Javier Bardem condemns 'public lynching' of Woody Allen

Anita Singh
Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem starred in Woody Allen's 2008 film Vicky Cristina Barcelona - AP

Javier Bardem has criticised the “public lynching” of Woody Allen and said he would work with the director again tomorrow.

The Oscar-winning Spanish actor made the 2008 film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, with Allen and said he was aware then of the child sexual assault allegations which have resurfaced in recent years.

“At the time I did Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the allegations were already well known for more than 10 years, and two states in the US deemed he was not guilty,” Bardem said.

“Today it is the same accusation. Public accusations are very dangerous. If the legal situation ever changes, then I’d change my mind. But for now I don’t agree with the public lynching that he’s been receiving, and if Woody Allen called me to work with him again I’d be there tomorrow morning.

“He’s a genius.” Bardem was speaking at the Lumiere Film Festival in France. He spoke fondly of filming Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which co-starred Penelope Cruz, now his wife.

A scene from the set of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which co-starred Scarlett Johansson  Credit: Victor Bello/Film Stills

Allen’s daughter, Dylan Farrow, wrote an open letter in 2014 renewing her claims that he sexually abused her when she was a child in 1992.

“What’s your favourite Woody Allen movie?” she asked. “Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me.”

Allen was investigated at the time but was not charged, and he continues to deny the allegations.

Farrow’s story is backed by her mother, Mia Farrow, and her brother, Dylan. But another sibling, Moses, has claimed the allegations are fabricated.

Last month, Allen’s wife - and former adopted daughter - Soon-Yi Previn broke her silence to defend the director, saying: “What’s happened to Woody is so upsetting, so unjust. [Mia] has taken advantage of the #MeToo movement and paraded Dylan as a victim. And a whole new generation is hearing about it when they shouldn’t.”

A number of actors have expressed their regrets over working with Allen, including Greta Gerwig, Rebecca Hall and Colin Firth, prompted by Dylan Farrow giving a television interview in January.

As recently as December, Kate Winslet was full of praise for Allen, saying: “I think on some level Woody is a woman. He understands the female characters he creates exceptionally well.”

A few weeks later, she expressed her “bitter regrets” over “poor decisions to work with individuals with whom I wish I had not”. She has also worked with Roman Polanski.

 

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