Lena Dunham Apologizes After Alleging Aurora Perrineau Lied About Her Sexual Assault

Actress Lena Dunham attends Lincoln Center's American Songbook Gala at Alice Tully Hall on May 29, 2018 in New York City.
Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Lena Dunham officially apologized to actress Aurora Perrineau on Wednesday, after Perrineau accused writer Murray Miller of raping her in 2012, CNN is reporting. Miller was a writer for Dunham’s hit show, Girls.

“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 percent of assault cases that are misreported every year,” Dunham said in a statement after Perrineau filed a police report in 2017. Perrineau was only 17-years-old at the time of the alleged assault, but the Los Angeles Police Department decided not to pursue the case.

Dunham wrote a letter as guest editor for the Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment” issue, where she admitted she had lied when she said she has “insider information” that discredited Perrineau’s claims.

“When someone I knew, someone I had loved as a brother, was accused, I did something inexcusable: I publicly spoke up in his defense,” Dunham wrote. “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. 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.”

According to the Washington Post, the Hollywood Reporter hosted an event celebrating the “Women in Entertainment” issue on December 5, where Dunham took the stage with Perrineau’s mother, Brittany. Dunham thanked both Perrineau and her mother for their “love, forgiveness, and bravery.” Brittany accepted her apology. Still, this was an uncomfortable situation for many fans of Dunham, as Dunham openly identifies as a feminist and often incorporates female-positive messages in her work.

Dunham has had to issue a plethora of apologies in the past for controversial comments she’s made. In an interview with comedian Amy Schumer, Dunham appeared to condemn New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. for not hitting on her when they interacted at the Met Gala in 2016. She later admitted her comments could be attributed to her own “insecurities.” Also in 2016, Dunham said on a podcast that she “wished” she had endured an abortion to relate to other feminists. She later referred to her comments as a “distasteful joke.”

While Dunham always issues important apologies, backlash from her latest one suggest she’s not out of the dog house anytime soon.