On Thursday, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) said he was “stunned and dismayed” to learn that a woman he’d been claiming as his daughter was not biologically his daughter. The hubbub surrounding 24-year-old Victoria Brink began when Cohen began tweeting with the bikini model during the State of the Union address. Cohen tweeted, “nice to know you were watchin SOTU. Happy Valentines beautiful girl. Ilu.” ILU stands for “I love you.” Cohen deleted the tweet 15 minutes after posting it.
Cohen’s office originally suggested that Brink was “the daughter of a longtime friend and I consider her like family.” Then Cohen said that Brink was actually his long-lost daughter, and that they had been “trying to get to know each other these past three years.” Cohen said he discovered his daughter after he “Googled her mother, found out she had a child and the math looked pretty accurate.” He then lectured the media about not jumping to conclusions.
CNN revealed on Thursday that Cohen is not in fact Brink’s father according to DNA tests. “I was stunned and dismayed when DNA test disproved what Victoria and I believed about our relationship,” said Cohen. “I still love Victoria, hold dear the time I have shared with her, and hope to continue to be a part of her life. It’s been a roller coaster ride these last three and a half years from which I have learned something about parenting and some more about love, life, and heartache.” Brink’s mother is Texas criminal defense lawyer Cynthia White Sinatra.