DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Celebrity

Hollywood Power In Bizarre Transgender Row

David O. Russell quizzed over gym incident with kin

David O. Russell

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David O. Russell Report

JANUARY 5--Even by Hollywood standards, the volcanic movie director David O. Russell and a transgender relative were involved last week in a truly bizarre incident at a Florida hotel gym that resulted in a visit by police.

According to a Broward Sheriff’s Office report obtained by The Smoking Gun, Russell, 53, and Nicholas Peloquin, 19, were working out in the gym at the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach. Peloquin, who also uses the first name Nicole, told a sheriff’s deputy that Russell is his mother's adopted brother.

Peloqin, who contacted cops, is pictured at right.

While in the gym last Friday afternoon, Peloquin told Deputy Debbra Bridgman, Russell offered “to help…with ab exercises.” While doing this, the director’s hand was above Peloquin’s “private parts,” according to the sheriff’s report. Peloquin, who told the deputy that he is “a transgender but has not gone through the male to female operation,” said that Russell then asked him about the transgender transformation. Peloquin replied by telling Russell about “the hormones to increase his breasts.”

At that point, Peloquin told Deputy Bridgman, Russell put his hands under his top “and felt both breasts.” While Peloquin said he felt uncomfortable, “he did not ask Russell to stop at any time.” Peloquin said he left the gym a few minutes later, and subsequently told his mother that her brother “came onto her in the gym.”

When the deputy spoke with Russell, the director (whose films include “Three Kings” and “The Fighter,” which was nominated last year for a Best Picture Oscar) said that Peloquin was “acting very provocative towards him” and asked “if he could help with ab exercises.”

Russell, pictured at left, confirmed speaking with Peloquin about his “transgender transformation and the breast enhancements he had done.” That’s when Peloquin, Russell said, told him that “one of his breasts were bigger than the other.” Curious about the breast enhancement, Russell told the deputy that Peloquin allowed him “to feel both of his breasts.” The Hollywood power added that Peloquin “asked him to ‘pinky swear’ about her letting him touch his breasts.”

After the consensual contact, Russell reported, he received a call from his sister to “discuss him touching Peloquin.” Russell told Deputy Bridgman that he told his sibling that “he had asked Peloquin several times if he was uncomfortable and he did not ask him to not touch him.”

Russell also told the deputy that Peloquin is “always causing drama since the transgender transformation and has become very provocative and seductive.”

The December 30 incident, reported as a simple battery by Peloquin, did not result in any arrests. Dani Moschella, a sheriff's spokesperson, said that while there was no physical evidence to support an arrest, Peloquin could further pursue charges via the state attorney's office.

Neither Peloquin nor Russell responded to voice mail messages left by TSG. The sheriff’s report includes Russell’s cell phone number, the number of his Los Angeles-based production company, and the address of his Brentwood residence.

A May 2000 New York Times death notice for the film director’s mother refers to Russell, his sister Barbara, and Peloquin. (2 pages)