Sexual harassment and assault

Cate Blanchett says she was unaware of Woody Allen allegations when she worked with him

Australian actress who worked with director on his 2013 Blue Jasmine says she was unaware of the sexual assault allegation levelled against the director by his daughter Dylan Farrow

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 March, 2018, 2:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 23 March, 2018, 2:03pm

Ignorance is bliss.

Cate Blanchett, who starred in Woody Allen’s 2013 film Blue Jasmine, says she had no clue the director had been branded a sexual predator by his daughter when she signed on as his star.

“I don’t think I’ve stayed silent at all. At the time that I worked with Woody Allen, I knew nothing of the allegations,” Blanchett told CNN after Christiane Amanpour asked her about supporting the Time’s Up campaign to support women victims of sexual harassment in spite of her past work with Allen.

“At the time, I said it’s a very painful and complicated situation for the family, which I hope they have the ability to resolve,” the actress said.

The 82-year-old Allen has long maintained his innocence in the face of sexual assault accusations from his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, who claimed that, when she was seven years old in the early 1990s, he groped her private parts at her mother Mia Farrow’s house.

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The Annie Hall director was never convicted of a crime – something Blanchett says she wouldn’t be opposed to revisiting if need be.

“If these allegations need to be re-examined which, in my understanding, they’ve been through court, then I’m a big believer in the justice system and setting legal precedents,” she said. “If the case needs to be reopened, I am absolutely, wholeheartedly in support of that.”

She also praised social media’s ability to draw awareness to issues like sexual abuse, but warned that it should not be considered “judge and jury”.

Blanchett faced heat from Farrow in a 2014 open letter she wrote in The New York Times that detailed her allegations publicly for the first time and shamed the stars that continued to pursue working relationships with Allen.

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“What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?” she wrote.

At the time, Blanchett responded to Farrow’s message with the same quote she recalled to CNN: “It’s obviously been a long and painful situation for the family, and I hope they find some resolution and peace.”

In the wake of movements like Time’s Up and #MeToo, more and more of Allen’s leading men and women have jumped ship and vowed never to work with him again.

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“I’m a patron of the NSPCC [The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a British charity] and have very strong views about paedophilia … I don’t regret working with him, which I did in complete innocence; but I wouldn’t work with him again, no,” Michael Caine said in a recent interview, adding his name to a list of stars including Colin Firth, Mira Sorvino and Timothée Chalamet.