Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen faces allegations of sexual assault from his 32-year-old daughter, Valkyrie Weather, a transgender woman, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Weather accused the director of assaulting her when she was a young child in a Facebook post written on February 21.
“When I was very young, Rob used my body for his own sexual gratification,” Weather wrote. “My mother witnessed one of the assaults when I was between two and two and a half years old, and has since confirmed what she saw.”
Weather told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview that she remembered “the pain, the memory of the place and time, just being there, in the bath” and “it was so painful that I couldn’t verbalize it for a long time.” Weather says her mother, Diana Mitzner, who was Cohen’s first wife, told her about Cohen’s actions in April 2017. Mitzner told the Reporter that she witnessed the assault.
Cohen called the claim “categorically untrue.”
"I hope and pray that one day, my child will come into the realization that no matter what anyone says or tries to convince her was the case when she was a child, it is both untrue and unimaginable,” Cohen told the Reporter.
Weather said that the discussion about the incident came about during her transition process.
“It’s an incredibly introspective time for most people who come out as trans as adults,” Weather said. Weather said that after her mother disclosed what happened, the two did not speak for some time but that the two have taken steps to reconnect since. Weather said that when she confronted Cohen over email, he responded a few weeks later and said that Mitzner was “psychotic and likened her to the Son of Sam killer in terms of the depth of her psychosis.”
Weather also claims Cohen took her to see sex workers in Thailand and the Czech Republic when she was as young as 13 years-old.
“I demonstrated from a very early age that I was probably trans and queer, and that was not the child that my dad wanted,” Weather said. “He wanted his son to be a straight, hyper-sexual, womanizing bastard like himself. I have my own theory that he thinks that he broke me when he molested me and he was somehow trying to undo that damage by hetero-sexualizing me from a very young age.”
Cohen released a longer statement to the Reporter, in which the director called the accusations “extremely painful.” In the letter, he recounted how a court-appointed psychiatrist awarded him custody of Weather at 14 and that Weather chose him as a parent. Cohen also underscored that he has supported Valkyrie’s transition, despite using her birth name several times in the letter.
“I have never harmed any of them. I may have not been a perfect husband. I am, as all of us are, a person and a parent who has made mistakes along the way, but never ever would I harm any of my children, or any child for that matter,” he wrote. “I am in great despair now. I am certain that my daughter Valkyrie is also hurting. I pray that she will come to know the truth, and that one day in the future, we can all be whole again.”
In its reporting, The Hollywood Reporter also chose to use Weather’s birth name several times, a practice widely known as “deadnaming,” which is both harmful to transgender people and a major problem in journalism written about transgender people. Portions of Cohen’s letter where he referred to Weather by her birth name have not been included in this report.