Houston -- Their connection became clear to the world in a single tweet.
“Happy Valentines beautiful girl, ILU,” wrote Congressman Steve Cohen (R-Tennessee) to a blonde bombshell who was forty years his junior.
“I loved her, I did everything in the world for her,” Rep. Cohen later said.
The tweet had been sent during a State of the Union address and soon provided grist for the gossip mill.
It also forced aspiring swimsuit model Victoria Brink, then 23, to come clean. She revealed that Cohen had not been her lover, but her father. The two kept it quiet for more than three years.
“It was very hard to keep a secret like that from my family,” Brink said.
And it was especially hard to keep secret from the man who raised her, Houston oilman John Brink, who had always assumed that Victoria was his.
“I told my dad and we cried and he said 'no matter what, I love you and you’re my daughter,'” Victoria said.
But it turns out that Cohen had only assumed the relationship. There was never proof he had ever produced a child with Victoria’s mother, Houston attorney Cynthia Sinatra, despite an affair with her.
“I knew her mother a long time ago and I Googled her one night and saw that she had given birth to a beautiful young lady,” Rep. Cohen said. “And I kind of went back to nine months before, and that was a time when we were involved.”
This month, all parties involved finally agreed to a DNA test and news outlet CNN obtained the results.
“The results show that Steve Cohen is not my father,” Victoria said.
It has since left Cohen, a life-long bachelor who never had kids, in a difficult and personal place.
“I was totally stunned,” Rep. Cohen said. “I almost, to me it was almost a lark, because there was no way.”
He is not sure if the relationship with who he thought was his daughter will ever continue. But he said they texted this week, which may be a start.