In a lengthy BuzzFeed essay published Tuesday, feminist powerhouse Lena Dunham described as a “surreal coincidence” the fact that a number of details in her non-fiction memoir point to an innocent man as her rapist. “[A]ny resemblance to a person with this name is an unfortunate and surreal coincidence,” she writes. “I made the choice to keep certain identities private, changing names and some descriptive details… Reporters have attempted to uncover the identity of my attacker despite my sincerest attempts to protect this information.”
Although Dunham chose not to clarify which details in her memoir are fabricated and which are true, the obvious impression she gives is that through her desire to protect the identity of her actual attacker she innocently conjured up the details that led to an innocent person living for months under a cloud of suspicion as The Man Who Raped Lena Dunham.
This real-life person is, of course, the man a Breitbart News investigation dubbed “Barry One.” Per a statement he released last week through his attorney, Dunham’s “surreal coincidence” dropped Barry One and his young family into an agonizing situation few can imagine.
“The last nine weeks, spent both wrongfully accused and ignored, were frightening for me and my family,” he writes. “It was also baffling. As days turned to weeks, and weeks into months, Random House and Ms. Dunham’s silence became unfathomable.”
A better description of Dunham’s silence is unconscionable. As we have reported previously, Dunham (and Random House) knew for six weeks or more that their memoir placed an innocent man under a false suspicion as Dunham’s rapist — and they said nothing. They just kept shipping out books all around the world by the tens of thousands:
September 30: Dunham’s memoir is released.
October 6: Barry One, through his attorney, asks Random House/ Dunham to clear his name.
-Books ship in wake of massive publicity blitz based in large part on the rape chapters.
October 17: Barry One publicly professes his innocence to National Review.
October 18: Dunham attacks the National Review article without mentioning Barry One’s innocence.
-Black Friday shopping season marches on. Dunham’s book becomes a bestseller.
December 4: Breitbart News publishes investigative piece exonerating Barry One.
-Media begins to cover the story.
December 6: Barry One’s attorney launches legal fund.
-Media storm erupts.
December 8: Random House finally clears Barry One’s name.
December 9: Dunham herself finally clears Barry One’s name.
What truly is unfathomable, though, are the 7 identifying characteristics Dunham published that directly point anyone with Google to this innocent man.
Through a non-fiction memoir, Dunham told the world that her rapist:
1. Is named Barry.
2. Was an Oberlin College graduate.
3. Attended Oberlin at the same time she did.
4. Was a Republican.
5. Was a prominent campus Republican.
6. Worked at a school library.
7. Was a super senior (a 5 year-student).
All of those details, every single one of them, point to Barry One — point to an innocent man.
Which of these details are fabricated and which are true?
Dunham hasn’t said.
If they are all fabricated, or if just three are fabricated, what are the odds that details pulled out of thin air by Lena Dunham would lead directly to a real person who attended a small, famously-liberal Ohio school where Republicans are nearly as extinct as the dodo bird?
Another brain-twister is Dunham’s motive for publishing these details in the first place. Other than the fact that her attacker was a fellow Oberlin student, the five other descriptors add nothing to her story or her motives for telling the story. The details about the library, Barry’s political identity, and the rest are completely unnecessary. So why add them?
Dunham writes of her “sincerest attempts to protect… the identity of my attacker,” and yet in doing so she innocently dropped enough bread crumbs to lead to an actual Republican named Barry who attended Oberlin at the same time she did?
There are details in Dunham’s memoir that do not point to Barry One. According to Dunham, her attacker sported a flamboyant mustache, wore purple cowboy boots, and had a voice like Barry White. None of those details describe Barry One, but those also aren’t the kind of details anyone would Google or that can be found on Google. Breitbart News had to spend 3 days traipsing around the Oberlin campus in order to prove those characteristics did not point to Barry One.
With just a few keystrokes, a handful of Google-able details easily and quickly lead to the prominent, outspoken campus conservative who attended Oberlin College with Lena Dunham.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC