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'View' co-host Barbara Walters under fire for defending Woody Allen

Barbara Walters attends the Broadway opening of

Barbara Walters attends the Broadway opening of "After Midnight" on Nov. 3, 2013. Photo Credit: AP / Charles Sykes

"The View" co-host Barbara Walters came under criticism on social media and from her co-hosts Monday after defending her friend Woody Allen following his daughter Dylan Farrow's renewed accusations that he molested her when she was a child -- a charge Allen has repeatedly denied.

"I have rarely seen a father as sensitive, as loving and as caring as Woody is and [his wife] Soon-Yi to [their] two girls," adopted daughters Bechet Dumaine and Manzie Tio, Walters, 84, said on the show Monday. "I don't know about Dylan," she went on. "I can only tell you what I have seen now -- that it's a good marriage and that he is a loving, caring father. That has to be said."

Co-host Jenny McCarthy agreed it did, but then added she believed Farrow, who "has nothing to gain by coming out and saying this."

And co-host Sherri Shepherd interjected, "We've heard so many cases of people going, 'He was the most wonderful person in the world. I would have never thought he would've . . .,' " and that there are "many things that go on behind closed doors." Then when Shepherd noted that filmmaker Allen, a four-time Oscar-winner, has a history of relationships with much younger women, Walters objected.

Almost immediately after the exchange, a Twitter firestorm erupted, with typical comments such as, "Apparently, in Barbara Walters' world, guilt/validity of molestation is dependent on the accused's personality & her impression." Neither Walters nor Shepherd has responded on their respective Twitter pages.

Meanwhile, Dylan Farrow's brother Ronan, Allen and Mia Farrow's biological son, weighed in on Sunday, tweeting, "I love and support my sister and I think her words speak for themselves."Allen was investigated on child molestation claims for the 1992 accusation, but prosecutors elected not to charge him. -- With AP

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