Actress Lena Dunham defends herself against child molestation accusations

Right-wing news outlets took an excerpt from Dunham's book too literally and accused Dunham of sexually abusing her little sister.

November 3, 2014 16:38
1 minute read.
Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Actress Lena Dunham has once again found herself in the midst of a frenzy of controversy over her recently released memoir, Not That Kind of Girl.

Reminiscing about growing up with her little sister, and the lengths she went to gain her affection, the creator of the HBO series Girls wrote in her book, “I took to bribing her for time and affection...[I’d give her] three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for just five seconds... basically anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl, I was trying,” she joked.

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The passage comes from a chapter in the book dedicated to Dunham’s relationship with her sister Grace and her revelation that she’s a lesbian. Prior to Grace’s coming out, Dunham describes her relationship with her sister as distant and always trying to get closer to her.

At seven, Dunham also admitted to watching her one-year-old sister while she was sleeping and – once – looking between her sister’s legs because she was curious about how the female body worked.

Misinterpreting Dunham’s weird and overly confessional brand of humor, right-wing news outlets such as The Truth Revolt and National Review Online took the excerpt literally and accused Dunham of sexually abusing her little sister.

“There is no non-horrific interpretation of this episode,” wrote the National Review.

Truth Revolt interpreted the passage as “Dunham describes using her little sister at times essentially as a sexual outlet.”

As a result, Dunham fired off at her critics in a self-described “rage spiral” on Twitter. “The right-wing news story that I molested my little sister isn’t just LOL – it’s really f***ing upsetting and disgusting,” she posted on Saturday.

“And by the way, if you were a little kid and never looked at another little kid’s vagina, well, congrats to you,” she added.

Grace, it appears, has taken the episode in stride. “Sometimes I get so mad I burn right up,” Dunham tweeted, “Also I wish my sister wasn’t laughing so hard.”

On Monday, Dunham announced that she has canceled her European book tour stops in Berlin and Belgium. It is unclear whether the cancelations were a direct result of the controversy.

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