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'Fighter' Director David O. Russell Investigated After Groping Transgender Niece

January 6, 2012, 6:07 am GMT

Russell is accused of inappropriately grabbing his transsexual niece Nicolas Peloquin's breasts during a workout session at a gym in Florida though he admitted to doing it under permission.

David O' Russell'

Oscar-nominated director David O. Russell must deal with police investigation after groping his transsexual niece Nicolas Peloquin. According to a police report obtained by The Smoking Gun, the director behind critically acclaimed 2006's film "The Fighter" has been accused of inappropriately grabbing Peloquin's breasts during a workout session at a gym in Florida on Friday, December 30, 2011.

Peloquin, the son of Russell's adoptive sister Barbara Jane Peloquin, told Broward County Sheriff's Office deputy Debbra Bridgman that Russell offered "to help...with ab exercise" in the gym at the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach. At that time, the director asked some questions about Peloquin's transgender transformation and Peloquin, who told the deputy that he is "a transgender but has not gone through the male to female operation," began to explain his breasts.

According to his testimony, Peloquin, who also uses Nicole as his first name, claimed that Russell then put both hands under his top "and felt both breasts." The cop said that Peloquin felt uncomfortable but "did not ask Russell to stop at any time." He then subsequently told his mother that Russell came onto him in the gym.

As the deputy spoke to Russell, the director admitted that he did touch Peloquin's breasts under his permission. He explained that his transsexual niece was "acting very provocative towards him" and asked "if he could help with ab exercise." He also said that during the chat about the breasts, Peloquin told him that "one of his breasts were bigger than the other" then he allowed the director "to feel both of his breasts."

Peloquin reported the incident as "a simple battery" that did not cause any arrests. The case is under investigation and the authorities plan to re-interview both Russell and Peloquin. It will be submitted to the Florida State's Attorney's Office, which will decide whether or not a criminal battery charge should be filed.

Regarding the issue, Russell's representative Cynthia Swartz claimed to TheWrap that the director "emphatically denies any wrongdoing and has cooperated fully with the authority."

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