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Tennessee lawmaker says DNA shows he is not father of "daughter"

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen said on Thursday he was "stunned and dismayed" that a DNA test showed he was not the father of a woman he considered his daughter for years.

Cohen, a Memphis Democrat, and Victoria Brink believed they were father and daughter for the last 3 1/2 years, according to the statement from Cohen.

But CNN reported on Thursday that it had obtained DNA from Victoria Brink, Cohen and John Brink, the man who raised her, and tests confirmed John Brink was her father.

"The results showed that Cohen was not Victoria Brink's father," the network said.

Cohen, 64, who was elected in 2006, had said the woman was his daughter after reporters noticed his post on Twitter to "beautiful girl" on the night of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

CNN said Victoria Brink was 23 years old at the time of the tweet in February.

"I was stunned and dismayed when DNA tests disproved what Victoria and I believed about our relationship," Cohen said in a statement on Thursday. "I still love Victoria, hold dear the time I have shared with her, and hope to continue to be a part of her life," he said.

Cohen, who is single, said he had a relationship with Victoria Brink's mother nine months before her birth and thought he was the woman's father.

Cohen's penchant for tweeting also made headlines in April when he posted that Cyndi Lauper was "hot" during a function at the White House.

He later said he wrote the tweet and then deleted it on purpose as a sort of a joke on the press.

(Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Greg McCune and L Gevirtz)

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