(WMC-TV) - After 35 years in politics, Congressman Steve Cohen knows media scrutiny all too well. But now, he's a father feeling protective of a daughter he just learned about three years ago.
Congressman Steve Cohen said it was unconscionable for people to refer to him as the "Weiner of the South."
"Some Anthony Weiner-type thing, that was just ludicrous - what was said by the state Republican Party, and many bloggers said some nasty things that really hurt Victoria," said Cohen in a phone interview.
Last year, former New York Representative Weiner accidentally tweeted an illicit photo of his bottom half. He later resigned from office.
In Cohen's case, people jumped to conclusions that his State of the Union 'I Love You' tweet was to a secret lover, when in fact it was to his secret daughter.
He hopes those who lashed out without the facts will look in the mirror.
"Maybe look inside themselves and see they judged too quickly, and they had no basis to do so," said Cohen.
He said the hardest part about the situation is his life is now affecting his newfound daughter's life.
"I felt terrible about it, and that's why we felt we needed to end the salacious speculation that was going forth," said Cohen.
He hopes the negative publicity doesn't get in the way of the bond he's building with his daughter.
Cohen said he wants to be present in his daughter Victoria Brink's life, and help her make life decisions.