The supermodel says she "heard a lot of new things" during the first day of her divorce trial

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd and Alexis Chiu
Updated July 02, 2008 08:40 PM

After a day of gripping testimony from her ex-husband and his former teenaged lover, Christie Brinkley says she “heard a lot of new things I didn’t know” in the opening of the couple’s divorce trial Wednesday.

Looking upset as she gave a brief statement at Suffolk County Supreme Court in Central Islip, N.Y., the former supermodel added, “I need some time to let it all absorb.” Brinkley was accompanied by her lawyer, Robert Stephan Cohen, who described the trial’s opening as “a really tough day, as well as a long day.”

In court, Brinkley’s lawyers painted Cook, an architect, as a bad father who was fixated on Internet porn and whose affair with a then-18-year-old employee tore his marriage apart.

Cook’s attorney, Norman Sheresky, explained his client’s tears on the witness stand during brutal and at times humiliating questioning from attorneys: “All you’ve got to do is mention Peter’s children … He loves his kids. This is one of the best fathers you’ll ever meet.”

After Cook and his former mistress, Diana Bianchi, who is now 21, testified about intimate details of their affair, Brinkley’s daughter Alexa Ray (whose father is singer Billy Joel) took the stand and told of constant criticism from Cook.

Describing a 2003 incident in which Cook allegedly became enraged that her shower was causing a leak, Alexa Ray testified, “He was pushing me down the stairs … I went down in a towel … and the drips were already coming down into the bucket. He shoved my head into a bucket and said, ‘You clean this up.'”

During cross-examination, Alexa Ray described her mother as “very loving, but very idealistic about things.”

The divorce trial – in which Brinkley, 54, and Cook, 49, are battling over custody of their children Jack, 13, and Sailor, 10 – continues Thursday.