MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee says he’s “stunned and dismayed” to learn that DNA tests revealed he is not the father of a woman he thought was his daughter.
Cohen issued a statement Thursday after CNN reported that DNA tests showed Victoria Brink isn’t his daughter.
In February, after Twitter messages he sent to the 24-year-old Texas woman during the president’s State of the Union address received media attention, Cohen revealed that he was Brink’s father. He said he learned about the relationship three years ago and was overjoyed.
In Thursday’s statement, he said he still loves Brink and hopes to remain in her life.
Cohen says he was “stunned and dismayed when DNA tests disproved what Victoria and I believed about our relationship.”
From the Commercial Appeal:
Tennessee Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen caught flak in the blogosphere this week for his mistakenly public tweets of endearment to a Texas college student half his age as the president’s State of the Union address was ending Tuesday night.
Though Cohen, 63 and a bachelor, didn’t own up at first to who she was when the tweets became public, he said Thursday night she is a daughter he didn’t know he had until three years ago.
The 24-year-old Texas college student and swimsuit model is Victoria Elizabeth Brink, who used her Twitter account to write that she was watching Cohen on television in the House of Representatives chamber. The two exchanged tweets during and after the Sate of the Union address.
Brink, a student at Texas State University, is also the daughter of a Texas criminal defense lawyer, Cynthia White Sinatra, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2006 against Libertarian Ron Paul, who was a candidate for president last year.
Cohen declined to describe the affair with Sinatra, saying only, “her mother and I have been friends for a long time.” There had been a hiatus, “but we renewed our friendship when I found out she was the mother of my child.”
According to her law firm web page, Sinatra, 60, is a criminal defense lawyer who was married to Frank Sinatra, Jr., the son of the famous “Old Blue Eyes.” She has represented criminal defendants before the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, including Dragan Jokic, a Bosnia Serb accused of genocide, murder and torture in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
The daughter of state Rep. Joe Carr was arrested early Monday morning on DUI and weapon possession charges, according to Murfreesboro Police, according to the Daily News Journal.
Madeline Carr, 26, of Barfield Crescent Road in Murfreesboro was pulled over around 2:20 in the morning when her vehicle was spotted traveling southbound on Broad Street on the rim of its tire, police said. An officer reported she smelled like alcohol, had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes and was unsteady on her feet.
…She was charged with DUI and carrying a weapon while under the influence. She was read her rights and consented to a blood test, the report stated. She was booked into Rutherford County jail and posted a $2,500 bond. She is set to appear in court on the charges in April.
As noted by President Obama, Gov. Bill Haslam planned to perform the marriage ceremony Saturday evening at the wedding of his daughter, Annie, to David Colquitt at the governor’s residence in Nashville.
After Haslam introduced Obama at a Washington news conference Friday, the president noted:
“I also want to thank Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee for taking the time to be here today, and the great work that he’s doing in Tennessee. I’m especially appreciative because I found that his daughter is getting married, and he is doing the ceremony tomorrow, so we’ve got to get him back on time. ”
The wedding rehearsal dinner for the couple, who met as students at Princeton University in 2005, was Friday night at Belle Meade Country Club in Nashville. The governor made it back in time for the event.
Tennessee law allows governors to perform wedding ceremonies and several have done so. Haslam’s predecessor, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, presided over the marriage of his son, Benjamin, three years ago.