Lena Dunham Responds To Accusations That She Sexually Abused Her Sister

Dunham went on a self-described “rage spiral” on Saturday, calling the accusations against her disgusting. UPDATE: Dunham’s sister, Grace, has issued a statement.

update

Lena Dunham addressed the controversy in Time magazine, saying she was “dismayed over the recent interpretation.”

She told the magazine in a statement:

“I want to be very clear that I do not condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances.

“Childhood sexual abuse is a life-shattering event for so many, and I have been vocal about the rights of survivors. If the situations described in my book have been painful or triggering for people to read, I am sorry, as that was never my intention. I am also aware that the comic use of the term ‘sexual predator’ was insensitive, and I’m sorry for that as well.

“As for my sibling, Grace, she is my best friend, and anything I have written about her has been published with her approval.”

2. Kevin D. Williamson, a columnist for the conservative-leaning magazine National Review, accused Lena Dunham this weekend of admitting to sexual abuse in her new memoir Not That Kind of Girl.

Getty Images Stuart C. Wilson

3. Williamson points to a passage in the memoir where Dunham details how she sexually experimented with her little sister, Grace. Williamson also calls Dunham’s parents child abusers.

Dunham writes of casually masturbating while in bed next to her younger sister, of bribing her with “three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds … anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying.” At one point, when her sister is a toddler, Lena Dunham pries open her vagina — “my curiosity got the best of me,” she offers, as though that were an explanation.

4. Truth Revolt, a blog run by conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro, published “Lena Dunham Describes Sexually Abusing Her Little Sister,” a follow-up to the National Review’s piece. The author, Bradford Thomas, wrote:

In one particularly unsettling passage, Dunham experimented with her six-year younger sister’s vagina. “This was within the spectrum of things I did,” she writes.

In the collection of nonfiction personal accounts, Dunham describes using her little sister at times essentially as a sexual outlet, bribing her to kiss her for prolonged periods and even masturbating while she is in the bed beside her.

5. Here’s a photo of the passage in which Dunham refers to herself as a “sexual predator.”

6. On Saturday, Dunham responded to claims of sexual abuse with a “rage spiral,” calling the accusations disgusting.

The right wing news story that I molested my little sister isn't just LOL- it's really fucking upsetting and disgusting.

— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham)

And by the way, if you were a little kid and never looked at another little kid's vagina, well, congrats to you.

— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham)

Usually this is stuff I can ignore but don't demean sufferers, don't twist my words, back the fuck up bros.

— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham)

I told a story about being a weird 7 year old. I bet you have some too, old men, that I'd rather not hear. And yes, this is a rage spiral.

— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham)

10. Dunham’s explanation only inspired more debate about whether or not what she describes in her book constitutes molestation.

Lena Dunham wrote in a book that she molested her sister, but it’s okay because she supports abortion.

— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson)

I find it disturbing. I think kids do weird shit. I don't think I should tell Grace how to perceive her life. @PennyDreadful81 @lenadunham

— Roxane Gayrten (@rgay)

Lena Dunham molested her sister. In her book she calls it curiosity. There is no outrage because, white woman.

— Pregnant Lady. (@_MissBre)

@lenadunham you did it. You wrote it. Seven year olds have molested other children. You brought this upon yourself.

— baby k (@bravefl0wer)

how lena dunham literally used the words sexual predator to describe her actions and now she's mad about people twisting her words

— lois lane (@roseclara_)

Lena Dunham literally compared herself to a sexual predator and gets upset when people call her a sexual predator?????? ok

— Aleysa :3 (@meigerweee)

16. Most recently, Dunham apologized to fans about not being able to attend the Antwerp Book Fair in Belgium on Sunday.

To my Belgian readers, so very sorry to miss the Antwerp Book Fair today but I can't wait to come back and eat fries with you. Much love.

— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham)

17. On Monday Nov. 3, Lena Dunham’s sister, Grace, tweeted a response to the growing controversy.

heteronormativity deems certain behaviours harmful, and others "normal"; the state and media are always invested in maintaining that

— Grace Dunham (@simongdunham)

As a queer person: i'm committed to people narrating their own experiences, determining for themselves what has and has not been harmful

— Grace Dunham (@simongdunham)

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Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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