Lena Dunham’s Story of Rape Falls Apart, Waiting for Publisher’s Comment

Lena Dunham’s Story of Rape Falls Apart, Waiting for Publisher’s Comment

The Lena Dunham rape story has been extensively covered, thanks to the exposure she gave it in her book tour publicity and in the effort of some news sites to actually investigate the truth of her claims.

At this point, given the investigation just concluded by Breitbart News, Dunham’s story cannot be verified.
From the Breitbart News story:

Dunham also goes into great detail to describe Barry. Here’s what she tells us — everything in quotation marks is directly from the memoir:
1. The name of Lena Dunham’s rapist is Barry. Early in the memoir, when Dunham uses a pseudonym, she informs the reader of that fact. She did not do so in this instance, leaving the reader to assume that Barry is her alleged rapist’s real name.
2. Dunham was a 19-year-old Oberlin College student when the incident occurred.
3. Barry was the “campus’s resident conservative.”
4. Barry “hosted a radio show called Real Talk with Jimbo.”
5. Barry “wore purple cowboy boots.”
6. The incident occurred in winter.
7. The incident occurred just before Barry graduated in December of that same year.
8. Barry was a “mustachioed campus Republican” with a “mustache that rode the line between ironic Williamsburg fashion and big buck hunter.”
9. Barry “worked part-time at the library… shelving books.”
10. Barry had a voice “that went Barry White low.”

There has been a “Barry” identified as being at Oberlin College at the same time as Dunham. This man was contacted by multiple media sources once Dunham published her account. Breitbart News concluded (they refer to him as “Barry One” in the article):

Our independent investigation backs that up:
1. Dunham claims Barry raped her when she was nineteen in the late-Fall or Winter before her Winter break. Because Dunham was born in May of 1986, this means the incident occurred in 2005.
Dunham describes Barry as a “super senior” with “one more semester to finish” who went on to “graduate in December.” That leads the reader to believe her rapist graduated in December of 2005.
Barry One graduated in May of 2006. Among other sources, we verified that Barry One was still an Oberlin student through the archives of the campus newspaper and video of Barry One speaking at a school event in 2006.
2. Dunham describes Barry as sporting a mustache like a “big buck hunter.” Two sources who knew Barry One during the time in question confirmed that he never had a mustache of any kind. We also found two photographs and one video of Barry One during his time at school in which he’s clean-shaven.
3. Dunham describes Barry as having a voice that “went Barry White low.” Video of Barry One speaking for more than a few minutes confirms he had a normal pitched voice.
4. Dunham says her attacker worked part-time at the library. Barry One did work at a specialized library but not the school library (known as the Mudd Center). Breitbart News interviewed a staffer who worked with Barry One at this particular library. This person remembered Barry One quite well and chuckled at the idea that he ever sported a big mustache.

Did Dunham actually mean to target this man? Kevin Williamson of National Review was able to contact “Barry One” quite easily.

It takes me about two minutes to discover a Republican named Barry whose time at Oberlin coincided with Dunham’s. A few minutes later, I know a great deal about him: Where he works, where he lives, what he majored in, his high-school-prom plans, people we know in common, and other surprising intersections between our lives. When I call him at his office, I get the distinct impression that I am not the first reporter to have done so. “I don’t have anything to say about what I know you’re calling about,” he says. We speak very briefly, and he is concerned that I will use his name. It’s a strange thing to be concerned about — his name is out there, easily found. Oberlin opened an investigation into the incident after the publication of Dunham’s book and has consulted with the local police department. The statute of limitations for rape in Ohio is 20 years, and Dunham graduated in 2008.

Dunham’s writing all this is, needless to say, a gutless and passive-aggressive act. Barry is not a character in a book; he is a real person, one whose life is no doubt being turned upside down by a New York Times No. 1 best-seller containing half-articulated accusations that he raped a woman in college, accusations that are easily connected to him. Dunham won’t call him a rapist, but she is happy to use other people as sock puppets to call him a rapist. She doesn’t use his full name, but she surely knows how easily it can be found. She wouldn’t face him in a court of law, but she’ll lynch him in print.

It is worth pointing out, as Breitbart News reveals, that “Barry One” has had to make his Facebook page private and has retained a lawyer. It is also notable that, given the opportunity to exonerate “Barry One,” Lena Dunham declined to do so.

Breitbart News tried to track down archives at the radio station Dunham claimed “Barry” worked at, but were point-blank rebuffed.

At first Ms. Hess was pleasant and eager to help. She informed me that there are physical archives of the station’s program guides. It would take some time to go through them, she explained, but if WOBC did in fact broadcast “Real Talk with Jimbo” the information should be there.
With the understanding that I would be supervised, I volunteered to do the work of going through the records myself and offered to shift my schedule in any way that was convenient. She replied that she would be happy to do this work and then inquired into the specific details of the story we were working on.

“What you’re looking for,” Ms. Hess informed me, “could create a conflict of interest on campus regarding sexual assault.”
“I’m not sure what you mean.”
“People here are less interested in justice for this kind of crime and more interested in helping the victim. I’m not psyched to help you do this.”
“You can look at everything I’ve thus far written about this. We just want to know the truth.”
“Asking whether or not a victim is telling the truth is irrelevant,” Ms. Hess proclaimed. “It’s just not important if they are telling the truth. If this person had wanted criminal justice they would have pursued it.”
“I’m not just talking about criminal justice,” I responded. “The details in the book point to a specific individual.”
“Who graduated years ago.”
“This man is easily found using Google and says he’s innocent. Right now everyone is looking at him and he’s just twisting out there.”
“Our archives are private. We have no obligation to share them with anyone. I don’t want our organization to be a part of this. I’m the general manager and the answer is no.”
And with that, Sophie hung up.

Huh. There are only two explanations for this response:
1) Sophie Hess and the radio station are covering up for a former employee who is alleged to be a rapist, or
2) Sophie Hess and the radio station are covering up for Lena Dunham.

However, Sophie Hess and her response all point to a larger truth that Ben Shapiro recently made on his radio show (which he made in context to Ferguson) – feelings, in the eyes of the left, now trump the actual truth.

And that’s where we are. Random House, Dunham’s publisher, should be called to account for allowing this part of her memoir to be published. However, they have so far not responded to Breitbart News’s requests for a comment. They probably never even thought to check it. The story was just like catnip to the left – a “campus Republican” had allegedly raped Lena Dunham in college. Who cares if it could potentially destroy an innocent man’s reputation? Or be open to an investigation by Oberlin police – because the statute of limitations in Ohio for rape is 20 years. I am certain that neither Dunham or Random House bothered to check that particular law. They put this story out early for reviewers because they knew it would get attention. And boy, did it.

Breitbart News concludes that Dunham may have been raped, but that none of the details that she gives in her memoir can be verified.

Based in part on her story of being raped at Oberlin, Lena Dunham has positioned herself as a campus sexual assault activist. This is a noble cause but one that should come with setting a good example.
Maybe Lena Dunham’s rapist is out there, and maybe this man voted for George W. Bush, and maybe this man did indeed hurt two other women.
What we do know is that whatever her motives, rather than cooperate with campus and local authorities (who are taking her charges seriously) to get a brutal man off the street before he hurts another woman, Dunham has apparently decided to instead hurl suspicion at Barry One.

So, Lena Dunham is a liar (until any evidence proves otherwise), but she supports all the right causes and sold a lot of books. All it took was destroying one innocent man’s reputation.

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