Actress Lena Dunham, who has been aggressively campaigning for Hillary Clinton, privately doubted the Democratic presidential candidate for discrediting women who made sexual assault allegations against her husband, former President Bill Clinton, according to a report Wednesday.
Dunham, a fierce advocate for Planned Parenthood and other liberal causes, reportedly made the comments at a dinner party on New York’s Upper East Side months ago.
The New York Times reported:
She told the guests, at the Park Avenue apartment of Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, that she was disturbed by how, in the 1990s, the Clintons and their allies discredited women who said they had had sexual encounters with or been sexually assaulted by former President Bill Clinton. The conversation, relayed by several people with knowledge of the discussion who would speak about it only anonymously, captures the deeper debate unfolding among liberal-leaning women about how to reconcile Mrs. Clinton’s leadership on women’s issues with her past involvement in her husband’s efforts to fend off accusations of sexual misconduct.
A spokesperson for Dunham described the account of her comments as a "total mischaracterization."
The emergence of Bill Clinton on the campaign trail has renewed scrutiny surrounding sexual assault allegations made against him by Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, and others. Multiple women who accused Clinton of sexual harassment were reportedly targeted with attacks on their credibility by members of the Clinton inner circle, including Hillary Clinton herself.
Hillary Clinton said in September that sexual assault survivors have "the right to be believed," a comment that critics called hypocritical given her past.
Despite any concern, Dunham has wholeheartedly embraced Clinton in public, recently taking over the presidential candidate’s Instagram and campaigning for her in New Hampshire.
"While Hillary Clinton’s anatomy is not the reason I’m voting for her, there’s nothing that would send a stronger message to this country, and to the world at large than sending a competent, strong, essential woman to the highest office," Dunham said in Portsmouth earlier this month.