Lena Dunham has apologized for her statement defending Girls writer Murray Miller, whom actress Aurora Periineau alleged sexually assaulted her in 2012 when she was just 17-years-old. After the initial allegations were made, Dunham and fellow Girls co-creator Jenni Konner released a statement expressing their support for Miller and accusing Periineau of “misreporting” the incident.
“While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year,” the pair said in the statement. “It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.”
Dunham was not done however, and went to Twitter to continue her defense, saying, “I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love.” This, of course, was not well received on social media, where backlash was swift and fierce. Specifically, several people pointed out a past tweet from Dunham which reads, “Things women do lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don’t lie about: rape.”
The widespread outrage caused Dunham and Konner to rethink their seemingly hypocritical statement, and the pair took to Twitter to apologize.
“As feminists, we live and die by our politics, and believing women is the first choice we make every single day when we wake up,” Dunham wrote. “Therefore I never thought I would issue a statement publicly supporting someone accused of sexual assault but I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend’s situation as it has transpired behind the scenes over the last few months.
“I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry,” she said. “We have been given the gift of powerful voices and by speaking out we were putting our thumb on the scale and it was wrong. We regret this decision with every fiber to our being.
“Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely, and our relationship to the accused should not be part of the calculation anyone makes when examining her case,” Dunham wrote. “Every person and every feminist should be required to hear her. Under patriarchy, ‘I believe you’ is essential. Until we are all believed, none of us will be believed. We apologize to any woman who have been disappointed.”
Periineau has contacted the Los Angeles police department about the matter, while Miller and his reps have claimed the actress is seeking publicity and monetary rewards for making the accusations, which they steadfastly deny. We’ve been keeping track of the ever-growing number of men being accused of sexual misconduct, you can check that out here.