The latest legal battle between Christie Brinkley and her ex-husband Peter Cook ended with a judge-approved settlement – but not before some last-minute drama inside the courtroom.
Judge Mark Cohen refused to accept the agreement between the supermodel and the architect until Brinkley appeared in court, which she did two hours later. “I’m pleased that this could be handled without a long trial, said Cohen.
Still, the once picture-perfect couple couldn’t resist trading insults outside the courthouse. Asked her reaction to the settlement, Brinkley said, “Google ‘divorcing a narcissist,’ ” – to which Cook countered, “I will accept [the label] ‘narcissist’ over ‘parental interference.’ ”
Under the agreement, Cook gets back time he lost with his son when Jack couldn’t travel with him on a school trip because he didn’t have his passport. Cook had accused Brinkley of failing to deliver the passport, but she says she arranged to have her employees drop it off when she had to race to be with a friend who lost her mother.
Even though it was Cook who had brought the former model to court, it was Brinkley who claimed victory.
“Ms. Brinkley is completely vindicated,” Peter Caronia, Brinkley’s lawyer, says in a statement. “The parties’ settlement approved by the judge today does not grant any of the requests in Peter Cook’s motion which dragged Ms. Brinkley back to court.”
Cook, 50, had requested that Brinkley, 55, undergo anger-management therapy, that a parenting coordinator be assigned for the couple’s two children, and that a third party hold the kids’ passports. Not one of those requests was granted in the settlement, but Cook said those were minor issues, anyway. “I have one reason I m here: it s because she interferes with my time with my children,” he tells PEOPLE. “It s a pattern … If she had been a cooperative parent we could have avoided all this.”
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“Mr. Cook was successful and got what he wanted, which was more parenting time with his children,” Cook’s lawyer Steven Kuhn tells PEOPLE. “Ms. Brinkley isn’t to interfere with his time with his children.”
Under the tentative agreement, Kuhn says, “Ms. Brinkley is under obligation to provide passports to Mr. Cook when necessary. She didn’t get what she wanted. All that happened here is that Mr. Cook’s parenting time was preserved.” He will get makeup time for the time that was lost, according to Kuhn.
“He never conducted a smear campaign,” Kuhn said. This was all about that she interfered with Jack’s trip to Egypt. Had she done what she was required to under two different court orders, Mr. Cook would not have had to come to court.”
Brinkley also had accusations of her own, including one that Cook had violated their confidentiality agreement.
“Since Mr. Cook lost the custody battle in the divorce trial, he has staged a relentless smear campaign against Ms. Brinkley,” Caronia says. “Mr. Cook has tried repeatedly to tarnish Ms. Brinkley’s reputation by making defamatory statements during national television broadcasts, in print media and blogs. Ms. Brinkley chose not to exercise her right to hold Mr. Cook in clear violation of their original confidentiality agreement until Ms. Brinkley was served this unfounded and unwarranted court action at her children’s school holiday concert this past December. It was only at that time that she agreed to file her counterclaims which she hereby withdraws today in an effort to put this all behind her.
“For the sake of the children, she is hopeful that Mr. Cook will cease his attacks on the children’s mother.”
• Reporting by IVORY CLINTON, SHARON COTLIAR and KATHY EHRICH DOWD