SECTIONS
What would you like to know?
Share this Story
/

Lena Dunham recounts painful date story

For Cailyn Cox, writing isn't just a hobby, it's her life. Passionate about Hollywood, she makes it her mission to find the most entertaining celebrity gossip for SheKnows readers. And when she's not enthralled in the celeb world, she's ...

Lena Dunham opens up about her shocking rape ordeal

Lena Dunham is open about her life and her experiences, and she usually does it with humor, which is just one of the reasons why she is so endearing to us. However, there is one experience in her past that the Girls star truly struggled to put into words.

After #AskLena, we're convinced Lena Dunham is the next Ellen DeGeneres

While promoting her new memoir Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned", Dunham gave an interview to NPR's Terry Gross on Fresh Air on Monday, Sept. 29, in which she opened up about being sexually assaulted in college, and why she chose to speak about it in her book.

Dunham called it "the chapter about date rape."

"It was a painful experience physically and emotionally and one I spent a long time trying to reconcile," the Tiny Furniture creator recalled. "I actually [have] been thinking about it a lot this week because I sent an email to somebody who I had known at that time who knew the guy who had perpetrated the act... I wanted to make it clear to this old friend what I felt had happened before he potentially... read about it.

"I hated the idea of somebody finding out that information [independently of me telling them] because at the time that it happened, it wasn't something I was able to be honest about," she explained. "I was able to share pieces, but I used the lens of humor, which has always been my default mode to try to talk around it."

Lena Dunham starts a conversation on birth control on Twitter

However, her new book has helped Dunham to find her voice and she's using it as a platform to address the trauma that she went through, both physically and emotionally, and in the process it is helping her to heal.

"I said to this old friend in an email, 'I spent so much time scared,'" she revealed. "'I spent so much time ashamed. I don't feel that way anymore. And it's not because of my job, it's not because of my boyfriend, it's not because of feminism, though all those things helped. It's because I told the story... And I still feel like myself and I feel less alone.'"

The traumatic ordeal had a lasting effect on Dunham and dramatically changed her college experience as she became withdrawn and removed herself from the rest of the world.

Lena Dunham: "I really messed myself up" trying to lose weight

"I didn't really go to any more parties," Dunham explained. "I just stopped going… I basically didn't have a drink for the rest of college… I really removed myself from that world. I don't know if I would've told you at the time, 'Oh, I'm doing this to keep myself safe,' but obviously in hindsight… I basically removed myself from the social world as I'd known it. I spent a lot of time, which I talk about in the book, trying to figure out what my sexual preferences were and whether they in any way aligned with this experience I had had, whether there was any part of me that had, in quotes, 'wanted that.'"

She continued, "It took me a long time of self-examination, hearing about other people's sort of sexual evolutions and realizing, oh, that's not something that happens to everyone. And when it does happen, they're allowed to mourn it and feel pain about it — hearing that helped me."

We have so much praise for Dunham right now for sharing her story, and letting others know that it is OK to tell theirs, too.

Tagged in
Comments
Hot
New in Entertainment
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!