Christie Brinkley should get custody of her two youngest children — but she and her narcissistic husband both need therapy, a court-appointed psychiatrist said Tuesday at their divorce trial.
Dr. Stephen Herman, questioned by the children’s attorney, Theresa Mari, said the former Sports Illustrated model needs therapy as “an outlet for her anger and feeling of betrayal” by her unfaithful husband.
He said Brinkley, who’s been married four times, also “needs to start working on deeper issues” — including “her choice of male figures.”
“I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of psychotherapy. I believe there are other ways to deal with this,” Brinkley testified later. But she added that she “would do whatever it takes to convince the court” to grant her custody, even if it means going to therapy.
While doing a psychological report for the court, Herman met 11 times with the parents, their 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter.
He said Peter Cook is a “narcissist” who constantly needs to have his insatiable ego fed. The architect “needs constant reassurance that he is a terrific guy,” Herman said in the report.
Brinkley was feisty and combative while questioned by Cook’s attorney, Norman Sheresky.
“You wanted this trial so you could publicly flog your husband,” said the attorney, noting that Brinkley had supported keeping the trial open to the public.
“Absolutely not,” she retorted. “I didn’t want this trial. It’s humiliating for all of us. ... I really, really wanted to settle this.”
“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.”
The psychiatrist said shared custody “is not at all a viable option.” But he later agreed during cross-examination that both “Christie and Peter have done a superb job of being parents.” And he said Cook should be involved in his children’s lives — for instance, caring for them if their mother is away on business.
Brinkley also has a daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, with musician Billy Joel. The 22-year-old 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.
Before the scandal, Brinkley described Cook to an interviewer as “just the greatest father.”
The primary focus of the trial has been on Cook’s teenage mistress and his Internet sex activities. He has apologized for both.
The court heard testimony last week from Cook, 49, and Diana Bianchi, who was 18 during their affair. Cook said he gave Bianchi a $300,000 payoff, had trysts with her in his office and Brinkley’s Hamptons homes, and spent thousands of dollars on online pornography.
Infidelity was “certainly the immediate cause” of the marriage’s collapse, said Herman, “but I think there were problems before.”
Herman said adults should be able to engage in Internet sex if the activities occur in total privacy, without the children finding out.