Following the release of Lena Dunham’s memoir/essay collection hybrid Not That Kind of Girl, a few outlets pointed to passages from the book in which they say that the author, director, and actress admits to committing sexual abuse when she was a child. Dunham—in a self-described “rage spiral”—has taken to Twitter to refute the claims.
National Review‘s Kevin D. Williamson accused Dunham of sexual abuse in a story published in the magazine’s Nov. 3 issue, citing passages from Girl in which Dunham recalls masturbating in bed as her younger sister, Grace, slept and writes of bribing Grace with “three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds.”
He also calls out a passage in which Dunham describes being seven years old and looking at her then one-year-old sister’s vagina, only to discover that she had inserted into it several pebbles from their driveway. As Williamson writes:
He continues that there is “no non-horrific interpretation of this episode,” assuming that Dunham’s joke about acting like “a sexual predator” is more serious than Dunham meant it to be.
Truth Revolt, a blog run by political commentator Ben Shapiro, followed up Williamson’s piece to accuse Dunham of sexual abuse as well. The article refers to the same passages.
Other than the National Review and Truth Revolt, few reviewers highlighted these excerpts from Girl as noteworthy. Still, Dunham responded to their allegations on her Twitter feed, calling them “disgusting”:
Dunham followed up her tweets with another referencing her and her sister’s quite different reactions to the accusations.