Director Woody Allen says allegations of sexual assault made against Harvey Weinstein are "sad" for the disgraced producer, and has warned against a "witch hunt."
"The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved," Allen 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."
The 81-year-old added that he hoped the revelations would improve matters, but warned against a "witch hunt".
"You 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," he said.
"That's not right either. But sure, you hope that something like this could be transformed into a benefit for people rather than just a sad or tragic situation."
Allen worked with Weinstein on a number of films but claimed he had never heard any of the allegations of sexual assault.
"No one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness," Allen said.
"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 rumours all the time. And some turn out to be true and some - many - are just stories about this actress, or that actor."
Weinstein's spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said earlier this week: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein."
Among those who investigated Weinstein were Allen's own son, Ronan Farrow.
For his explosive report in the New Yorker, Farrow spoke to 13 women who said the producer had sexually harassed or assaulted them.
Allen has faced his own sex claims. He has been accused of molesting his daughter, Dylan Farrow - an allegation he has always strongly denied.
The allegation emerged in the early 1990s following Allen's separation from actress, Mia Farrow.
The actress left Allen after discovering he was having an affair with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. Allen and Previn are now married.
Ronan Farrow penned a blistering essay about his estranged father and the sex abuse allegations, saying he believed his sister's claims.
Weinstein has been credited with reviving Allen's career after Allen was accused of abusing Dylan.
British police are investigating three new allegations of sexual assault against Weinstein.
London's Metropolitan Police force says the same woman was the victim of the assaults that allegedly took place in 2010, 2011 and 2015.
It said yesterday that officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offenses Command are investigating.
The force did not name Weinstein, in keeping with its policy of not identifying suspects who have not been charged.
But it said the allegations involve a man against whom another was made on Wednesday. That case also is being investigated.
Actress Lysette Anthony says she reported to police on Wednesday that Weinstein raped her in London in the late 1980s.
Anthony told the Sunday Times newspaper she was left feeling "disgusted and embarrassed" after the attack.
HEMSWORTH, BISHOP WEIGH IN
The news comes as the stars of Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok encouraged Weinstein's alleged victims to take legal action and say they hope speaking out will spark a cultural change.
Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk in the Marvel movie sequel, condemned the disgraced movie mogul's alleged behaviour with a string of women and called for legal action during a red carpet appearance for the film's Sydney premiere.
"It's absolutely intolerable. People should be filing criminal complaints against him," Ruffalo said.
"It's a crime what he was doing and the more we make space for women to come out and ... stand up and make space and say it's wrong and protect them when it happens, the quicker this s**t is gonna stop."
Ruffalo is in Australia to promote the third Thor movie in the franchise, which was filmed on the Gold Coast last year and directed by New Zealander Taika Waititi.
The film's star, Australian Chris Hemsworth, was also at the event and said he hoped the allegations of Weinstein's sexual harassment would be a catalyst for change.
"Hopefully it puts a spotlight on the issue, which it is, and hopefully what's socially acceptable and our attitudes change and this kind of thing doesn't occur," Hemsworth said.
"I think this kind of thing occurs in any industry, in any business in any workplace unfortunately and the more we talk about it and expose it then less of it should happen."