'3% of assault cases that are misreported every year' - Lena Dunham defends Girls producer against harassment claim
Girls creators Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner are standing by their former executive producer Murray Miller after an actress accused him of assault.
The longtime friends and professional partners issued a statement to Deadline on Friday, insisting the current spate of sex scandals running through the film and TV industry has left some falsely implicated.
They were responding to claims made by actress Aurora Perrineau, who alleged Miller sexually assaulted her in 2012, when she was 17. Perrineau filed a complaint with police officials in West Hollywood, California on Friday.
Miller immediately denied any wrongdoing in a statement issued by his attorney Matthew Walerstein, who called the allegations "outrageous claims".
He added that Perrineau initially "sought substantial monetary damages" from Miller, whose legal team promptly collected "overwhelming evidence contradicting these false and offensive claims". Walerstein notes that Perrineau contacted police officials only after her request for a monetary settlement was denied.
Supporting their friend and colleague in a joint statement, Dunham and Konner write: “During the windfall of deeply necessary accusations over the last few months in Hollywood, we have been thrilled to see so many women’s voices heard and dark experiences in this industry justified. It’s a hugely important time of change and, like every feminist in Hollywood and beyond, we celebrate. But during every time of change there are also incidences of the culture, in its enthusiasm and zeal, taking down the wrong targets.
"We believe, having worked closely with him for more than half a decade, that this is the case with Murray Miller.
"While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed.
"We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.”
Bosses at HBO, the network behind Girls, which ended its six season run in April, have not commented on the allegations.
Dunham's stance has provoked backlash on social media, prompting her to tweet, "I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love."