Officials Close Investigation Into ‘Fighter’ Director’s Alleged Groping

Jan 6, 2012 9:59am
gty david russell jp 120106 wblog Officials Close Investigation Into Fighter Directors Alleged Groping

David O. Russell.

The investigation into David O. Russell’s alleged groping of his transgender niece is over.

“There is no more interviewing, there is no more investigation. It is done,” Jim Lejedal, director of media relations at Florida’s Broward County Sheriff’s Office, told ABCNews.com today.

In a statement, Russell’s publicist said, “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.”

TMZ first reported Thursday that Russell, the 53-year-old Oscar-nominated director of “The Fighter,” was being investigated for allegedly touching the breasts of his 19-year-old niece, who was born male and is in a preoperative phase of her transition.

According to a police report obtained by ABCNews.com, Russell had joined his niece for a workout at a South Florida hotel gym on Dec. 30 and was asking questions about her breasts and the effect of hormones she’s taking to enlarge them when he touched them.

In the report, which was filed on Jan. 2, the niece told authorities that she felt “uncomfortable” during the incident but admitted she “did not ask him to stop at any time.”

According to the report, when Russell was contacted by investigators, he confirmed he did touch his niece’s breasts but only after she had given him permission and said that one of her breasts was bigger than the other. Russell said the niece also asked him to “pinky swear” about “her letting him” touch her breasts. The niece said in the report that Russell “put his hands under [her] top and felt both breasts.”

The report notes that Russell said his niece “is always causing drama since the transgender transformation and has become very provocative and seductive” and said she was “acting very provocative towards him” in the gym.

Mara Keisling, the President of the National Center for Transgender Equality, spoke out about the allegations after officials announced they’d closed the investigation, saying of the niece, “I certainly hope her claims were taken as seriously as any assault victim’s would be,” and adding, “None of this to me sounds like anything to do with her being trans. There’s no reason to think that anyone gets more provocative when they transition.”

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