Allison Williams Defends Her Dad

With Seth Meyers at New York's 92nd Street Y.

Yesterday the New York Observer turned some heads by sharing a publicist’s request: no journalists attending a Michael Kors event could ask spokesperson Allison Williams about recent events involving her father Brian.

Friend of the site Peter Himler of Flatiron Communications riffed on that theme, writing:

“…I always believed that the primary onus is on the interviewee to deftly deflect a question he or she does not wish to answer. And there are many tried and true techniques for doing so…”

The reason for the request, as it turns out, was that Williams was waiting for an event at New York’s 92nd Street Y to defend her dad.

NBC’s Brian Stelter was there, as was Merrill Knox of our sister site TVNewser (which Stelter founded, in case you needed further proof that New York media circles are small).

Merrill got the best quotes, in our slightly biased opinion:

“This has been a really hard time. We have also been feeling very lucky, counting our blessings. We have our health, we have each other,” Williams said. “It has been an incredible experience to experience the outreach from people we love — family, friends, and then people we don’t even know, strangers, just reaching out saying we want to see him back on TV.”

Williams noted that the past weeks have been toughest on her dad, but she defended him via her own experience:

“One thing this experience has not done is shake my trust and belief in him as a man. He’s a really good man. He’s an honest man, he’s a truthful man. He has so much integrity, he cares so much about journalism. And yes, he’s a really good dad, but I know you can trust him because as any good daughter does. I’ve tested him on that so many times.”

Finally, she obliquely nodded toward his future in media:

“I was in ninth grade and there was a father-daughter dance at the end of that year. And before he left, he was assuming he’d be back in time for the dance. And as the date was coming, it didn’t seem like he was going to make it as he had promised. And a couple days before I was so upset, and I got a surprise call from Iraq, from my dad, and he was asking if I had a date for the dance,” she recalled. “That’s the kind of man he is, and I can’t wait until he’s back on TV.”

We wonder whether Williams will return to the television screen or work behind the scenes in a communications role — but, contrary to some conclusions drawn from the Observer story, Williams did prove that she’s willing to discuss and defend her father in public.