We recently heard from author and actress Lena Dunham when Buzzfeed offered her extensive space to issue a “steaming load of faux victim bullcrap.” Thursday afternoon, it was Gawker that published a lengthy piece on her book, clearly unhappy with the existing coverage by “Dunham’s antagonists,” particularly the “right-wing press.”
Writer J.K. Trotter clearly was unimpressed with the efforts of Breitbart’s John Nolte, who visited Oberlin College in a search for Dunham’s alleged rapist, “Barry.” Nolte “could not find a Republican named Barry who attended Oberlin during Dunham’s time there who came anywhere close to matching her description of him. In fact, we could not find anyone who remembered any Oberlin Republican who matched Dunham’s colorful description. Under scrutiny, Dunham’s rape story didn’t just fall apart; it evaporated into pixie dust and blew away.”
The narrative must stand, though, and Gawker looked to a 64-page book proposal for “Not That Kind of Girl” to “out” Dunham’s rapist.
His name is Philip Samuel Ungar, a 2006 graduate of Oberlin. Now 30, he’s the son of former All Things Considered host and retired Goucher College president Sanford J. Ungar. Dunham has never explicitly named him, but his biography closely aligns with her characterization of her alleged rapist — “His father was actually the former host of NPR’s All Things Considered” — in an early draft of the chapter where she describes being assaulted.
The final manuscript of Not that Kind of Girl contains a significantly altered version of Dunham’s original account. It was this modified narrative, which used a new pseudonym for the alleged rapist (“Barry”), that jump-started a months-long effort to discredit Dunham’s claims.
Not surprisingly, “Ungar did not acknowledge multiple and detailed requests for comment via email; his current whereabouts are unknown.” Through public records, Gawker uncovered that Ungar registered as a Democrat in 2012.
The proposal also recounts Dunham’s “rape” in more detail, which she calls “an ill-fated evening of love-making with our campus’ resident conservative,” during which “All Things Considered had purposely flung the prophylactic into our tiny palm tree, thinking I was too dumb or too drunk or too eager to please to call him on it.”