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Lena Dunham Pens Essay About Her Sexual Assault After Memoir Story Questioned

Lena Dunham has penned an essay about why she chose to include a story about being sexually assaulted in college in her memoir ,'Not That Kind of Girl', after her encounter is being called into question in some circles.

Dunham said she was assaulted by a Republican Oberlin student nearly a decade ago and called him 'Barry'. But after a website tried and failed to track down the man, Dunham says that she was using a pseudonym for her rapist.

"Speaking out was never about exposing the man who assaulted me," she writes. "Rather, it was about exposing my shame, letting it dry out in the sun."

"I did not wish to be contacted by him or to open a criminal investigation. I am in a loving and peaceful place in my life and I am not willing to sacrifice any more of it for this person I do not know, aside from one night I will never forget. That is my choice."

"I hoped beyond hope that the sensitive nature of the event would be honored, and that no one would attempt to reopen these wounds or deepen my trauma."

"But this did not prove to be the case. I have had my character and credibility questioned at every turn. I have been attacked online with violent and misogynistic language."

"Reporters have attempted to uncover the identity of my attacker despite my sincerest attempts to protect this information."

"I don't believe I am to blame. I don't believe any of us who have been raped and/or assaulted are to blame. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what is written about me individually."

"I accept the realities of being in the public eye. But I simply cannot allow my story to be used to cast doubt on other women who have been sexually assaulted."

"You can help by never defining a survivor by what has been taken from her. You can help by saying I believe you."

Dunham's publishers have agreed to tweak the pseudonym notice in future copies of the memoir.

December 11, 2014 |

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