Lena Dunham has defended her choice to talk about sexual abuse in her new memoir after coming under fire when her alleged rapist was revealed.
In the Girls creator and star’s autobiography, Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham recalls an incident during her time at Oberlin College in Ohio nearly 10 years ago, when a man called ‘Barry’ allegedly sexually assaulted her.
Dunham’s description of ‘Barry’ was detailed enough that former students at the small liberal arts school were allegedly able to identify the man Dunham was referring to, and his attorney Aaron Minc tells The Hollywood Reporter that his client has had to defend himself against the claims.
Minc alleges publishers at Random House have agreed to edit the relevant section of the book, as well as compensate ‘Barry’ for his legal fees, and now, Dunham has broken her silence in a piece posted on BuzzFeed in which she assures readers she was not trying to ridicule and take action against Barry.
“It took me a long time to fully acknowledge what had happened and even longer to discuss it publicly, in the form of an essay in my book Not That Kind of Girl. When I finally decided to share my story, it had ambiguities and gray areas, because that’s what I experienced, because that’s what so many of us have experienced.
“I was not naive enough to believe the essay in my book would be met with pure empathy or wild applause. But this did not prove to be the case. I have had my character and credibility questioned at every turn. I have been attacked online with violent and misogynistic language. Reporters have attempted to uncover the identity of my attacker despite my sincerest attempts to protect this information.”
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“Speaking out about the realities and complexities of sexual assault is how we begin to protect each other. I do not want our daughters born into a world that reacts to sexual violence against women in this way. This reaction, which ranges from skepticism to condemnation to threats of violence, is something I have been subject to as a woman in a position of extraordinary privilege.”