Settlement coming in Brinkley trial?

July 9, 2008 6:21:02 PM PDT
Signs of a possible settlement in Christie Brinkley's bawdy and bruising divorce trial emerged Wednesday as the model said she prayed for a resolution.The proceedings were repeatedly put on hold, then adjourned until Thursday after opposing lawyers passed a note, whispered in the courtroom and briefly went into the judge's chambers.

The fifth day of the trial, which had been proceeding at a hectic pace, bogged down with the repeated delays. Only four character witnesses were called to testify on Brinkley's behalf, accounting for about an hour's worth of testimony throughout the day on Wednesday.

The lawyers declined to comment, and Brinkley left the courthouse without making her customary stop to talk to reporters at the end of the session.

But when asked during an earlier break whether a settlement was in the works, she pressed her palms together and replied: "It's what I hope and pray for."

The trial has bared prurient details from the former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model's fourth marriage, to Hamptons architect Peter Cook. Testimony has focused on Cook's appetite for interactive online pornography and his affair with an 18-year-old woman, a liaison that blew apart his and Brinkley's decade-long marriage in 2006.

Cook testified last week that he gave former mistress Diana Bianchi a $300,000 payoff and had sex with the teenager in his office and at two of Brinkley's homes in the Hamptons.

Cook, 49, has apologized for his Internet sex shenanigans and the real-life affair. He and Brinkley, 54, are arguing over custody of their two children, ages 10 and 13, and some properties in the Hamptons.

She contends the affair and his porn proclivities should disqualify him from having custody of the children. He currently sees the children on alternating weekends and on selected weekdays.

The hints of a settlement came a day after a court-appointed psychiatrist testified that Brinkley should get custody of the children but said she needed to give serious thought to her taste in men. Cook fared no better in the psychiatrist's assessment: Dr.

Stephen Herman called him a narcissist who needed unending praise.

Nonetheless, Herman said Brinkley and Cook were "superb" parents.

During relatively short spates of testimony Wednesday, two of Brinkley's modeling agents said she put her children's needs first when booking work. A piano teacher and the headmistress of the children's private school testified briefly in the afternoon.

Brinkley also has a 22-year-old daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, with musician Billy Joel.