Woody Allen Harvey Weinstein
Woody Allen and Harvey Weinstein at the premiere of Vicky Cristina Barcelona in 2008. Getty Images

Writer and director Woody Allen has commented on the Harvey Weinstein scandal that has engulfed the film industry, saying the situation is "tragic for the poor women that were involved [and] sad for Harvey that his life is so messed up."

Allen, whose career has been dogged by accusations of molestation of his adopted daughter, told the BBC: "There's no winners in that, it's just very, very sad and tragic for those poor women that had to go through that."

Saying he hopes the revelations lead to "some amelioration", the Annie Hall and Manhattan director and star said: "No one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness.

"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 and Allen have worked together multiple times over the years, including on Oscar-winner Mighty Aphrodite and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Dozens of people have come forward to accusations of bullying, sexual assault and rape against producer Weinstein, leading to his firing from The Weinstein Company and expulsion from the Oscars Academy and Bafta.

Allegations first surfaced in a New York Times report in early October. The publication's investigation cited allegations from actor Ashley Judd and former Weinstein Company employee Emily Nestor.

Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cara Delevingne are among those who've shared their encounters with Weinstein.

The first accusations of rape were made in a New Yorker piece written by Allen's own son Ronan Farrow, who spoke to 15 women.

Mia Farrow - Ronan's mother - alleged in the early 1990s that Allen abused daughter Dylan Farrow after leaving the director when she discovered he was having an affair with his adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn. Allen denied the allegations.

"You also 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. That's not right either," Allen said.

"But sure, you hope that something like this could be transformed into a benefit for people rather than just a sad or tragic situation."

Weinstein's spokesperson said, following the New Yorker piece: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein." However, a previous statement from Weinstein - who is now in rehab - admitted some level of guilt regarding his past behaviour.

In response to the initial New York Times report, he said: "I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it. Though I'm trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons."

Police in New York and London are investigating some of the allegations.