Lena Dunham addressed the controversy in Time magazine, saying she was "dismayed over the recent interpretation."
She told the magazine in a statement:
"I want to be very clear that I do not condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances.
"Childhood sexual abuse is a life-shattering event for so many, and I have been vocal about the rights of survivors. If the situations described in my book have been painful or triggering for people to read, I am sorry, as that was never my intention. I am also aware that the comic use of the term 'sexual predator' was insensitive, and I’m sorry for that as well.
"As for my sibling, Grace, she is my best friend, and anything I have written about her has been published with her approval."
Kevin D. Williamson, a columnist for the conservative-leaning magazine National Review, accused Lena Dunham this weekend of admitting to sexual abuse in her new memoir Not That Kind of Girl.
Williamson points to a passage in the memoir where Dunham details how she sexually experimented with her little sister, Grace. Williamson also calls Dunham's parents child abusers.
Dunham writes of casually masturbating while in bed next to her younger sister, of bribing her with "three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds . . . anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying." At one point, when her sister is a toddler, Lena Dunham pries open her vagina — "my curiosity got the best of me," she offers, as though that were an explanation.
Truth Revolt, a blog run by conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro, published "Lena Dunham Describes Sexually Abusing Her Little Sister," a follow-up to the National Review's piece. The author, Bradford Thomas, wrote:
In one particularly unsettling passage, Dunham experimented with her six-year younger sister's vagina. "This was within the spectrum of things I did," she writes.
In the collection of nonfiction personal accounts, Dunham describes using her little sister at times essentially as a sexual outlet, bribing her to kiss her for prolonged periods and even masturbating while she is in the bed beside her.