Congressman's Houston daughter isn't his daughter after all

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by CBS News

khou.com

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 19 at 11:00 AM

NEW YORK -- When, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., revealed earlier this year that aspiring model Victoria Brink was his long-lost daughter, that was enough of a surprise. Now there's a new twist: Brink isn't Cohen's daughter after all.

DNA tests revealed Thursday proves that Houston-born Brink is actually the daughter of Texas oilman John Brink, who raised 25-year-old Victoria Brink.

Cohen's involvement in all of this began back in February after he sent Twitter messages to Brink, who is 40 years his junior, sparking days of salacious speculation.

"[P]leased u r watching .ilu," Cohen tweeted from the House of Representatives chamber during President Obama's State of the Union ("ilu" is short for "I love you.")

Cohen deleted the messages within minutes but the Sunlight Foundation, via its "politwoops" project, saves and publishes deleted tweets from members of Congress.

The story blew up on the Internet the next day prompting Cohen to tell CBS News that Brink "is the daughter of a very good friend of mine, she's like family, like a child. ... And everything that's been suggested in the press is sick."

Later, he announced she was his long-lost daughter and he was simply responding "to her and told her I love her, which I do."

Cohen explained that several years ago he Googled Brinks' mother, whom he dated before Brinks was born, and after doing the math, concluded he was her father and they struck up a father-daughter relationship three years ago.

Fast-forward to Thursday morning when CNN aired its story about the DNA tests, which included interviews with Brink and her real father.

"I was overjoyed when I was informed that Victoria was my daughter," Cohen said in a written statement. "Since then, I have given her my unconditional love and done my best at being a father as I tried to make up for lost time."

"I was stunned and dismayed 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 a part of her life."

In an interview with Politico, John Brink said he had no idea his daughter along with his now ex-wife, Cynthia Sinatra, even knew Cohen or had been in contact with the congressman until the Twitter brouhaha surfaced in February.

"How could I get mad at him? I don't see it as his fault, I see it as my ex-wife's fault," said John Brink. "I wasn't aware that they know each other."

Click here to read more on CBSNews.com.

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