Lena Dunham inked a $3.5 million advance from Random House to write about sexually abusing her sister. She’s now canceling her book tour amid allegations that she sexually assaulted her younger sister.
Dunham’s first movie, Tiny Furniture, takes on a whole new level of creepiness.
Dunham has used her new found celebrity to push left-wing politics.
She’s celebrated on the college lecture circuit.
She’s also compared the hacking of the Fappening to rape.
Dunham also gave an interview about rape to NPR’s Terry Gross to promote her book.
TERRY GROSS: Can you give us an example of one of the things you were concerned about?
LENA DUNHAM: Yeah, I think the chapter about date rape in the book was a really, really terrifying thing for me to put into the world because as important as the topic is – and we are also having this massive moment of cultural awareness about campus assault, which is a very gratifying thing to see and I hope it leads to incredible change – but just sort of honestly, the idea of seeing sort of, you know, the fourth-hand UK Daily Mail headline – Lena Dunham Tells All About Rape – was – it was a nightmare to me. But at the same time, I think I knew that sharing that experience was – I not only felt it was important because of what I was seeing other young women go through, I felt it was important because of what it was going to give me spiritually to not be hiding that anymore.
TERRY GROSS: I thought that was a really interesting chapter. And your confusion about, is this rape or not? Like, am I complicit in this or not, like, what has happened here? And you were – you were hurt. I mean, I don’t mean emotionally hurt, though you were that too, you were physically hurt for a while.
LENA DUNHAM: It was a painful experience physically and emotionally. And one I spent a long time trying to reconcile. And I actually – I’ve 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 – whatever we’re going to say – perpetrated the act, who knew him. And I wanted to make it clear to this old friend what I felt had happened before he, you know, potentially, you know, bought the book at Hudson News and read about it. I just – I hated the idea of somebody finding out that information because at the time that it happened, it wasn’t something that I was able to be honest about. I was able to share pieces, but I sort of used the lens of humor, which has always been my default mode, to try to talk around it. And I said to this old friend in email, I said 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 still feel like myself and I feel less alone.
TERRY GROSS: You know, the way you describe it in your book, this experience happened to you, you were telling one of your girlfriends about it and your girlfriend said you were raped. And it hadn’t even occurred to you to think of it that way before that.
LENA DUNHAM: Before that I think I had just felt that something was very wrong. I had felt that something had happened and I remember thinking can I ever be the same? But I was not comfortable giving myself the clarity of that because the fact is is I know that – I knew that I was sort of at this party, where the – I was at a party, drunk, waiting for attention. And somehow that felt like such a shameful starting off point that I didn’t know how to reconcile what had come after. But I knew that it wasn’t right and I knew in some way that this experience had been forced on me. And when I shared it with my best friend and she used the term you were raped at the time, I sort of laughed at her and thought like, you know, what an ambulance chasing drama queen. And later felt this incredible gratitude for her for giving me that, giving me that gift of that kind of certainty that she had. I think that a lot of times when I felt at my lowest about it, those words in some way actually lifted me up because I felt that somebody was justifying the pain of my experience.