For someone as presumptively savvy as Lena Dunham is, this is a surprising move. The Girls star has decided to get her attorneys involved in what is basically a stupid Internet fight.
As all of you must know if you have opened up the Internet this week, the conservative website Truth Revolt published a story a few days ago that interpreted a couple of passages in Lena Dunham’s memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, in such a way as to suggest that Dunham sexually abused her little sister. Those allegations were picked up by Drudge Report and went viral, and they gained even more traction in part because Dunham went on a “rage spiral” on Twitter and drew a lot of attention to herself.
Now Dunham has gotten her attorneys involved, and she’s demanding that the website apologize for the story, which is ridiculous because a legally compelled apology means absolutely nothing. But according to a four-page letter obtained by THR, Dunham’s attorneys also threatened to sue Truth Revolt for “millions of dollars” for “fabricating” a story that “riducules” Dunham and “injures her occupation.”
Talk-show host Ben Shapiro, who runs Truth Revolt, is refusing to back down, as he wrote in response on the website:
“We refuse to withdraw our story or apologize for running it, because quoting a woman’s book does not constitute a ‘false’ story, even if she is a prominent actress and left-wing activist,” Shapiro wrote. “Lena Dunham may not like our interpretation of her book, but unfortunately for her and her attorneys, she wrote that book — and the First Amendment covers a good deal of material she may not like.”
Legally speaking, he’s not wrong. Truth Revolt didn’t make anything up*, so much as they just interpreted Dunham’s own words in a way that she didn’t appreciate. This ploy by Dunham doesn’t really make the situation go away, either, it just draws more attention to herself, which might be the whole point.
*Truth Revolt originally misquoted the memoir in their original post, saying Lena was 17 instead of 7. They later updated and corrected the post.