Lena Dunham defends colleague accused of rape, cops online backlash

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Lena Dunham has apologised for defending her Girls colleague, after many online slammed her for not believing a woman who accused him of rape.

"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," the Girls actor, writer and director said.

"I now understand that it was absolutely not the time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry."

Lena defended Murray Miller who served as a writer and executive producer on Girls between 2013 and 2017, and is currently being investigated by L.A. cops after Aurora Perrineau accused him of assault. Photo: Getty

The social media backlash started Friday night, after the Hollywood Reporter published a story stating that Girls writer Murray Miller had been accused of sexual assault by actor Aurora Perrineau.

According to the story, Perrineau filed a report on the alleged incident with police in Hollywood.

Through his lawyers, Miller has denied the events.

Lena worked with Murray on Girls and said she felt the need to defend people who had lifted her up in the past. Photo: Getty

"Mr. Miller categorically and vehemently denies Ms. Perrineau's outrageous claims," attorney Don Walerstein said in a 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."

Girls co-creators Dunham and Jenni Konner sent a statement to the Hollywood Reporter late Friday. Saying they had "insider knowledge" of the situation, they defended Miller and said the accusations were false.

"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 three per cent of assault cases that are misreported every year," they said.

Actress Aurora Perrineau is alleging Murray sexually assaulted her when she was 17 and he was 35. Photo: Getty

"We stand by Murray and this is all we'll be saying about this issue."

Some on Twitter slammed Dunham for implying that Perrineau was lying.

"You don't have to automatically believe her & abandon your friend, but u will NEVER assume that his accuser must be lying because no matter how much u love your friend, U DON'T KNOW," tweeted writer Ijeoma Oluo.

Others accused her of hypocrisy, reminding Dunham of a tweet she had posted in August 2017: "Things women do lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women do not lie about: rape."

On Saturday, Dunham said she believes all accusers should be heard and not immediately dismissed.

"Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely, and our relationship with the accused should not be part of the calculation anyone makes when examining her case."

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