In Lena Dunham’s nonfiction book, Not That Kind of Girl, the actress describes having a negative sexual encounter with a Republican named Barry at Oberlin College. And now, a Republican named Barry who also went to Oberlin College is coming forward to ask that Dunham add a note to her book specifying that “Barry” is a pseudonym. Random House, the book’s publisher, has agreed to do add the note in a statement where they say they regret “the confusion.”
Dunham does claim that “some names and identifying details” have been changed on the copyright page of Not That Kind of Girl, but not in the actual text of the book. Therefore, Barry is worried that people might skip past the oft-overlooked copyright page, read the passage about sexual assault, and think it’s about him.
Dunham first mentions “Barry” in a chapter about sex, which includes the detail that the man removed his condom without Dunham’s permission. Later in the book, in a chapter titled “Barry,” she references back to that initial passage: “I never gave him permission to be rough, to stick himself inside me without a barrier between us. I never gave him permission.”
Barry and his attorney, Aaron Minc, first contacted Dunham and Random House, Oct. 6 to get an apology and have the book changed to more clearly state that “Barry” is a pseudonym. Minc claims neither Dunham nor Random House replied until this week, when Random House released the statement.
In addition to apologizing and promising to more explicitly state that “Barry” is a psuedonym in future print editions and current digital editions of the book, Random House also offered “to pay the fees Mr. Minc has billed his client to date.” Mr. Minc and Barry already set up a GoFundMe page to help fund Barry’s legal expenses, but Random House proposes that they instead use that crowd-funded money to go toward ”not-for-profit organizations assisting survivors of rape and sexual assault.”