Lena Dunham issued a lengthy apology Wednesday to the actress who accused “Girls” writer Murray Miller of sexual assault.
In a column for The Hollywood Reporter, Dunham said it was “inexcusable” that she jumped to Miller’s defense last year and publicly accused Aurora Perrineau of lying to police.
Perrineau, an actress in “Jem and the Holograms” and “Passengers,” stepped forward last November to say Miller raped her after a night of socializing in Los Angeles County when she was 17 and he was 35, according to TheWrap.com.
In her initial, immediate statement defending Miller, Dunham claimed to have “insider knowledge” that exonerated him.
The “Girls” creator admitted Wednesday no such information existed, and she now believes “there are few acts (she) could ever regret more in this life” than suggesting Perrineau fabricated her claim.
“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,” Dunham wrote in the column for THR.
She said she loved Miller “as a brother” and lacked perspective at the time.
“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,” she wrote, referring to Perrineau.
Dunham, 32, wrote that she will “always love” Perrineau, thinks of her daily and hopes they can have a relationship in the future.
“It’s painful to realize that, while I thought I was self-aware, I had actually internalized the dominant male agenda that asks us to defend it no matter what, protect it no matter what, baby it no matter what,” she wrote.
She praised Perrineau’s “bravery, openness, forgiveness, dignity and grace in the face of legal proceedings” and the “endless questioning” she received after Dunhan’s initial defense of Murray.
“You’ve been a model of stoicism, all the while reminding other women that their assault experiences are theirs to process as they wish,” Dunham wrote.
Within hours of Perrineau going public with her story last year, Dunham and her writing partner Jenni Konner jumped to Miller’s defense.
“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. “We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.”
Outrage poured in, leading Dunham to step back from her staunch support within a day.
“I never thought I would issue a statement publicly supporting someone accused of sexual assault, but I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend’s situation as it has transpired behind the scenes over the last few months,” Dunham said in her first attempt at an apology last year.
“I now understand that I was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry,” she said.
For his part, Miller vehemently denied the allegations and initially accused Perrineau of trying to shake him down for money.
He later retracted that claim after Perrineau’s mother denied anyone related to her daughter sought monetary damages.
“At no time have we ever asked Murray Miller for one dollar. There was never a demand for money ever made from anyone on behalf of Aurora or our family,” mom Brittany Perrineau told TheWrap.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney ultimately declined to file anything in the case, according to a charge evaluation worksheet dated July 18 and obtained by the Daily News.
“Based on the evidence presented, which included victim, suspect and witness statements, there are inconsistencies which cannot be overcome. Due to the inconsistencies and the delay in reporting, the people would not be able to prove this crime beyond a reasonable doubt and prosecution is declined,” the worksheet said.
The worksheet did not name the complaining victim and said the incident took place in 2011.