The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen has been accused of sexual assault by his own daughter.
On Thursday, Valkyrie Weather, the eldest of Cohen’s children, published a harrowing post on Facebook, accusing her father of raping her at a young age.
“When I was very young, Rob used my body for his own sexual gratification,” wrote Weather, a transgender 32-year-old woman born Kyle Cohen. “My mother [Diana Mitzner] witnessed one of the assaults when I was between two and two and a half years old, and has since confirmed what she saw.”
In the same post, Weather also claimed that Cohen took her to see sex workers across Thailand and the Czech Republic when she was “only 13 or 14 years old,” which she presumed was “an effort to turn me into the straight son that he wanted me to be.”
Weather has since elaborated on the accusations with The Hollywood Reporter, where she explained that these memories have haunted her all these years, but that “it was so painful that I couldn’t verbalize it for a long time.” She pointed to her own transition as a moment of catharsis.
“It’s an incredibly introspective time for most people who come out as trans as adults,” Weather contended. “It was through that reopening of the past as an adult that my mom and I had a conversation.” It was then, she said, that her mother confessed what she had witnessed.
Weather explained that Mizner “thought she was sacrificing her relationship with me by telling me what she saw and she was, in a way, right. I said, ‘You saw this and you did nothing?’ I called her every name and I broke off contact and I didn’t talk to her again for a long time. We have recently taken steps to bridge that.”
Weather noted that when she initially approached her father following her mother’s confession, “He basically said that my mother was psychotic and likened her to the Son of Sam killer in terms of the depth of her psychosis.”
Cohen, who has also directed films xXx and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, has denied the allegations. Following Weathers Facebook post and subsequent interview, the veteran filmmaker sent The Hollywood Reporter an entire statement, all of which you can read below.
This is extremely painful. My beloved child has accused me of the most awful thing imaginable. Knowing that it is categorically untrue is painful enough. Having to write this and saying that my kid is not telling the truth is heart wrenching. 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.
When Valkyrie’s (Kyle at the time) mom and I were getting divorced, she accused me during the custody court proceedings of many things, including a similar accusation to this one. After a very long trial, the court appointed psychiatrist awarded me full custody, in spite of these false accusations. Subsequently, my ex-wife appealed, and after another lengthy trial, I was awarded full custody once again. At this point Kyle was about 14 years old, and when asked about his preference on which parent to live with, he chose me.
Recently, my child chose to live her life authentically and transition to the woman she is today. When she wrote me about it, I told her that she has my continued love and support, as well as how beautiful and brave I think she is. I have kept these emails, as I have many things that have to do with my children. I will continue to support any son or daughter of mine and encourage them to be their authentic selves. I have never raped anyone. I know I have been married multiple times, but that is because I fall in love and I still believe in the institution of marriage and family. I am blessed to have wonderful children and as God is my witness, 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.
I am in great despair now. I am certain 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.