The model explained she had the mask before the coronavirus pandemic started and the rest were donated to local hospitals

Sailor Brinkley-Cook is defending herself from social media critics who called her out for wearing a protective face mask in public during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The model, 21, stepped out in Brooklyn on Wednesday with her boyfriend, Ben Sosne, for a grocery run. The two wore N95 masks, a close-fitting face mask that is heavily coveted right now as healthcare workers battle an influx of coronavirus cases.

In response to the apparent backlash, Brinkley-Cook took to her Instagram stories. “To everyone reaching out (very angrily) about me having a mask…My mom is an artist and does projects that require her to wear a mask,” she explained, referencing her mother, model Christie Brinkley. “We didn’t buy them upon hearing about the spread of COVID-19. She kept one mask for each one of our family members and then donated the rest to local hospitals.”

Sailor Brinkley-Cook, Ben Sosne
Credit: TheImageDirect
Sailor Brinkley-Cook

She continued, by saying that her mom has been tracking down supplies for hospitals, while also donating 30% of proceeds from her brand Bellissima Prosecco to Direct Relief Foundation, an organization supplying hospitals with PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment).

Brinkley-Cook also said that she and her boyfriend are “donating daily to organizations helping to create masks.”

Christie Brinkley and Sailor Brinkley-Cook
Christie Brinkley and Sailor Brinkley-Cook
| Credit: Madison McGaw/

The former Dancing with the Stars contestant further explained, “When we go to the grocery store or out on a walk we wear them so that god forbid if we might have [COVID-19] and don’t know we don’t spread it to someone less able to fight it off. Please stop sending me hateful messages, and stay safe❤️.”

While her mother and brother, Jack Brinkley-Cook, 24, are staying at Brinkley’s home in the Hamptons, during an interview with Extra earlier this week Brinkley, 66, explained why Brinkley-Cook is staying away from her family.

“Sailor was touring with Dancing with the Stars and she was meeting with crowds of people every night, hugging everybody so she said, ‘Mom, there is no way I’m coming home until I’m 100% sure I haven’t contracted anything,’” Brinkley said.

Brinkley’s other daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, 34, is also staying in N.Y.C. because Joel “has all her [music] equipment [in New York].” Brinkley explained, “She’s been working on some recordings, so she’s been hesitant to leave all of that.”