Settlement in Brinkley divorce trial

July 10, 2008 4:58:54 PM PDT
The attorney for Christie Brinkley announced a settlement in her divorce trial Thursday morning. All of the issues have been resolved. She receives sole custody of their children.

It is described as an "amicable settlement" by her attorney, Robert Cohen.

Peter Cook receives a lump sum payment of $2.1 million and Brinkley keeps all her real estate holdings.

Brinkley, 54, will have the power to make all decisions regarding their care, in consultation with Cook. The couple have a daughter, Sailor, 10. Cook also adopted Brinkley's 13-year-old son Jack, whom she had with husband No. 3, Richard Taubman.

Some additional terms are confidential.

Suffolk County Judge Mark Cohen announced his acceptance of he terms of the settlement, and it is now the order of the court.

The judge, Hon Mark Cohen, told the parties: "It is very much the hope of this court that this settlement allows the children and the parents to move on with their lives."

Brinkley sobbed softly and embraced her two sisters shortly after the judge adjourned the proceeding.

Brinkley told reporters that the settlement marks "The death of a marriage, but also a new start."

I asked whether she had any regrets, and she considered it carefully before saying that "from this marriage came my lovely daughter, Sailor."

Asked whether she would begin dating, she blushed and said, "Let's see what the summer brings."

I asked her, "Do you think you will ever get married again?" Her answer: "Never! Never! I can promise you that!"

Cook, 49, left the courthouse without emotion, saying only: "I got everything I've been asking for two years."

Brinkley and Cook were married for ten years before his affair catapuled their troubles into public light in 2006. The trial has centered on his teenage mistress and his online sex quests. He has apologized for both.

Brinkley and her attorneys contended that Cook's admitted adultery and pornographic proclivities made him an unsuitable candidate for child custody.

"Anyone who would run the risk of destroying this wonderful life, anybody that would chase a teenager - I mean, a young girl - where is his judgment?" she said from the witness stand.

Cook's lawyer, Norman Sheresky, accused Brinkley of seeking to "publicly flog" her husband, noting that she had supported keeping the trial open to the public.

"Absolutely not," a feisty and combative Brinkley retorted. "I didn't want this trial. It's humiliating for all of us. ... I really, really wanted to settle this."

She said most of the scandal had been aired in the newspapers before the trial.

"I think I have done absolutely the best to hide any feelings I have about this from the children," she said. "For two years, I concealed all of this. I'm just trying to give the children the kind of life they had before."

On Tuesday, a court-appointed psychiatrist testified that Brinkley should be granted custody. Dr. Stephen Herman said Cook deserved liberal access to the children, but added that both parents were in need of counseling to deal with their personal issues.

Herman said that the model needs to examine her taste in men and that Cook is a narcissist with a bottomless ego.

Brinkley also has a daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, 22, with entertainer Billy Joel. Their daughter testified that Cook picked on her and once shoved her head into a bucket of water after she showered too long and caused a plumbing problem; he denied it.

Brinkley's first husband was artist Jean-Francois Allaux.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett

WEB PRODUCED BY: Lakisha Bostick and Bob Monek