He's currently under house arrest in Switzerland in connection to that case.
In an interview at the Cannes Film Festival Saturday, Allen said Polanski "was embarrassed by the whole thing," "has suffered" and "has paid his dues." He said Polanski is "an artist and is a nice person" who "did something wrong and he paid for it."
Allen has also signed a petition calling for Polanski's release.
Allen's relationship with actress Mia Farrow ended in scandal and New York tabloid headlines in 1992, when she found out he was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, then 22. Allen married Previn in 1997.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.