Many men dream of marrying a supermodel, believing that the marriage (or at least the sex) would be a paradise. But divorcing one is a different story entirely — especially if you’ve had the nerve to cheat on her. Christie Brinkley’s current divorce from architect Peter Cook is a prime example: unlike Brinkley herself, it’s getting ugly.
On June 20, a New York City judge declared that Brinkley’s divorce proceedings would remain public, although the court transcripts and many records will be sealed. “The required high burden of compelling reasons to close the courtroom has not been met,” Supreme Court Justice Mark D. Cohen’s ruling read, according to E! Online. “Open courtrooms, in general and in divorce actions, may provide a basis for societal education.”
This decision counters the objections of Cook, and of the guardian of the couple’s children, who reportedly fear that the children will suffer from the media coverage of the divorce trial, which starts July 2. According to Access Hollywood, Brinkley plans to publicly expose several unsavory allegations about Cook’s behavior, such as surfing the Internet for pornography and to set up dates with other women. Cook has admitted to having affairs with two teenage assistants, Diana Bianchi and Samantha Cole; both were 18 at the times of their respective flings with him.
“She’s interested in paying Peter back for the adultery. That’s what this is all about,” Norman Sheresky, Cook’s divorce lawyer, told E! Online on June 20. “I think it’s going to make her look worse… I don’t know of any parent who has made an appeal to keep the court open.”
In addition, Yahoo!Xtra News quoted Sheresky on June 23 as saying: “I don’t want to make public her accusations… The mother, supposedly a good mother, wants to have the court open — you go figure that out. The father obviously wants the court closed. There are two young kids in this case, and there are charges of adultery. Their mother probably told them everything… To me, that’s not good parenting.”
Brinkley’s attorney, Robert S. Cohen, has told Newsday: “We are pleased with the judge’s decision and wish this didn’t [have to] happen. Since the case hasn’t been able to be resolved, Ms. Brinkley looks forward to her day in court.” Cohen was also quoted by Yahoo!Xtra News as saying, “What kind of father engages in such atrocious behavior that he’s embarrassed to have a public trial?… Christie and her family have been the victims of anonymous leaks containing innuendoes, rumors, and falsehoods surrounding Peter’s behavior. Frankly, his long affair with a teenaged [sic] girl is only the tip of the iceberg.”
But Brinkley herself admitted in a public statement, “I still remain hopeful that these matters can be settled privately.”
Brinkley, 54, and her legal team may call on Bianchi to testify at the trial, as her affair with Cook supposedly led to the couple’s separation in 2006 after it hit the tabloid headlines. Bianchi, an aspiring singer, sued Cook last year and settled the case privately, out of court. “She’s been subpoenaed to testify, and if called to testify, she will testify truthfully,” Bianchi’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, told People.com. “She struggled with this, and her family struggled. The way it was brought to the public’s attention is not the way anyone wants to be known.”
This is Brinkley’s fourth divorce; among others, she has previously been married to singer/songwriter Billy Joel. She and Cook, 49, have a daughter named Sailor Lee, who turns ten in July. Brinkley also has a 13-year-old son, Jack Paris, from her marriage to developer Richard Taubman, and an adult daughter with Joel.
Peter Cook and Christie Brinkley married in 1996. Brinkley filed for divorce in the summer of 2006.
No matter how much your spouse has hurt you, whether through infidelity or other means, revenge and punishment through litigation is never the best response, especially if you’re still raising young children. All it does it escalate the conflict, drag out the proceedings, cost more money, and cause psychological damage to the kids. Click here for some better suggestions on how to handle conflict in a relationship.
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