TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Tennessee congressman: Young woman in Twitter exchange is my daughter

Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen told NBC and CBS on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, that the young woman with whom he was exchanging bizarre tweets during the State of the Union address is his grown daughter. The girl's mother is a former wife of Frank Sinatra Jr. AP file

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, 7:51 p.m.
 

NASHVILLE — Rep. Steve Cohen has revealed he's the father of the 24-year-old Texas woman he was communicating with on Twitter during the State of the Union in an exchange that led some people to jump to a different conclusion.

Cohen, who has never been married, said Friday that he decided to publicly acknowledge Victoria Brink as his daughter after bloggers and the media tried to make the exchanges appear salacious. Cohen's message to Brink included a Twitter abbreviation for “I love you.”

“It's amazing how the minds jumped, and started speaking as if they knew what was going on,” Cohen said. “It should be a real lesson hopefully ... not to jump to conclusions.”

After the tweets began to attract public attention and commentary earlier this week, an aide to the 64-year-old Memphis Democrat said he had accidentally exchanged a couple of public tweets with a woman who is the daughter of a friend, but removed them when he realized they weren't private.

One was sent during the State of the Union speech Tuesday night and the second was sent Wednesday morning, in response to her tweet “(at)RepCohen just saw you on tv!”

Cohen's tweets ended with “Ilu.” Aide Michael Pagan said the initials stand for “I love you.”

Following the tweets, the Tennessee Republican Party's executive director issued a news release comparing Cohen to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned about two years ago in disgrace after tweeting lewd pictures of himself. Weiner initially claimed a hacker had posted a lewd photo to his Twitter account.

“It is very disappointing that Rep. Cohen would use his official congressional Twitter account ... to send personal and unnecessarily revealing messages to college co-eds. Apparently, we have our own Weiner of the South,” party executive director Brent Leatherwood said in the statement released Wednesday.

Cohen said he didn't learn that Brink was his daughter until three years ago.

He said the attention she's been getting the last few days is a bit unsettling for her because she's “a private person.”

“I have a beautiful daughter and a sweet daughter,” Cohen said. “It's been a very difficult experience for her. So my thoughts are with her.”

Brink is the daughter of Texas criminal defense lawyer Cynthia White Sinatra, who ran for Congress in 2006 against Ron Paul.

According to her law firm's website, the 60-year-old Sinatra was married to Frank Sinatra Jr., the son of the famous crooner.

Cohen described his relationship with Sinatra as longtime friends.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Cruz switches targets, takes exception with IRS practices
  2. New TSA administrator vows training to address security gaps
  3. Defense memo reveals plan to protect transgender troops
  4. Mich. high court strikes down mandatory fees for state employees in unions
  5. Planned Parenthood requests expert study
  6. Obama hopes he has enough votes to sustain a potential veto of Iran nuke deal; pro-Israel groups aim to stop it
  7. Clinton to testify before House committee on Benghazi in October
  8. Feds accuse Philadelphia congressman Fattah of corruption
  9. Ohio cop indicted on murder charge in traffic-stop shooting
  10. Cincy officer indicted on murder charge in fatal shooting of motorist
  11. 911 dispatcher hung up on caller before wounded teen’s death in June