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 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.
This morning, Anderson Cooper stopped by "New Day" to discuss their conversation.
When the trial ended and Juror B37 was let out of sequester, the public attention on the trial was shocking for her.
"She says she really had no idea how big this case had become. How much interest there was in it..." says Cooper. "She's been really overwhelmed at the amount of interest in this case and just how many people are trying to pursue her, her family."
Prior to coming on AC360, Cooper met with her for two hours. She was crying just talking about the experience of going through the trial- it weighs on her very heavily, according to Cooper. She had planned on writing a book about the experience, but has since backed out because of public backlash.
When she reflects on the deliberation process in the jury room, and all the evidence before them, the jurors spent a great deal of time analyzing the interaction between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.
"They ended up focusing on just those last few seconds and minutes of the struggle, and did George Zimmerman fear for his life? And that's really what it boiled down to for them," says Cooper. "They never talked about race, not once, she says. She didn't consider it, she doesn't think any of the other jurors considered it."
For more of the interview, in-depth coverage of the George Zimmerman verdict and an AC360 Townhall: Race and Justice in America:
Watch AC360° at 8, 10, and 11 pm ET.
Justin Carter, the 19-year old teen facing a felony terrorism charge for an alleged threat on Facebook, is now free on bail after five months in prison as a result of an anonymous donor posting $500,000 bond.
Here is the background leading up to now:
Today, for the first time, Carter speaks to CNN’s Kate Bolduan on "New Day" to discuss his release and comments on Facebook that got him in trouble.
“I just think that it got taken out of context and it’s been blown out of proportion,” Justin Carter says.
He was joined by his father Jack Carter, mother Jennifer Carter and two attorneys Chad Van Brunt and Donald Flanary, who are working on the case pro bono.
When Bolduan asked what he would have done differently, Carter replies, “I certainly would have thought a lot more about what I said and how permanent my writing is. I just want to make it clear that people should be very, very careful of what they say and it’s being recorded all the time if you say it on any website, anywhere. And you can get in trouble for something that’s not something you should get in trouble for. And I just want people to be warned.”
Justin Carter, his parents and their legal team claim that his comments on Facebook about “shooting up a kindergarten class” were sarcastic. An online petition seeking his release recently reached over 125,000 signatures in less than two weeks.
For updates, visit CNN.com.
Fern Gentry views and responds to the video of her granddaughter Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus thanking people for support after being rescued from captivity in Cleveland, Ohio. Gentry told CNN’s Pamela Brown that she “thought Amanda was gone.”
“There’s a lot more children out there that’s gone and missing,” Gentry said. “Just have hope.”
"New Day" airs weekday mornings from 6-9am ET on CNN.