What began as Lena Dunham's "rage spiral" over accusations that she sexually abused her younger sister, Grace, could turn into a full-blown lawsuit, according to Truth Revolt. The right-wing website, which last week published an incendiary reading of Dunham's book, "Not That Kind of Girl," reports that the HBO star's legal team issued a "cease and desist" letter demanding both a retraction and apology for the abuse allegations.
Truth Revolt has refused to abide Dunham's request, citing First Amendment freedoms in a fiery response to threats of a lawsuit. Denying claims that the site's published interpretation of the passages is libelous, Truth Revolt editor Ben Shapiro expressed complete bewilderment at Dunham's decision to include the questionable anecdotes in her book:
If Ms. Dunham says that our quotations from her book were “false,” or that our interpretation of those events was libelous under the law, then we look forward to asking her, in her deposition, about why they appeared in her book. We also look forward to asking her why she believes it is now appropriate for a 28-year-old woman to make light of opening her baby sister’s vagina, paying her with candies for prolonged kisses on the lips in the manner of a “sexual predator,” or masturbating in bed next to her prepubescent sister.
If Ms. Dunham says that our quotations from her book were “false,” then she should explain whether her statements in which she accused a young college Republican of rape were also false. We look forward to asking her about that in her deposition as well, given that she has reportedly refused to cooperate with Oberlin police to track down the alleged perpetrator, which leaves other young women at risk if her accusations are true.
Shapiro went on to criticize Dunham for "firing off legal threats against those who exercise First Amendment rights," calling the original Truth Revolt post a piece of "reporting" as if it contained neither opinions nor allegations based on a specific interpretation. But the inclusion of broader conservative criticisms of Dunham, including her decision not to report an instance of sexual assault she describes in her book, as well as repulsion over details of childhood bodily exploration, illustrate what the right is really upset about. It's not an issue of First Amendment rights, but rather the way one woman has chosen to exercise her own.