Lena Dunham receives backlash after defending ‘Girls’ writer accused of rape

Writer and producer Murray Miller has denied the allegations from actress Aurora Perrineau.

Lena Dunham has jumped to the defense of ‘Girls’ writer Murray Miller, after he was accused of rape by actress Aurora Perrineau.

23-year-old Perrineau – who appeared in the film ‘Passengers’ – confirmed to The Wrap that she filed a police report against Miller, accusing him of raping her in 2012, when she was 17. Miller denies the accusations.

In her police statement, the actress claims she met Miller at the Standard Hotel when she was 17, and ended up back at his house after he asked her friends for a ride home, as he was drunk.

“At some point, I woke up in Murray’s bed naked,” Perrineau says in the statement.

“He was on top of me having sexual intercourse with me. At no time did I consent to any sexual contact with Murray.”

Miller’s attorney released a statement denying the claims.

'Girls' writer and producer Murray Miller

‘Girls’ writer and producer Murray Miller

“Mr. Miller categorically and vehemently denies Ms. Perrineau’s outrageous claims,” attorney Don Walerstein said in the statement.

“After being contacted several weeks ago by lawyers who – on Ms. Perrineau’s behalf – sought substantial monetary damages from him, Mr. Miller’s legal team gathered overwhelming evidence directly contradicting these false and offensive claims.

“Only after her demands for money were rebuffed did Ms. Perrineau go to the police. Mr. Miller looks forward to sharing all evidence and information with any and all authorities seeking the truth in this matter.”

Los Angeles Police are investigating Perrineau’s accusation.

'Girls' showrunners Jenni Konner and Lena Dunham

‘Girls’ showrunners Jenni Konner and Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham and co-showrunner Jenni Konner provided a statement to Variety, acknowledging that accusers should be believed, but defending Miller and saying they’ll stand by him.

“During the windfall of deeply necessary accusations over the last few months in Hollywood, we have been thrilled to see so many women’s voices heard and dark experiences in this industry justified,” they said.

“It’s a hugely important time of change and, like every feminist in Hollywood and beyond, we celebrate. But during every time of change there are also incidences of the culture, in its enthusiasm and zeal, taking down the wrong targets.

“We believe, having worked closely with him 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% of assault cases that are misreported every year.

“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 has received backlash for the statement, as she’s previously been a staunch supporter of sexual assault victims, tweeting back in August: “Things women do lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don’t lie about: rape.”

She previously praised her friend Taylor Swift for her “fierce and cutting testimony and her refusal to settle” during Swift’s assault case against former radio DJ David Mueller.

Some Twitter users were unimpressed with Dunham’s statement regarding Murray Miller.

Dunham has previously come under fire after making a joke about abortion in December last year.

Speaking at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, the actress addressed the backlash, saying it was the criticism from “other women who shared my politics” that was hard for her to take.

The ‘Girls’ star has also previously had to respond to being called a “hypocrite” following her weight loss, saying: “I’ve accepted that my body is an ever changing organism, not a fixed entity- what goes up must come down and vice versa.”

  • For help, advice or more information regarding sexual assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.