"Disgusting" child sex abuse claims levelled against Girls star Lena Dunham

Lena and her sister Grace.





Trigger warning: This post deals with child sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers. 


Lena Dunham’s sister Grace has broken her silence over allegations the Girls actress molested her when the two were children.

The explosive claims were made by a blogger on conservative American website Truth Revolt, which focused on a passage from Lena’s new book Not That Kind of Girl.

In a series of messages on Twitter, Grace Dunham wrote: “heteronormativity deems certain behaviours harmful, and others “normal”; the state and media are always invested in maintaining that.

“As a queer person: I’m committed to people narrating their own experiences, determining for themselves what has and has not been harmful,” she wrote.

“2day, like every other day, is a good day to think about how we police the sexualities of young women, queer, and trans people”.

Grace Dunham (Photo: Twitter)

Previously, Mamamia wrote:

The internet can be an ugly place.Last week, it was a little more ugly than usual when a child sex abuse allegation was casually thrown at a high-profile young woman by a ‘right-wing’ website. The victim of her alleged abuse? Her one year old sister.

Last week, a self-described conservative American website, Truth Revolt, accused 28 year old writer and star of tv show, Girls, Lena Dunham of admitting to child sex abuse in her collection of non-fiction essays, Not That Kind of Girl.


Normally a claim like this would be a rotten leaf floating on an obscure dirty eddy in the backwaters of the internet – there are many of them and they circulate rumours about celebrities constantly.

But on this occasion, Dunham has decided to respond to the claims.

The article on Truth Revolt.

We should begin our discussion with this: Truth Revolt is a pretty terrible name for a website. Are they revolting against the truth? Do they find the truth revolting? Anyway, this website claims that the revolting truth of Lena Dunham is revealed in a passage in her book when she describes an incident from when she was seven years old. Dunham says she she “spread open” her one-year-old sister’s vagina to see whether it was “like mine.” When she looked, she “shrieked” and called her mother. Apparently her sister had stuffed “six or seven pebbles” in her vagina.

Truth Revolt initially claimed that Dunham was 17 when this took place. They have subsequently corrected their story to make it clear that she was 7. Truth Revolt’s story has been picked up by another conservative American magazine, The National Review.

Lena Dunham’s book.

Dunham has responded to these claims in Twitter, in what she describes as a “rage spiral”:




There is a revolting (to borrow a term) number of people who have experienced sexual abuse in this country and around the world. The fact that a website so casually chose to use an allegation of abuse in this way have is unhelpful and quite damaging – not just to the person accused – but to the millions of survivors of sexual abuse around the world.

There are no wrong places or ways for survivors to raise abuse allegations – websites, reports to media, to anyone, anytime, anywhere – they should never be silenced. But for a website to casually use an allegation denigrate or throw muck at an opponent (or someone they simply don’t like) is an insult.

A story like this takes up valuable air time when we could be talking about survivors, their healing and justice for them. So, with that in mind, here are some stories from adults and children who have lived through abuse – and in some cases, not survived it. Sharing these stories and talking about abuse can help to reduce the stigma and increase our understanding of this crime. And with more understanding and empathy, perhaps we’ll see fewer of the Truth Revolt-type stories. We can only hope.


If this post brings up any issues for you, you can contact Bravehearts (an organisation providing support to victims of child abuse) here.

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child, you can get advice from the Child Abuse Protection Hotline by calling 1800 688 009, or visiting their website. You can also call the 24-hour Child Abuse Report Line (131 478). In an emergency, always call 000.