July 18th, 2013
10:31 AM ET
1 year ago

'New Day' Exclusive: DNA test proves congressman not model's father

Updated at 2:06 p.m. ET, 7/19

(CNN) – "Overwhelming, crazy, stressful."

That's how Victoria Brink describes her life the last few months. She's the woman who had a Twitter conversation with Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee during this year's State of the Union speech.

The back-and-forth forced the congressman to admit this was no tawdry tete-a-tete with a much younger woman. Victoria Brink – an aspiring model - was in fact his daughter, he said.

The revelation forced their new relationship into the public. But in a single tweet during the State of the Union, the then 23-year-old's life turned inside out.

"What was out on the internet was that me and Steve Cohen could have been lovers or we had some kind of relationship," she told CNN in an interview that aired on "New Day."

Enter Houston oilman John Brink, who always assumed Victoria was his daughter. Victoria and the congressman had kept their secret from everyone for three years.

"It was very hard to keep a secret like that," Victoria Brink said.

Until the State of the Union Tweet-gate forced her to come clean.

"We met up and I told my dad. We cried and he said, 'No matter what I love you. You're my daughter.'"

But amazingly enough, Rep. Cohen never had proof that Brink was his daughter.

"I knew her mother a long time ago," Cohen said. "I Googled her one night, and saw that she had given birth to a beautiful young lady, and I kind of went back to nine months before, and that was a time when we were involved."

Victoria's mom took no part in this story, but says she has a good relationship with Victoria. But there was never any hard proof - like a DNA test – that Cohen was her father until now.

CNN was present when Victoria and the man who raised her, John Brink, took the DNA test, which they initiated and paid for on their own, on May 30th. Victoria later provided CNN with a copy of the results that showed Cohen was not her biological father.

The results showed that Cohen was not Victoria Brink's father - and that John Brink was.

In a statement the congressman said "I was stunned and dismayed" at the result.

"I still love Victoria, hold dear the time I have shared with her and hope to continue to be part of her life," he said.

Correction: In a previous version, CNN incorrectly reported the circumstances of the DNA testing. In fact, CNN was simply present when DNA was obtained from Victoria and John Brink, which they initiated and paid for on their own.


Filed under: Congress • Steve Cohen
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. duh

    ? if this does not prove the rep is mentally unstable and not worthy of public office what would? who makes claims they are someone's father? let me guess, just because he talked to her mother 9 months before the birth, he believed he was the father because....thats how babies are created????????????

    July 18, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. splassher6

    bias always working the angle...

    July 18, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. PK

    Sounds like a great publicity stunt to me!!!!

    July 18, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. jakedog

    duh....you need to read closer....
    I kind of went back to nine months before, and that was a time when we were involved."

    July 18, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. snowdogg

    none of this makes sense

    July 18, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. lynndelhumphreys

    What is a Rep. without scandal?

    July 18, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. yoyo

    I notice it didn't say that Brink was the dad.

    July 18, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. FalseProphet

    And this is why the private lives of politicians should stay private. There is absolutely no need for a personal drama like this to unfold in the public eye while self appointed experts on comment boards wax poetic about what they think on the matter.

    July 18, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Phil Hersh

    Badly written! Who then is her father?

    July 18, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. Billy shears

    Why do fell he's a democrat? I know, becuz they keep calling him representative in this article without ONCE naming his party. If he were a republican it would be "Republican Cohen, republican rep, republic etc.." The fact they refuse to say ibis party says it all.

    July 18, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. Mike B

    From an earlier story, when Cohen confronted the mother she told him and her daughter that Cohen was the father. For three years both Cohen and the young woman believed they were father and daughter.

    July 18, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. jdub

    Seriously, why is this news? Shouldn't Maury handle this on one of his shows?

    July 18, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Read the Texas law, Rudy. Specifically Section 171.045 – EXCEPTIONS.

    July 18, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Four Two

    Why put this story up at all? There's things growing out of sidewalk cracks that have more importance than this garbage.

    July 18, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Snoopz

    Tony – Steve Cohen is a Democrat. What was your point again?

    July 18, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Voice in the Desert

    @Billy Shears: I looked it up to be sure... yup, you were right! Pathetic, isn't it?

    July 18, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Andrew

    Wow Republicans are hell-bent on latching on to any evidence of scandal, whether it's real (Maxine Waters' husband's financial ties), fake (Benghazi, IRS, everything other than NSA scandal that they're complicit in), or nonsensical (Cohen not having a daughter after saying he had one). This is why so many people – even those with no love for Democrats – laugh at y'all.

    July 18, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Uncle Sam

    OK, what the heck, I'll claim her, and we are moving to Alabama.

    July 18, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Kathy0715

    Billy shears, What does his party affiliation have to do with this article?

    July 18, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. JSB

    He is a Democrat. There is no reason to suspect that he should have known that he wasn't the father based on the story. Now this whole matter should be left alone. You know like it should have been left alone from the beginning.

    July 18, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. geaton

    The story, by omission, implies that neither of the lucky lads to have had this "lady" are the father. Sounds like a third lucky man who is as yet unnamed is the girls father. A mindless story about an incredibly naïve, almost stupid congressman, an equally dim Houston Oilman and a mother who apparently couldn't keep her legs closed and is clueless as to who among the many is actually her daughters father. Too bad for Victoria. maybe it's time to talk to Mom and get a list of the possibles so that she can track down Daddy. No role models for the model.

    July 18, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. anony

    What a confusingly written story.
    So, all it is saying is that they thought that Cohen MIGHT have been her father but all it really tells us us that Cohen and her mother had sex for awhile about twenty four years ago.

    July 18, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. Another Voice

    It is a shame that something as private and personal as this has been trotted out on the national stage in an attempt to find a scandal. I don't care what anyone's politics are, I wish the best of luck to all parties as they figure out their new relationships - both by blood and by choice. Hopefully they all have open enough minds and hearts to recognize that their individual worlds are better for adding people, rather than rejecting them.

    July 18, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. JustanOpnion

    Maury Povich should have written this article

    July 18, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. Borderless

    CNN channeling their inner Povich.

    July 18, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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