Rob Cohen, the director of the original “The Fast and the Furious” and last year’s “The Hurricane Heist,” on Friday denied accusations of sexual assault made by his daughter Valkyrie Weather, a 32-year-old transgender woman who was born Kyle Cohen.
Cohen in a statement to TheWrap denied the accusations as “both untrue and unimaginable” and asserted that he has “never raped anyone.”
In posts shared to her Facebook and Twitter (and also in a deleted thread on Reddit) late Thursday, Weather claimed that Cohen used her body “for his own sexual gratification” as early as when she was between the ages of 2 and 2 and a half. Weather also said her mother and Cohen’s first wife, Diana Mitzner, witnessed at least one act of assault.
Weather did not immediately respond for comment; Mizner could not be reached for comment, though The Hollywood Reporter said Friday that she had confirmed that she had witnessed Cohen assaulting their daughter on one occasion.
In her online posts, Weather also said that Cohen had raped “at least one other woman, in her sleep” and that he would tell the story as an anecdote — an accusation he denied. In addition, she said that Cohen took her to see sex workers in Thailand and the Czech Republic as a teenager in “an effort to turn me into the straight son that he wanted me to be.”
“Through therapy and support from loved ones, I no longer feel that I owe this man any loyalty,” Weather wrote on Facebook. “And thanks to the #metoo movement, I have found the will to speak out. While Rob will in all likelihood escape criminal justice, I demand that my story be heard. I am not seeking financial restitution, nor do I have a career to promote. My greatest hope is that others who have been hurt by Rob Cohen feel that they are able to come forward as well.”
“This is extremely painful,” Cohen wrote in his statement. “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.”
Cohen also said he was awarded full custody of Weather, then Kyle, when she was 14 during divorce proceedings, and that she elected to live with her father. At the time, Cohen says that Weather accused Cohen of many things, “including an accusation similar to this one,” but that the court-appointed psychiatrist still awarded Cohen full custody “in spite of these false accusations.”
“I am in great despair now. I am certain certain that my daughter Valkyrie is also hurting,” Cohen said. “I pray that she will come to know the truth, and that one day in the future, we can all be whole again.”
Here’s the full letter via Cohen:
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.
Beatrice Verhoeven contributed to this report.