David O. Russell, the Oscar-nominated director behind films such as The Fighter and I ♥ Huckabees and who is said to be connected to a possible Cocaine Cowboys movie, is being investigated by the Broward County Sheriff's Office after allegedly groping the breasts of his transgendered 19-year-old niece while the two were working out in a Deerfield Beach gym. Updated.
As first reported by the Smoking Gun, Russell, 53, stands accused of groping 19-year-old Nicholas "Nicole" Peloquin December 30. (The Smoking Gun repeatedly refers to Peloquin as the director's "nephew" and uses male pronouns because Peloquin has not undergone gender-reassignment surgery. Peloquin does, however, identify as female, so we'll use female pronouns.)
The two were doing ab exercises at the gym in the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach. Peloquin claims Russell was asking about her gender transformation, so she began telling her uncle about the hormones she's been taking to increase her bust size.
Russell then allegedly reached under Peloquin's top and fondled her breasts. Peloquin says that although she "did not ask Russell to stop at any time," she did feel uncomfortable. Minutes later, she left the gym. On January 2, she told her mom, Russell's adopted sister, about the incident. That's when Peloquin decided to call police.
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Russell told a BSO deputy that Peloquin was "acting very provocative towards him." He claims his niece asked him to touch both breasts and even made the director "pinky swear" not to tell anyone. He also told deputies that his niece is "always causing drama since the transgender transformation and has become very provocative and seductive."
No arrest was made, but Peloquin might still pursue charges through the State Attorney's Office.