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On Oct. 29, conservative website Truth Revolt accused Lena Dunham of sexually abusing her younger sister Grace Dunham during her childhood. The article, written by Bradford Thomas, cited several passages from Dunham's recently published memoir Not That Kind of Girl as the basis for these allegations.
Dunham responded the following day, tweeting, "The right wing news story that I molested my little sister isn't just LOL—it's really f--king upsetting and disgusting." On Saturday, three days after Thomas' accusatory piece was published, lawyers for Dunham sent a letter (obtained by The Hollywood Reporter) to the author and Truth Revolt threatening to take legal action if certain statements were not removed.
Lawyers for the Girls star wrote that Truth Revolt's claims Dunham "experiment[ed] sexually with her younger sister" and "use[d] her little sister at times essentially as a sexual outlet" were "false and fabricated" as well as "highly defamatory." Dunham's attorneys threatened to sue for "millions of dollars" for damage done to her personal and professional reputation.
In the letter, Dunham's lawyers demanded that Truth Revolt "immediately and permanently" remove the story from its website as well as "all other forms of media" owned or controlled by the organization. Additionally, they requested that the site "print a prominent public apology and retraction...stating that the Story is false, that you regret having published it and that you apologize to Ms. Dunham and her family for having published it."
Truth Revolt Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro acknowledged the aforementioned letter Monday, posting an article titled, "Lena Dunham Threatens to Sue Truth Revolt for Quoting Her." In this response, Shapiro went over what Dunham's legal team was asking of the site (including removal of the article and a public apology), then explained why Truth Revolt "refuse(d)" to comply.
"We refuse to withdraw our story or apologize for running it, because quoting a woman's book does not constitute a 'false' story, even if she is a prominent actress and left-wing activist," wrote Shapiro. "Lena Dunham may not like our interpretation of her book, but unfortunately for her and her attorneys, she wrote that book–and the First Amendment covers a good deal of material she may not like."
Shapiro also asked why Dunham "believes it is now appropriate for a 28-year-old woman to make light of opening her baby sister's vagina, paying her with candies for prolonged kisses on the lips in the manner of a 'sexual predator,' or masturbating in bed next to her prepubescent sister."
Dunham, it should be noted, apologized for her use of the term "sexual predator" in a statement given to Time, noting she does "not condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances." She apologized, as well, for those who found "the situations described in my book" to be "painful or triggering for people to read," noting that "was never my inattention."
She also pointed out that her sister fully supports her, adding that "anything I have written about her has been published with her approval." The Girls' creator's sister also voiced her support in a series of tweets posted Monday.