Christie Brinkley settles divorce case
Thursday 10 July 2008
Christie Brinkley's lurid divorce trial came to an abrupt end Thursday when lawyers for the supermodel and her fourth husband reached an out-of-court settlement that gives her custody of their two children.
The settlement was reached at 6:15 a.m. EDT (1015 GMT) after an all-night session that resolved all issues between Brinkley and her estranged husband, architect Peter Cook, Brinkley's lawyer, Robert Stephan Cohen, told the court.
Under the agreement, Brinkley will give Cook $2.1 million but keep 18 properties in the Hamptons that were at dispute. Cook will get parenting time with the children, under an agreement mutually satisfactory to both.
Cohen said the remainder of the settlement was confidential.
Brinkley, 54, was married to Cook for a decade before his affair with a teenager catapulted their troubles into the spotlight in 2006.
The trial, which was in its sixth day, revealed a litany of salacious allegations about Cook's affair with 18-year-old Diana Bianchi, as well as interactive Internet sex liaisons that cost him thousands of dollars a month.
Cook, 49, testified he gave Bianchi a $300,000 payoff after having trysts with her in his office and Brinkley's Hamptons homes for several months in 2005.
The former Sports Illustrated model said she was devastated to learn of the affair from the teen's stepfather.
Despite a prenuptial agreement, the couple feuded in court over child custody and bickered over properties Cook advised Brinkley to buy in the Hamptons.
The couple have a daughter, Sailor, 10. Cook adopted Brinkley's 13-year-old son Jack, whom she had with her third husband, Richard Taubman.
It was not clear what sparked the move toward conciliation after days of embittered testimony, but on Tuesday a court-appointed psychiatrist said 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.
Cook's lawyer, Norman Sheresky, repeatedly accused Brinkley of seeking to "publicly flog" her husband, noting that she had supported keeping the trial open to the public.
Brinkley also has a daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, 22, with rock 'n' roll Hall of Famer Billy Joel.
Brinkley's first husband was artist Jean-Francois Allaux.
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