David O Russell, the Oscar-nominated director of 'The Fighter', starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, is under investigation in Florida for allegedly groping his 19-year-old transgender niece. The filmmaker has assured authorities it was entirely consensual, according to TMZ.com.
According to a police report taken 3 days after the incident, Russell's niece, who was born a man and is currently in the process of her transition, told cops things got a little strange when she began doing abdominal exercises at a South Florida hotel. The niece said David began asking questions about her transformation, and particularly whether hormones would make her breasts larger. According to the report, she claims Russell then "put his hands under [her] top and felt both breasts". It goes onto state that the neice felt "uncomfortable" but "did not ask him to stop at any time". Russell, who is also known for helming 'Three Kings' and the romantic comedy 'I Heart Huckabees', has admitted touching his niece's breasts, but only after she gave him permission. One of the investigators noted in the report, "Russell stated [his niece] is always causing drama since the transgender transformation and has become very provocative and seductive". So what happens next? Well, the case is currently under investigation and authorities plan to re-interview both parties to get a clearer idea of what happened at the hotel.
Russell's agent, lawyer and publicist are yet to comment on the story, though if found guilty of the offense, he could face criminal battery charges. The 53-year-old recently completed work on his forthcoming movie 'Nailed', about a small time waitress who accidentally gets a nail lodged in her head causing unpredictable behaviour. The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal and JESSICA BIEL.