HBO’s Girls creator and series star Lena Dunham issued a lengthy message to Twitter Saturday, one day after she defended Girls writer-producer Murray Miller against accusations that he had raped then-17-year-old actress Aurora Perrineau in 2012.
Dunham defended Miller in a joint statement with Girls co-showrunner Jenni Konner, in which they said, “We believe, having worked closely with [Miller] for more than half a decade, that this is the case with Murray Miller. 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 faced intense backlash on social media for her initial statement defending Miller against accusations from Perrineau, who filed a report with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office Friday claiming that after a night out at a bar in Los Angeles in 2012, she awoke to find Miller having nonconsensual sex with her in his bed.
On Saturday, Dunham released a second statement on Twitter apologizing for not believing the alleged victim of sexual assault.
“As feminists, we live and die by our politics, and believing women is the first choice we make every single day when we wake up. Therefore I never thought I would issue a statement publically (sic) supporting someone accused of sexual assault, but I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend’s situation as it has transpired behind the scenes over the last few months. We have been given the gift of powerful voices and by speaking out we were putting our thumb on the scale and it was wrong. We regret this decision with every fiber of our being,” Dunham’s apology said.
“Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely, and our relationship to the accused should not be part of the calculation anyone makes when examining her case,” Dunham’s apology said. “Every person and every feminist should be required to hear her. Under patriarchy, “I believe you” is essential. Until we are all believed, none of us will be believed. We apologize to any women who have been disappointed.”
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) November 19, 2017
In a statement to TheWrap, Miller’s attorney, Matthew Walerstein, said his client “categorically and vehemently denies Ms. Perrineau’s outrageous claims” and said his legal team had “gathered overwhelming evidence directly contradicting these false and offensive claims.”
Miller is the latest Hollywood figure to be accused of misconduct amid mounting allegations against A-list stars, including Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Brett Ratner.