Lena Denham
Lena Dunham has retracted a written defence of the Girls writer Murray Miller. Getty

Lena Dunham has apologised for defending the Girls writer Murray Miller after he was accused of rape.

Actress Aurora Perrineau accused Miller of sexual assault in a complaint filed at the West Hollywood station. Los Angeles Police are investigating.

In the wake of the reports, Dunham was accused of hypocrisy after she and fellow Girls writer Jenni Konner sent a statement to The Hollywood Reporter defending Miller. She had previously said "women don't lie about rape".

The original statement said: "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."

But just hours after the statement appeared, Dunham issued a second one, this time saying she was "absolutely wrong" for the first.

Apology in full

"As feminists, we live and die by our politics, and believing women is the first choice we make every single day when we wake up. Therefore I never thought I would issue a statement publically supporting someone accused of sexual assault, but I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend's situation as it has transpired behind the scenes over the last few months.

I now understand that it was absolutely wrong to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry. We have been given the gift of powerful voices and by speaking out we were putting our thumb on the scale and it was wrong. We regret this decision with every fiber of our being.

Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely, and our relationship to the accused should not be part of the calculation anyone makes when examining her case. Every person and every feminist should be required to hear her. Under patriarchy, "I believe you" is essential. Until we are all believed, none of us will be believed. We apologize to any women who have been disappointed."

Hollywood has been engulfed by claims of sexual harassment and sexual assaults in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Names that have been dragged into the maelstrom include Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, who is being investigated by London's Metropolitan Police over claims of sexual assault in 2008 during his time as the artistic director at the Old Vic Theatre.