Joy and American Hustle director David O. Russell ‘groped his transgender teenage niece’
David O. Russell, the Oscar-nominated director of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, has been accused of groping his transgender niece.
The allegations against Russell have come to light after two weeks in which accusations against Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood figures have flooded in.
Cara Delevingne revealed her horrific-sounding experience of working with Weinstein, saying she had a “very odd and uncomfortable call” with the movie mogul when she started out as an actress.
Delevingne claimed that Weinstein said she would have no future in Hollywood if she was open about her sexuality and relationships with other women.
Terry Crews, James Van der Beek and Michael Gaston have also spoken up about abuse they endured.
Russell, whose hit films include The Fighter and Joy, has also been accused of sexual assault.
In 2011, his 19-year-old transgender niece Nicole Peloquin – who is not a blood relative – filed a police report alleging that Russell had groped her.
According to police reports, the five-time Oscar-nominated director discussed hormones with his niece at a Florida gym, then “put his hands under [her] top and felt both breasts.”
He also allegedly offered to help Peloquin with abdominal exercises while his hand “hovered above” her “private parts,” according to The Daily Beast.
What’s more, Russell confirmed the incident happened.
He tried to justify his actions to police, saying his niece was “acting very provocative toward him,” and adding that he was “curious about the breast enhancement.”
The director, who has worked with stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams, reportedly told police that his niece “is always causing drama since the transgender transformation and has become very provocative and seductive.”
The case was ultimately dropped, with no charges filed.
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It was referenced in an email unearthed during the Sony hack in 2014.
Columbia Pictures executive Michael De Luca, whose studio worked with Russell on 2013 film American Hustle, wrote about the incident.
“David’s a loon, talented, but geez once I saw him bring Sally Field to a party and reduce her to tears,” he said.
“Plus remember when he got in trouble for feeling up his transgender nieces [sic] boobs?”