July 18th, 2013
10:11 AM ET

'New Day' Exclusive: Odd Twist in Tweeting Congressman & Model Relationship

Tennessee congressman Steve Cohen was caught tweeting during the State of the Union Address with a swimsuit model. He then revealed that Victoria Brink was really his long-lost daughter.

But then the family reunion took a surprising turn, CNN's Miguel Marquez reports.

"Overwhelming, crazy, stressful, emotional, a roller coaster," says Victoria Brink.

That is how she describes her life the last few months. She is the woman who had a Twitter conversation with Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen during this year's State of the Union speech. It was this conversation that forced the congressman to admit this was no "tawdry tete-a-tete," reports Marquez. "Victoria Brink – aspiring model – was in fact… his daughter."

The Congressman had already taken her to high profile events like the White House Christmas party where she was introduced as a friend of the family.  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 and he really wanted to come out and tell everyone that I was his daughter but I said I had to tell my dad first," says Victoria Brink.

Enter Houston oilman John Brink… who always assumed Victoria was his daughter.

"How tough has this been for you?" asks Marquez.

"Holy (BLEEP). Excuse me. Honestly the most difficult thing I've done," says John Brink.

Victoria and the Congressman had kept their secret from everyone for three years.  Until State of the Union Tweet-gate forced her to come clean. But amazingly enough Congressman Cohen had only ever deduced the relationship.

"I knew her mother a long time ago," says Cohen. "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."

CNN obtained DNA from Victoria, and John Brink- the man who raised her- and from Congressman Steve Cohen who didn't want to appear on camera for the story.

The result?

"The results show that Steve Cohen is not my father, biological father and this is just some crazy thing that happened to me," says Victoria Brink.

In a statement the congressman said "I was stunned and dismayed" at the result when DNA tests disproved what Victoria and I believed about our relationship.  I still love Victoria, hold dear the time I have shared with her and hope to continue to be part of her life.

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soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Robert

    Tell it to Maury!!!! people

    July 19, 2013 at 7:30 am | Reply
  2. ccw

    Steve Cohen was my congressman for years and he is one of the most honest people out there. He's also a heck of a nice guy.

    July 18, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  3. nuclear mike

    ...OR one more time...Bill, I need some help out here...

    July 18, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  4. nuclear mike

    ...OR...I may have had sex with that woman, but it is not my child...just go check the "dress" for my DNA which does not match the "cigar" either...

    July 18, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  5. nuclear mike

    Which cousin or uncle was it at the Tennessee Jewish Family Reunion??? Seems the woodpile was bigger than was thought and not who we thought was in the woodpile...with blue eyes & blonde & pearly white skin...was her Mom a middle school teacher by chance?
    The only secret now is how many & who were they all...so the DNA posse will be busy, busy, busy!!!

    July 18, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  6. Evelyn Connaway

    Another mountain out of a mole hill. Many men have raised children thinking they were their own. Just a little different twist to this story. Wonder how many men ever have the thought that they might have a child someplace and even admit it if they did. Mr. Cohen did, but he was disappointed. Sad for all of them.

    July 18, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  7. schnabelmachere

    This is an example of how our politicians behave. They are corrupt, and not trustworthy. If they had any character, they would kill them selves. They are cowards real cowards. To hell with them all in Washington.

    July 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  8. Todd E

    "I Googled her one night..." Yeah, you did.

    July 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  9. Steve

    It's amazing.... there shouldn't be a question that he's lying. It's such a grandiose, bold-faced lie that people have bought it because it's like something out of the trashy soap opera/reality t.v. garbage that mesmerizes them. I'm astonished.

    July 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  10. Billy Bob

    The good news is it's Tennessee... we're all related in some way down here.

    July 18, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  11. el dono

    He was tweeting during the State of the Union address? I'm sorry, was he BORED? And, Tennessee is electing this kind of person to Congress?

    July 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  12. Diplomad

    There seems to be some mental derangement at work here.

    July 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  13. enr

    Damn, you call this news?

    July 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  14. ANDREA

    People aren't really so stupid that they fell for this line of bull[...], are they?

    July 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  15. Dante

    If John Brink is still married... he should consider a divorce. What a way to find out that your wife cheated on you.

    July 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • Dude

      Please read: "I knew her mother a long time ago."

      July 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • Avi Lee

      Where does it say Victoria was born when her mother and father were married, or even in an exclusive relationship?

      July 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  16. T Diemer

    If the congressman really wanted to keep this matter confidential, why was he twwting during the Stae of the Union address!! I mean really. Maybe atleast sunconsiously he really wanted t o be exposed.

    July 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  17. wrap2tyt

    ...he was "hit'n" it... came up with that BS to try to quiet the noise.

    July 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • Robert

      Brilliant if he did!

      July 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • GMONEY

      TRUE DAT

      July 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • suffer'n succatash

      guess'n you are right

      July 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  18. Richard

    And this moron decides it's okay to "tweet" (or do anything else, actually) during a State of the Union address? Isn't he supposed to be paying attention to what's being said up there on the podium? I mean, really... [...]

    July 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • Jimber

      Really? Who pays attention to the rhetoric being spilled at a state of the Union address? C'mon.... zzzzzzzzz.......

      July 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • sammy davis jr

      Not really. The state of the union is basically a bunch of lies and nonsense that will have no effect on the country. i'd rather tweet a model too.

      July 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  19. PainTrain

    He's a Democrat, by the way. CNN would have made sure to point it out if he were a Republican.

    July 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • TeamCNNCNN

      In the video segment, CNN identified Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen as a Democrat.

      Thank you for watching New Day~
      CNN Viewer Communications

      July 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Dante

      Complain if you like, but he didn't do anything wrong so it doesn't matter either way.

      July 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Reply
      • kkolencik

        Uh...Dante...how do you define right and wrong? For me, if someone does something selfish or careless that causes another harm, that's not on the "right" side of right vs. wrong. Let's see. He cheated on his wife. He assumed this woman's daughter was his and established a relationship with her. He tweeted on the job. He caused embarrassment to himself, his family, and this young girl. In the end, he wants to still be a part of her life...which surely makes her father feel rather uncomfortable, not to mention her mother and the girl herself. Perhaps you're using pseudo math. Two wrongs might not make a right, but if you hurt enough people, you're good to go. *eyeroll*

        July 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • JJbird

      Amen to that!

      July 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  20. greenbayguy

    Awkward for father to know that the potential of another man being her father, even existed.

    July 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  21. hefailed

    Ok, if we get caught, let's just say I thought you were my long, lost daughter and then it will appear all so innocent.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  22. john

    So who is her real father?

    July 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  23. creative thinking

    Maybe she is or was his girlfriend.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  24. Janice

    So, who is her biological father? Is it John Brink or some other mystery man?

    July 18, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  25. nuerotic

    This should be a new tv show that shows the blossoming frienddship of a congressman and a model that believed for a short time that they are father and daughter. It will be called "How I [...] Your Mother."

    July 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  26. njpat

    Bizarre – there are more layers to this story than this. stay tuned

    July 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  27. verify

    Three years living on a wild hunch? And it took a push from CNN to do the DNA test? **sigh**

    July 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  28. Travon Gangsta

    Sounds like a lame coverup.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  29. Outraged

    Why is this even a story?!? The stupid dolt thought this was her dad and she was raised by her real dad all along? If this was my daughter I'd knock her in the head.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • kkolencik

      I'm confused. Why are you outraged with the daughter, of all people? What about the congressman? What about her mother? *another eyeroll*

      July 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • B. Smith

      Did you read something that says John Brink is her "real" dad...? I only saw that the Congressman wasn't.

      July 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Reply
      • B. Smith

        now I see it – further down in the comments – not in the story.

        July 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  30. Norm

    Yep....this is what our Congress does with all of their time.
    But they get paid for life with the best free medical care.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  31. rh

    Did they find out if the guy she originally thought was her father, was her father? It says they tested both, but didn't clarify whether Brink was her father (or who knows who was?).

    July 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  32. Scylcoke

    There is so much missing from this story...for example: is the guy who raised her ACTUALLY her father? Can't believe they didn't include that.

    July 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • TeamCNNCNN


      The man who raised her, John Brink, is her father. This was determined by the DNA.

      Thanks for watching New Day!
      CNN Viewer Communications

      July 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  33. Wildcat1

    Maybe she is Bill Clinton's daughter. 🙂 Wonder who her father really is.

    July 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • TeamCNNCNN

      Her father is John Brink. This was determined by the DNA.

      Thanks for watching and have a wonderful Thursday!
      CNN Viewer Communications

      July 18, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • kate

        Lola of CNN Viewer Comunications,

        If John Brink is truly her father then that should have been stated in this article.

        July 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  34. Tony

    You are ... NOT THE FATHER!

    July 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  35. bunnyman

    i think he is also Manti Teo's girlfriend's father.

    July 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Reply

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