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David O. Russell named in groping report

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UPDATE: Jim Lejedal, the Director of Media Relations at the Broward Sheriff’s Office, confirmed that authorities are not investigating the report naming director David O. Russell any further. A spokesperson for Russell issued the following statement: “We are pleased that the authorities have looked into this matter and have confirmed that the investigation has been concluded and the case has been closed.”

EARLIER: The Fighter director David O. Russell has been named in an event report filed by authorities in Broward County, Fla., citing misdemeanor battery. The report, filed Jan. 2, claims Russell may have had inappropriate contact with his 19-year-old transgender niece, Nicole Peloquin. (Peloquin is the daughter of the director’s adoptive sister, Barbara Jane Peloquin.) The document — which was compiled after the Broward County Sheriff’s Office spoke to both parties involved, including Russell — states that the incident occurred at a gym in the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach, Fla., after the director agreed to help Peloquin with some exercises. “Peloquin stated that Russell’s hand was on her stomach right above her private parts,” it reads. After the two began discussing Peloquin’s transgender transformation and hormone treatments to increase her breast size, “Russell then put his hand under Peloquin’s top and felt both breasts. Peloquin said he felt uncomfortable, but did not ask Russell to stop at any time.”

The report continues that on Jan. 1, “Peloquin told her mother that her stepbrother came on to her in the gym. Peloquin’s mother then called Russell to ask him what happened and he told her that nothing had happened between Peloquin and himself.” The Sheriff’s Office spoke to the director himself, who claimed that Peloquin was “acting provocative towards him” and that he had asked Peloquin whether she was uncomfortable with their interaction. He says Peloquin insisted she was not. “Being curious about the breast enhancement, Peloquin allowed Russell to feel both of his breasts. Peloquin also asked him to ‘pinky swear’ about her letting him touch her breasts.”

A spokesperson for The Fighter director released the following statement to EW: “David O. Russell emphatically denies any wrongdoing and he has cooperated fully with the authorities.”

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