Lena Dunham has been on the defensive ever since her book Not That Kind of Girl was released. First, it was because people were appalled by a specific section of the book, leading many to accuse Dunham of sexually assaulting her sister at a young age. Now, Dunham is once again under fire after a former classmate has threatened to take legal action because many believe him to be the man Dunham describes as her rapist.
Dunham refers to her rapist in the book as "Barry." Unfortunately, there was an actual Barry who attended Oberlin College, and he's been accused of being the person who sexually assaulted the actress. Dunham says, however, that she didn't open up about her rape to expose the assailant.
"Speaking out was never about exposing the man who assaulted me," she wrote on Buzzfeed. "Rather, it was about exposing my shame, letting it dry out in the sun."
After the real Barry threatened to sue Dunham for defamation, publishers Random House added a disclaimer to the book stating that the name Barry is a pseudonym. They have also offered to pay any legal fees incurred by the real Barry.
Dunham also revealed that she did not speak out about her rape to seek legal justice.
"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," she wrote. "That is my choice."
Dunham goes on to reiterate that Barry was just a pseudonym, and that she was inspired by other women who have come forward to talk about their own experiences with sexual assault.
"Survivors are so often re-victimized by a system that demands they prove their purity and innocence. They are asked to provide an unassailable narrative when the event itself is hazy, fragmented, and unspeakable."
You can read her entire essay here.