Samantha Blake Cohen is the eldest child of Michael Cohen and Laura Shusterman. Samantha and her brother, Jake, accompanied their father to court in New York City on December 12. There, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for lying to Congress about Donald Trump’s potential business deals in Russia. In addition, the president’s former fixer will have to pay a fine of $50,000. Samantha limped with her father on crutches as he helped her into the building following a recent hip surgery.
In sentencing Cohen at federal court in Manhattan, Judge William H. Pauley III said that the lawyer had committed a “veritable smorgasbord” of offenses that were “motivated by personal greed and ambition.” The judge also said that Cohen’s crimes warranted “serious punishment.” Cohen replied saying he had been “weak” in never standing up to Trump’s requests. He added, “I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today and it was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man… that led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”
Here’s what you need to know about Michael Cohen’s eldest child:
1. In May 2017, Cohen Posted a Photo of Samantha Wearing Lingerie
On May 14, Cohen posted a photo of Samantha wearing lingerie to Twitter. Cohen wrote in the caption, “So proud of my Ivy League daughter…brains and beauty channeling her Edie Sedgwick.” The picture is a recreation of a famous Andy Warhol photo of actress Edie Sedgwick.
Samantha told the Daily Mail about the photo, “My father, who has always been supportive of my endeavors, was merely expressing his pride. There is nothing inappropriate in the picture and those who seek to make it something it is not are merely Trump haters who are using this an opportunity to stir up drama. I find it hypocritical that those who consider themselves liberal would criticize a woman embracing her body. There is nothing sexualized about the photograph… it is tasteful and it is demure.”
In a separate comment to the Cut, Samantha said, “Just because you don’t agree with his politics doesn’t mean you have to succumb to a level of bullying, And yes you are bullying.”
2. Samantha Is a University of Pennsylvania Graduate
According to her LinkedIn page, Samantha is a 2018 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Samantha writes on her page that she is “seeking job opportunities.” She attended the Ivy League school between 2014 and 2018. While at Penn, Samantha was a member of one of the university’s non-Greek sororities, the Tabard Society.
Two days after Cohen’s sentencing, Samantha was seen out at the New York Botanical Garden’s Winter Wonderland Ball, according to Page Six. A witness told the tabloid that Samantha “seems OK. She has supportive friends that she’s known forever. She is trying for normalcy.” While another friend said, “Samantha came with a group and was having fun.” That friend mentioned that Samantha was taking smiling photos on the dancefloor with friends.
In January 2017, Samantha attended an inaugural ball with her father in Washington D.C. When one commenter wrote, “A bit of fatherly advice: Don’t let her out of the house! A very pretty young lady. I wish you luck.” Cohen responded, “thank you…fortunately for me she is as smart as she is beautiful.” In another comment, Cohen described himself as being “blessed.” While when a troll said, “would you be proud if trump grabbed her by the p**** or is that just other peoples daughters?” Cohen responded, “so long #troll with a whopping 0 followers. #bye.”
ABC News reported in June 2018 that Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was looking at billionaires with “deep ties” to Russia who attended Trump’s inaugural balls. Among those who were being looked at were Victor Veksleberg and his cousin, American Andrew Intrater. Both men were sat next to Cohen and his family at a dinner. Cohen had a $1 million consulting contract with Intrater’s business, Columbus Nova, the ABC report said.
3. Samantha Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Aid of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital When She Was 17
When Samantha was 17 years old, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, according to a feature in Shape Magazine. The 2013 article, written while Samantha was in high school, describes her as a straight-A student. In her youth, Samantha was an avid figure skater as well as jazz and ballet dancer. Though, when Samantha was 16, she developed knee problems and had to slow down her dreams of being a dancer. Samantha told Shape, “I really enjoyed dancing but realized it’s not all I want out of life.”
When asked about climbing Africa’s tallest mountain, Samantha told Shape that she was never in any doubt of her ability to make it to the top, despite doubts from her friends and family. Though Samantha joked, “I guess I could have chosen to hike a smaller mountain, say in Colorado.” In total, Samantha and her group raised close to $22,000 for St. Jude’s. The article concludes with Samantha saying, “I’m not the fittest person, but if you want something, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to achieve it. People are much more physically capable than they realize. And my drive is strong enough to help me accomplish anything.”
In a separate interview with New York Family about her climb, Samantha said that she first became enamored with the work that St. Jude’s does after toured the hospital with the Eric Trump Foundation. In 2011, Samantha spent a summer interning at the hospital. She described the experience saying, “I got close with about 30 kids. Seeing their positive attitude day in day out challenges you to be as positive as you can be. You want to be there for them.” Prior to volunteering with St. Jude’s, Samantha donated her time with Operation Smile and Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation. Samantha tells her fellow teens in the article, “If you do something that means something to you, it will mean something to the person you’re helping.”
4. Donald Trump Attended Her Bat Mitzvah
In July 2016, Jewish online magazine, The Tablet, published an article titled, “Trump’s Jews.” It detailed a list of Jewish people who were in the president’s inner circle. Michael Cohen is one of those featured. He’s quoted in the piece saying that “Nothing angers me more than the disgraceful liberal medias’ blatant mischaracterization of Mr. Trump as a racist. As the child of a Holocaust survivor, racism was never permitted in our home and I would never work for someone with those tendencies. Would a racist attend both of my children’s Bat and Bar Mitzvahs?” The piece ends with Cohen quoted as saying that Trump “is a great man and will live up to his mantra of making America again!”
5. Cohen Said His Daughter’s Instagram Account Gave Him an Alibi
In January 2017, Buzzfeed published documents that appeared to show that Cohen had traveled to the Czech Republic in August 2016 to meet with representatives of the Russian government. In response to the story, Cohen tweeted along with a photo of his passport, “I have never been to Prague in my life #fakenews.”
Then, Cohen reposted an Instagram post from Samantha that showed him in Los Angeles with her while celebrating his birthday in August 2016. The post read, “Happy birthday to the best dad in the whole wide world… 50 never looked so good.” Cohen appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show to demand an apology from Buzzfeed and others saying, “It’s not comfortable but I’m okay with it personally because it benefits Mr. Trump and I’ll do anything to protect Mr. Trump, the family… as well as the campaign. I’m okay with it personally. The problem is that it affected my family. If affected my wife, my family, my children, and that’s not okay. I believe Buzzfeed, CNN and others owe them an apology.” In April 2018, Cohen dropped his lawsuit against Buzzfeed for an unspecified reason.
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