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Lena Dunham apologizes for defending accused rapist one year ago; admits she lied in his defense

Remember that time #MeToo activist Lena Dunham defended an accused rapist by lying? Now she's sorry.

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

Actress and producer Lena Dunham is sorry that she discredited a woman who accused one of Dunham's male friends of rape, and admitted that she lied about having "insider" knowledge of the allegations.

What happened?

In 2017, Dunham defended Murray Miller — a friend and "Girls" writer — from rape accusations. Actress Aurora Perrineau said that the incident occurred when she was underage.

"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's spokesperson said at the time.

After Perrineau contributed to the #MeToo movement by naming her alleged abuser, she filed a police report.

Miller denied the allegations and said that Perrineau was just trying to extort money from him.

"It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we'll be saying about this issue," Dunham added.

What's she saying now?

In a Wednesday article published by The Hollywood Reporter, Dunham admitted that she lied about having such "insider knowledge" of the alleged rape.

In a lengthy missive, the former "Girls" executive producer apologized.

"I made a terrible mistake," Dunham wrote. "When someone I knew, someone I had loved as a brother, was accused, I did something inexcusable: I publicly spoke up in his defense. There are few acts I could ever regret more in this life. I didn't have the 'insider information' I claimed, but rather blind faith in a story that kept slipping and changing and revealed itself to mean nothing at all.

"I wanted to feel my workplace and my world were safe, untouched by the outside world ... and I claimed that safety at cost to someone else, someone very special," she added.

Dunham also went on to speak directly to Perrineau.

"To Aurora," Dunham wrote. "You have been on my mind and in my heart every day this year. I love you. I will always love you. I will always work to right that wrong. In that way, you have made me a better woman and a better feminist."

Dunham went on to note that Perrineau "shouldn't have been given that job in addition to [her] other burdens."

"But here we are," Dunham said, "and here I am asking: How do we move forward? Not just you and I but all of us, living in the gray space between admission and vindication."

Dunham concluded her lengthy admission with a dramatic flair.

“It's painful to realize that, while I thought I was self-aware, I had actually internalized the dominant male agenda that asks us to defend it no matter what, protect it no matter what, baby it no matter what," Dunham explained. “Something in me still feels compelled to do that job: to please, to tidy up, to shopkeep."

She closed, "My job now is to excavate that part of myself and to create a new cavern inside me where a candle stays lit, always safely lit, and illuminates the wall behind it where these words are written: I see you, Aurora. I hear you, Aurora. I believe you, Aurora."

In August, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office announced that it would not be prosecuting Miller following an investigation.

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