There are times when I think that Left-wing celebrities have lost all connection with reality.
Lena Dunham wrote an autobiography. She revealed startling facts about her earlier behavior regarding herself and her younger sister. The passages are graphic — self-incriminating to a degree that truly is unique.
She hired a lawyer to threaten the site for having quoted from her book, saying such accusations against her are libelous. The website retaliated by refusing to back down, and then citing her lawyer’s letter.
The woman and her lawyer need to watch Absence of Malice (1981).
There are times when you should shut up. A good time for shutting up is when you are writing your autobiography. The second time is when someone quotes you verbatim.
The passages are beyond belief. She wrote them.
Here was the organization’s quite proper response. It gave her even more bad publicity.
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On Saturday, HBO’s Lena Dunham sent a “cease and desist” letter to TruthRevolt demanding that we remove an article we posted last Wednesday on sections of her book, Not That Kind of Girl. The letter threatened legal action if we did not both remove that article, as well as print a note, the suggested language of which read as follows:
We recently published a story stating that Ms. Dunham engaged in sexual conduct with her sister. The story was false, and we deeply regret having printed it. We apologize to Ms. Dunham, her sister, and their parents, for this false story.
We refuse. 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. 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.
In particular, the letter from Ms. Dunham’s lawyers labeled as “false and defamatory” our claims that she “experiment[ed] sexually with her younger sister Grace,” “experimented with her six-year younger sister’s vagina,” and “use[d] her little sister at times essentially as a sexual outlet.” In her desire to curb First Amendment freedoms, Dunham’s attorneys threatened legal action seeking “millions of dollars; punitive damages which can be a multiple of up to ten times actual damages; and injunctive relief.”
We assume that both Ms. Dunham and her attorneys are capable of reading Ms. Dunham’s book, which contains the following direct excerpts: . . .
[There are limits to my willingness to promote salaciousness. This woman has no judgment.]
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 . . . [more of the same.]
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.
It is worth noting that Truth Revolt was far from the only outlet to point out these troubling sections in Ms. Dunham’s book. National Review’s Kevin Williamson wrote of “Lena Dunham’s sexual abuse, specifically, of her younger sister, Grace” – the article that first alerted us to Ms. Dunham’s disturbing writings. The Daily Caller’s Derek Hunter has written of Ms. Dunham’s “gleeful sexual abuse of her infant sister, Grace.”
[Then this woman went online on Twitter to describe what she did as normal.]
Bullies like Ms. Dunham may believe that firing off legal threats against those who exercise First Amendment rights is perfectly legitimate. But for a woman who proclaims to be an advocate for freedom of speech to attempt to shut down such speech based on her own apparent embarrassment at her own disclosures in her own book demonstrates the totalitarianism of those on the left – and those in the legal and media establishment who enable them.
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Then some female blogger came to her defense on Slate.
The story is now all over the Web. She has received the level of free publicity that most authors dream of.
I am out of touch with the realm of TV stardom. I know this much: what is today considered run-of-the-mill “kiss and tell” autobiographical revelations is way beyond Mommie Dearest.
I am happy to be out of touch with HBO.
I had never heard of this woman. I suspect I am not alone. Now we have heard of her. She would have been wiser to avoid the limelight.
I was a book publisher for two decades. Had I been her publisher, I would have fired the editor who let it get through. How did this thing get into print? But I guess it will sell a lot of books. Just not to me.