Lena Dunham Stands by 'Girls' Writer Accused of Raping Actress
"Girls" creator Lena Dunham and her co-producer and writer Jenni Konner have defended a writer from the HBO show who was accused of raping a 17-year-old actress. He was 35 at the time of the alleged assault.
The allegations against writer Murray Miller, now 40, were reported Friday by The Wrap. Actress Aurora Perrineau, currently 23, filed a police report earlier this year claiming he raped her in 2012 after a drunken night out. Dunham and Konner sent a statement late Friday to The Hollywood Reporter, essentially calling Perrineau a liar.
"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," they wrote. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the rate of false reporting for sexual assault ranges from 2 percent to 8 percent.
The two called Miller one of the "wrong targets," noting they've "worked closely with him for more than half a decade." Other statements defending the characters of accused sexual harassers have surfaced in recent weeks as the Hollywood reckoning continues post-Harvey Weinstein.
In their statement, the pair said they are "thrilled to see so many women’s voices heard," but they "know" Miller and don't believe he raped Perrineau. Perrineau appeared in Jem and the Holograms and Passengers and is the daughter of Lost actor Harold Perrineau.
Dunham had been one of the first to applaud women who spoke out about Weinstein, calling them brave.
Perrineau told police in a polygraph statement that she had been out drinking with two friends at a Los Angeles hotel. There they met Miller, who asked for a ride home since he was intoxicated, and eventually the group ended up at Miller's home. She woke up at one point and found herself in Miller's bed, naked. Murray was raping her, she said.
Here's Dunham and Konner's full statement:
"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. 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 percent 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."