Dunham’s latest mea culpa came Wednesday in a letter she wrote as a guest editor for The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment issue. The “Girls” creator apologized to actress Aurora Perrineau for publicly disputing her account of being sexually assaulted by “Girls” writer Murray Miller.
Last November, Perrineau told The Wrap that she had filed a police report accusing Miller of raping her in 2012, when she was 17 years old and he was 35. Miller denies the allegations and in August, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office reportedly declined to pursue a case against him.
In her THR letter, Dunham admitted that she had lied when when she claimed she had “insider information” that would support Miller’s innocence.
“When someone I knew, someone I had loved as a brother, was accused, I did something inexcusable: I publicly spoke up in his defense,” Dunham wrote in her THR letter. “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 (a privilege in and of itself, the privilege of ignoring what hasn’t hurt you) and I claimed that safety at cost to someone else, someone very special.”
Dunham has a history issuing apologies following controversial comments.
Here are a few examples:
Comparing Cosby to the Holocaust
During a 2015 interview with “Girls” co-showrunner Jenni Konner for Time Out New York, talk turned to allegations of sexual misconduct against Bill Cosby.
Dunham was asked about criticism her friend and “Girls” executive producer Judd Apatow had received for speaking out against Cosby.
“It’s sort of like saying someone’s obsessed with the Holocaust,” she responded.
“This is a huge issue, and it speaks to the way that we abuse power and the way that celebrity allows for injustice,” Dunham said. “Everyone else has gone, ‘Let’s hope it’s not true.’ Chris Rock, who’s an incredible guy and who has a strong sense of social justice, has basically said, ‘We’ll see.'”
She then apologized for the Holocaust reference on Instragram.
“I’m already aware comparing Bill Cosby to the Holocaust wasn’t my best analogy,” she wrote in a caption of a photo featuring her Time Out New York magazine cover. “With Love from your special rape-hating Jew friend LENA.”
Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t checking for her
In an interview with Amy Schumer for the now shuttered Lenny Letter, Dunham recalled meeting the New York Giants wide receiver at the Met Ball in 2016.
According to the actress, the football star just wasn’t into her
“It was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards,” Dunham said. “He was like, ‘That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.’ It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused.”
“The vibe was very much like, ‘Do I want to f**k it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone,'” Dunham continued.
“It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie,” Dunham said. “I was like, ‘This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.'”
Twitter was quick to point out that Beckham Jr. may have just been minding his business and railed against what they saw as Dunham playing into the stereotype of black men on the hunt for white women.
Dunham later apologized.
She also took to Twitter to discuss it.
“@OBJ_3 is talented, stylish, seems super awesome and wasn’t into chatting with me at a fancy party,” she wrote. “My story about him was clearly (to me) about my own insecurities as an average-bodied woman at a table of supermodels & athletes.”
Wishing she had an abortion
Also in 2016, Dunham made a comment during her “Women of the Hour” podcast that did not sit well with some people.
Dunham told the story of visiting a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas where she said she was was asked by a younger girl to share her own story about abortion.
“I sort of jumped. ‘I haven’t had an abortion,’ I told her,” Dunham recalled. “I wanted to make it really clear to her that as much as I was going out and fighting for other women’s options, I, myself, had never had an abortion.”
“Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt it was important that people know I was unblemished in this department,” she went on to continued. “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”
Dunham later said her comment was a “distasteful joke.”
“My words were spoken from a sort of ‘delusional girl’ persona I often inhabit, a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance (that’s what my TV show is too) and it didn’t translate,” she wrote. “I would never, ever intentionally trivialize the emotional and physical challenges of terminating a pregnancy.”
The sad tale (or tail?) of Lamby
In 2017, the “Tiny Furniture” writer shared on social media that she had surrendered her dog, Lamby, “after four years of challenging behavior and aggression that could not be treated with training or medication or consistent loving dog ownership.”
Dunham said she gave the pup to an “amazing professional facility” that was better suited to deal with Lamby, who, she said, “suffered terrible abuse as a pup.”
But Robert Vazquez, a spokesperson for BARC Shelter in Brooklyn, where Dunham originally adopted Lamby, disputed her account.
“We checked the records for Lamby,” Vazquez told Yahoo Celebrity. “He was ‘owner surrendered, not enough time,’ so we do not know where she got ‘multiple owners that abused the dog.'”