Maybe it’s Lena Dunham’s blissfully ignorant Girls character’s privilege or maybe it’s her outspoken feminist persona, but either way, Lena has managed to make herself one of the most controversial famous young women out there. Dunham’s recent book, Not That Kind Of Girl, has exacerbated this reputation, beginning with conservative media’s interpretation of a certain passage in which many of them claimed she was sexually assaulting her younger sister.
Lena has stood by her denial of this claim, but this attack has just been replaced by another one. A portion of Dunham’s book where she recounts being raped by a fellow student at Oberlin College has undergone a full investigation by conservative news source Breitbart, in which a reporter went to the campus and attempted to locate “Barry,” Lena’s rapist, banking on the assumption that Dunham had not, in fact, used to a pseudonym to describe the perpetrator of her sexual assault.
That investigation led the online publication to conclude that “Barry” didn’t exist — a statement that many of Dunham’s detractors have latched onto in the fallout of the Not That Kind Of Girl controversy. Lena herself has barely responded to these criticisms, even as a student who fits portions of her description has come forward to ask for compensation for damages he may have sustained from the similarities between himself and the way Dunham describes her rapist in the book. Lena’s publisher, Random House, has agreed to pay all legal fees incurred during the process as an apology, as well as specify that Barry is not the real name of the accused rapist.
Frequent defender of Lena, Gawker Media, however, has even further attempted to clear the accusations that the rapist described in the book never existed. In fact, they present their own investigation of Dunham’s original manuscript and link to to a specific Oberlin student who seems to fit much of the description. His name is Sanford Ungar.
Identifying Lena’s accused rapist hasn’t managed to downplay any of conservative media’s quest to expose Dunham as a fraud. In fact, Twitchy claims that the new evidence instead paints Lena as an even bigger liar, saying that her rape accusation was much gentler in the original draft and also pointing out one key contrast with reality. “Barry” is described as Oberlin’s “resident campus Republican” in the book, while Sanford registered as a Democrat in 2012. According to Twitchy, Dunham not only fabricated a rape claim but attempted to disparage conservatives in the process, and the website’s writers are not the only people outraged.
Do you think Lena Dunham’s much-debated rape accusation has fallen apart?
[Image via HBO]