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Lena Dunham defends herself against accusations of sexual abuse

Lena Dunham has spoken out in reaction to outlets that cited passages from her book “Not That Kind of Girl” as evidence that she sexually abused her younger sister Grace Dunham when both were children.

“The right wing news story that I molested my little sister isn’t just LOL -- it’s really ... upsetting and disgusting,” Dunham wrote in a quick blast of posts on her Twitter page Saturday. “And by the way, if you were a little kid and never looked at another little kid’s vagina, well, congrats to you. Usually this is stuff I can ignore but don’t demean sufferers, don’t twist my words, back ... up bros.

“I told a story about being a weird 7 year old. I bet you have some too, old men, that I’d rather not hear. And yes, this is a rage spiral.”

The response from the actress-director-author came as criticism of her was lighting up right-wing circles on Twitter.

An hour after her initial comments, Dunham wrote, “Sometimes I get so mad I burn right up. Also I wish my sister wasn’t laughing so hard.”

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So, what exactly is the Golden Globe winner so mad about?

Two passages from “Not That Kind of Girl” were highlighted by the National Review in a story that was posted online last Wednesday and is also on the cover of its current print edition with the headline “Kevin D. Williamson on the Pathetic Privilege of Lena Dunham.”

In the first excerpted passage, part of a chapter about the arrival of her sister and their early relationship, Dunham describes “bribing [Grace] for her time and affection,” offering coins, candy and choice of TV channel to get the younger girl to allow Lena to do her makeup, “kiss her on the lips for five seconds” or have her “relax on me” during TV viewing.

“Basically, anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl, I was trying,” Dunham wrote in a sentence that’s getting particular attention.

In the second passes, which closes a chapter about Dunham’s own menstruation problems, endometriosis diagnosis and other things vaginal, the “Girls” star talks about when at age 7 “curiosity got the best” of her and she spread open her sister’s vagina while Grace was playing in the driveway -- only to shriek for her mother’s aid when she saw that the toddler had stuffed pebbles inside herself.

“My mother didn’t bother asking why I had opened Grace’s vagina,” Dunham wrote in another couple of spotlighted sentences. “This was within the spectrum of things that I did.”

The National Review story criticized Dunham’s parents as “enablers of some very disturbing behavior that would be considered child abuse in many jurisdictions” and labeled the now-28-year-old’s behavior as sexual abuse.

The second passage from the book was highlighted the same day on the website Truth Revolt in an article with an accusatory headline.

The Daily Caller on Sunday characterized Dunham’s Twitter statements as a verification of the stories and an “attempt to justify them.”

On Monday, Truth Revolt reported that Dunham’s camp had sent it a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action if the website did not remove the original story and print a note of apology declaring it had been false.

Truth Revolt refused, explaining that “quoting a woman’s book does not constitute a ‘false’ story, even if she is a prominent actress and left-wing activist.”

On Monday, a Dunham representative had no further comment on the situation beyond the celeb’s Twitter response.

“Not That Kind of Girl,” which was released Oct. 7, has been making news for more than two years, ever since October 2012 reports said Dunham had received an advance of more than $3.5 million for the book. In December of that year, Gawker got hold of her 66-page book proposal and published it in its entirety, then reduced its posting to a dozen quotes after a takedown request came from Dunham’s personal attorney.

Follow Christie D’Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs.


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