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Lena Dunham Apologizes To Actress For Defending Her Alleged Rapist, A 'Girls' Producer

After Aurora Perrineau accused “Girls” producer Murray Miller of sexually assaulting her as a minor, Dunham, in a move that drew immense criticism, released a statement confidently defending him.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Lena Dunham has apologized to actress Aurora Perrineau, more than one year after defending “Girls” producer and writer Murray Miller amid Perrineau’s claims that he sexually assaulted her when she was a minor.

Dunham called her earlier defense of Miller “inexcusable” and a “terrible mistake” in her guest editor letter for The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment issue.

Perrineau, the daughter of “Lost” actor Harold Perrineau, filed a police report last November alleging that, after having drinks with Miller and a couple of friends one night in 2012, she woke up in the writer’s bed naked and “he was on top of me having sexual intercourse with me,” according to The Wrap. She was 17 years old at the time, a fact that she said Miller was well aware of. Miller “categorically and vehemently [denied]” the accusations via a statement his attorney issued to the outlet.

Shortly afterward, Dunham and “Girls” co-showrunner Jenni Konner defended Miller in a joint statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter, calling Perrineau’s claims “one of the 3 percent of assault cases that are misreported every year” and claiming to have “insider knowledge” that made them “confident” in those views. Dunham then apologized the next day, and she continued to express her regret more than one year later in her letter for The Hollywood Reporter.

“There are few acts I could ever regret more in this life. I didn't have the ‘insider information’ I claimed but rather blind faith in a story that kept slipping and changing and revealed itself to mean nothing at all,” she wrote. “I wanted to feel my workplace and my world were safe, untouched by the outside world (a privilege in and of itself, the privilege of ignoring what hasn't hurt you) and I claimed that safety at cost to someone else, someone very special.”

Addressing Perrineau directly, Dunham wrote, “You have been on my mind and in my heart every day this year. I love you. I will always love you. I will always work to right that wrong. In that way, you have made me a better woman and a better feminist. You shouldn't have been given that job in addition to your other burdens, but here we are, and here I am asking: How do we move forward? Not just you and I but all of us, living in the gray space between admission and vindication.”

Dunham came to realize that she’d “internalized the dominant male agenda that asks us to defend it no matter what, protect it no matter what, baby it no matter what,” she wrote. “My job now is to excavate that part of myself and to create a new cavern inside me where a candle stays lit, always safely lit, and illuminates the wall behind it where these words are written: I see you, Aurora. I hear you, Aurora. I believe you, Aurora.”

Shortly after Perrineau’s claims became public, Miller seemed to suggest that she'd targeted him for financial gain, telling The Hollywood Reporter that he’d been contacted by the actress’ lawyers weeks before her claims became public knowledge, and that they’d “sought substantial monetary damages from him.” He later backpedaled on that accusation, with his lawyers saying in a statement to Variety that the claim was “incorrect” and the result of a “misunderstanding.”

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced in August that they would not be pursuing charges against Miller because the three-year statute of limitations had run out and there were, additionally, “inconsistencies” as well as a “delay in reporting,” The Wrap reports.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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