Director and creator of "The Fast and the Furious" franchise Rob Cohen has denied allegations of sexual assault levied against him by his transgender daughter.
Valkyrie Weather (born Kyle Cohen) wrote in a public Facebook post on Thursday that her father used her body "for his own sexual gratification" when she was a toddler, and that her mother, Cohen's first wife, witnessed at least one of the assaults.
Weather, now 32, also accused the director of bragging about raping at least one other woman in her sleep and taking her to see sex workers in Thailand and the Czech Republic as a teenager.
Cohen denied the allegations in a statement on Friday to The Hollywood Reporter.
“My beloved child has accused me of the most awful thing imaginable. Knowing that it is categorically untrue is painful enough,” he said. “Having to write this and saying that my kid is not telling the truth is heart wrenching.”
He continued to defend himself by arguing that his daughter had made similar accusations in the past during the divorce proceedings with his ex-wife, and that he was ultimately awarded full custody twice.
“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," he said. "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.”
He continued by discussing the fact that he was married twice because of his belief in "the institution of marriage and family," and writes, point-blank, "I have never raped anyone."
“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,” the 69-year-old said.
"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."
Cohen created and directed the first "The Fast and the Furious" movie in 2001, one of the most successful Universal Pictures' franchise of all time. He also directed "xXx" in 2002, "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" in 1993, and, most recently, "The Hurricane Heist" last year.
He has three other children with his wife, actress Barbara Cohen: Zoe, Jasi and Sean, all aged 10.
Since Weather's accusations against Cohen were made public on Thursday, she claims to have been contacted anonymously by another of his alleged victims.
Weather, who works in a vintage clothing store in Savannah, Georgia, claims that her mother witnessed her father assaulting her when she was between 2 and 2-and-a-half years old. She also says that when she became a teenager, Cohen began taking her (as Kyle) to sex establishments in Asia "presumably in an effort to turn me into the straight son that he wanted me to be," she wrote.
The realizations about the breadth of the alleged abuse came, Weather says, during her time transitioning into a woman. A "reopening of the past" moved her to confront her mother about her suspicions of abuse, during which time her mother confirmed that she had witnessed it.
Weather said that she reached out to Cohen after her mother's disclosure. “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," she said.
Weather added that she felt emboldened by survivors disclosing long-contained stories of abuse through the #MeToo movement to share her story.
"I no longer feel that I owe this man any loyalty. And thanks to the #metoo movement, I have found the will to speak out," she wrote.
"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."