TODAY | March 28, 2012
>>> with fallout over our exclusive interview with model and actress christie brinkley . on tuesday she spoke out for the first time about the ongoing dispute with her ex-husband peter cook . now he's firing back. nbc's savannah guthrie talked to him. savannah, good morning.
>> good morning to you, matt. as you know the feud between christie brinkley and peter cook has been playing out in the public eye for years and it has been ugly. now cook has a message for his ex-wife. he says he's not going to take it anymore. christie brinkley is in a war of words with her ex-husband, architect peter cook . the couple divorced in 2008 , after 12 years of marriage. cook confessed to watching online porn and having an affair with an 18-year-old woman. now, another court battle is raging, this time over money and what brinkley says is harassment. she says she didn't want to go public but on tuesday she spoke to matt about her ex-husband.
>> this is my first time on tv, okay? this is my first time. i want to stress that. i have never gone on a tv show . since the day that he realized that i wasn't coming back, there has been a real character assassination going on.
>> now, peter cook wants his say. he contacted us after brinkley 's interview and asked for a chance to respond.
>> i thought that it was horrible that she could sit and shamelessly lie to our children, again, on national tv , about the events surrounding this current motion.
>> what do you think she was lying about?
>> virtually everything, the entire content of her interview was a lie. when she claims that i am harassing and bullying her on a daily basis. i need you to know that we haven't had a conversation in 4 1/2 years. and we haven't e-mailed each other directly in two years. so this perception that i am harassing and bullying her is nonsense.
>> reporter: during brinkley 's interview with matt she broke down at one point.
>> i'm looking for peace for my family. and i also -- sorry. but i just want peace. and every time i have any joy, or any kind of success in anything, he has to try to destroy it.
>> there was a moment when she cried.
>> crocodile tears.
>> why do you say that?
>> because she's not -- ever since the separation she has been on a campaign to smear me. there is no peter cook press machine. i have no interest in the press. i'm not a celebrity. you don't hear about peter cook until christie brinkley dredges something up from the past to make herself relevant in the media again.
>> reporter: the couple's public battle heated up again recently when brinkley went to court, saying cook owed thousands of dollars in child support for their teenage children. cook says he paid brinkley and responded with his own court filing. each side is now accusing the other of violating confidentiality agreement of their divorce. and cook admits he was the first to go public. you've done more television interviews than she has, right?
>> on this particular issue, yes.
>> so one might assume that you're the one who's drumming up publicity.
>> but i'm defending myself. i'm not out soliciting publicity. i'm defending attacks by my ex-wife.
>> she says there's a confidentiality agreement , and that you have violated this by being on tv.
>> i have not breached the confidentiality. she did in this morning's interview. but i haven't. she spoke about things that led up to our divorce. and we are allowed to speak as freely as we want about anything post-divorce. so discussing issues that are pre-divorce is a violation of confidentiality.
>> you called her a narcissistic ego maniac in your papers.
>> right. in the context of a long chain of e-mails that started out very benign about scheduling.
>> is there a certain irony to the fact that both of you call each other narcissists?
>> yeah. well i think i -- there's a part of me that's a narcissist. i think there's a part of my narcissism that makes me a really great dad and focuses my energy on my children.
>> how does being a narcissist make you a better father?
>> it makes you focus attention on something. you can either be focused entirely on yourself or you can focus your energies on a child, your child, and say i'm always thinking ahead of what they're going to need.
>> how is this very public battle good for your children?
>> it's terrible for my children. but the damage was done when she fought in that court in 2008 . this is in google eternity. this isn't going in the bottom of a barrel. this is here forever.
>> take a look at yourself here. are you acting as a role model that your kids should follow?
>> no. if i were a role model i'd sit back and just keep taking the beatings and the bruises. but i think miss brinkley dipped into this well one too many times. i don't think there's any reason why i shouldn't stand up for myself and not allow someone to make false accusations, and blatantly lie for the world. i want peace. i want peace for my family. i want peace for myself. i want to be able to do my job, see my kids, and live without the christie brinkley shadow over me. that's all i ask.
>> one thing that the couple says they agree on, they do want what is best for their children. 16-year-old jack is now refusing to see his father. peter cook confirmed that. but cook said he has a great relationship with his 13-year-old daughter.