Friday March 06, 2015
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By Andrea Peyser
March 6, 2015
Is New York City over? Hard-core New Yorker Lena Dunham appears to be the latest obnoxious celebrity to try her luck on the West Coast. The creator, writer and star of the HBO TV series “Girls’’ is doing for four young, slutty, self-absorbed and white female characters who live in Brooklyn what the series “Sex and the City’’ did for four middle-aged, slutty, self-absorbed and white middle-aged female characters who lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
But now, Dunham has done the unthinkable.
The pleasantly plump portrayer of aspiring writer Hannah Horvath, known for her habit of appearing naked on TV, has bought a sweet, swanky house in Los Angeles. Actress Michelle Williams has already replaced snowbanks with mudslides, leaving Brooklyn for LA with her daughter by her boyfriend, the late actor Heath Ledger. Brooklyn-bred rapper Jay Z and his songstress wife, Beyoncé, shockingly decamped from Manhattanwith their daughter, choosing to spend their lives in the land of smog, face-lifts and hybrid SUVs.
But the latest possible defection is all the more surprising because the tattooedDunham, 28, last year told Vogue magazine that Tinseltown is not her cup of kale.
“I like Los Angeles,’’ she told the mag, “but more than two weeks and I start to get a very sad feeling. If I do start to feel at home here, someone should really worry about me.” Maybe it’s time to worry.
Dunham, who spends several weeks in Los Angeles each year to work on her show, has bought a $2.7 million, 2,500-square-foot crib off LA’s Sunset Strip that once sheltered the late producer, TV actor and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s’’ movie star George Peppard Jr.
It boasts three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a guest house, gardens, a saltwater swimming pool and the kind of hedge-guarded privacy that one can’t find in Brooklyn Heights, where Dunham has lived since December in a more than $4.8 million four-bedroom condominium apartment with her rocker boyfriend, Jack Antonoff, 30. She also owns a $500,000, one-bedroom pad in the Heights.
Maybe Dunham wants to hide amid the tar pits. In her 2014 best-selling memoir, “Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned,’ ’’ Dunham wrote that when she was “a weird 7-year-old’’ growing up on Long Island, she spread open the vagina of her then-1-year-old sister, Grace, with her fingers and masturbated while lying in bed with her sibling as a young teen. She also confessed to bribing the child to win a five-second kiss on the lips.
“Basically, anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying,” she wrote.
After TruthRevolt.org posted a story accusing Dunham of being a sex abuser, her lawyers threatened the conservative Web site with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit if it didn’t remove the piece from cyberspace and issue a public apology. It refused. Dunham has not sued.
She issued a statement to Time magazine in which she apologized if “situations described in my book have been painful or triggering to read.’’
“I want to be very clear that I do not condone any kind of abuse under any circumstance,’’ she wrote. “I am also aware that the comic use of the term ‘sexual predator’ was insensitive, and I’m sorry for that as well.’’
In the memoir, for which Dunham was paid a cool $3.7 million advance by publisher Random House, she also claimed that she was sexually assaulted by a prominent Republican student named “Barry’’ in 2005 when she was 19 years old and attending Oberlin College in Ohio. But after a prominent Republican former Oberlin College student named Barry raised money with the intention of suing, Random House issued a statement:
“The name ‘Barry’ referenced in the book is a pseudonym. Random House, on our own behalf and on behalf of our author, regrets the confusion.’’
Dunham’s rep told me in an e-mail, “Lena does go back and forth between NY and LA but considers NY her home.’’ And, “Lena will be updating the book for the paperback this summer. We don’t know the content of what those updates will be.’’
Is New York over? Or are New Yorkers done with entitled, spoiled brats?
Enjoy LA, Lena Dunham. And please, stay there.