An Oscar-nominated film director is reportedly under investigation in an incident involving an alleged grope of his 19-year-old transgender niece, TMZ.com reports.
The director is David O. Russell, who received an Oscar nomination last year for “The Fighter” and also directed a string of successful movies including “Three Kings” and “Spanking the Monkey.”
Russell reportedly told authorities the groping was consensual. He is accused of “inappropriately grabbing his niece’s breasts during a workout session at a South Florida hotel gym on Dec. 30,” the story reports.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the investigation, the piece notes. According to the police report, Russell’s niece, “who was born a man and is currently in the preoperative phase of her transition … told cops the two had been doing abdominal exercises when he asked questions about her transformation,” TMZ reports. Russell then reportedly "put his hands under [her] top and felt both breasts."
Russell’s niece is not a blood relation, the story notes.
The story adds: “Cops say the woman said she felt ‘uncomfortable’ … but admitted she ‘did not ask him to stop at any time.’"
The piece says one of the investigators noted in the police report: "Russell stated [his niece] is always causing drama since the transgender transformation and has become very provocative and seductive."
Authorities reportedly plan to reinterview both parties.