And yet when I turn on my computer, I hear a din of voices declaring unequivocally that Woody Allen committed a crime, a disgraceful, indefensible, sickening crime - I hear voices inciting hatred against him. Obviously if he did not in fact commit the crime, this is an appalling situation," the Toy Story actor added.

Woody has strongly denied Dylan's accusations, calling them "ludicrous" in a New York Times piece.

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