Lena Dunham has revealed she was sexually assaulted in college.
The Girls creator and star opens up about the ordeal in her new memoir, titled Not That Kind of Girl, and admits writing about the experience was cathartic for her.
She also felt the need to reveal all to an old friend, because she didn’t want him reading about her encounter in the book before she had the chance to explain why she had kept the details from him.
Dunham tells radio host Terry Gross, “It was a painful experience physically and emotionally and one I spent a long time trying to reconcile… I actually (have) been thinking about it a lot this week because I sent an email to somebody who I had known at that time who knew the guy who had perpetrated the act… I wanted to make it clear to this old friend what I felt had happened before he potentially bought the book… and read about it.
“I hated the idea of somebody finding out that information (independently of me telling them) because, at the time that it happened, it wasn’t something I was able to be honest about. I was able to share pieces, but I used the lens of humour, which has always been my default-mode, to try to talk around it.
“I said to this old friend in an email, ‘I spent so much time scared; I spent so much time ashamed. I don’t feel that way anymore and it’s not because of my job, it’s not because of my boyfriend, it’s not because of feminism, though all those things helped. It’s because I told the story. And I’m still here, and my identity hasn’t shifted in some way that I can’t repair. And I still feel like myself and I feel less alone’.”