Director David O. Russell is being investigated for potential criminal battery after the Oscar-nominee felt up his 19-year-old transgender niece. Russell admits to the action but says it was consensual.
According to The Smoking Gun, Russell, 53, is accused of grabbing Nicole Peloquin’s (birth name Nicholas) breasts during a work out in a South Florida hotel gym. Peloquin is the child of Russell’s adoptive sister, Barbara Jane Peloquin.
The event transpired while the two were working out at the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach, Fla., on Friday (Dec. 30). It was then, according to the sheriff’s report, that Russell offered Peloquin “to help… with ab exercises.” That’s when “The Fighter” director put his hand above Peloquin’s “private parts.” Peloquin states that Russell then reached under the teen’s top “and felt both breasts.” While Peloquin explains she was uncomfortable about what was happening, she “did not ask Russell to stop at any time.”
The report states that, according to Russell, Peloquin permitted the director “to feel both of his [sic] breasts.” This was followed Russell asking Peloquin “to ‘pinky swear’ about her letting him touch his breasts.” It adds Russell told the cops that Peloquin is “always causing drama since the transgender transformation and has become very provocative and seductive.”
Russell has not commented publicly on the matter. According to Reuters, he’s currently at work editing “The Silver Linings Playbook,” starring Bradley Cooper.