Christie Brinkley Sobs as She Reveals Her Arm 'Shattered Into a Thousand Little Pieces' in DWTS Fall
In fact, the model told PEOPLE exclusively in an emotional interview on Monday that she knew immediately that her arm was broken.
“The second I landed, I felt the shards in my arm,” Christie, 65, told PEOPLE in between sobs. “Like, I literally felt it in my wrist, and I just instantly looked up and said, ‘I’m so sorry, I broke my arm.'”
“There’s a little bone at the thumb that usually posts one way,” she added. “Mine was in the opposite direction. Then there was bone, just it, it was just shattered into a thousand little pieces, just a million of little pieces.”
Christie has a long road to recovery after falling during a DWTS rehearsal on Thursday. The fall left the supermodel with multiple broken bones, which required surgery to insert a plate and screws to repair her shattered arm. She also dislocated her wrist and, on top of that, had already twisted her ankle earlier in practice.
After undergoing surgery on Friday, the star — who has previously survived a horrific helicopter crash and also a serious horse and car accident — remains on heavy pain killers.
Aside from the physical injury, Christie is also dealing with the emotional fallout of not being able to compete.
“I’m telling you I was having the time of my life,” she told PEOPLE.
“So it was really, really a crushing, crushing disappointment in every way. Literally, figuratively everything that happened. And one of the worst feelings is to feel like you’re letting anybody down, you know?”
However, something that is helping her overcome her disappointment and the feeling she is letting her fans down is that her daughter Sailor Brinkley-Cook, 21, will be replacing Christie in the competition and appear on Monday night’s premiere.
“Instantly I had a swirl of like, I’m letting my coach down, I’m letting the show down, I’m letting ABC down, I’m letting my fans down on Instagram,” she told PEOPLE. “My friends out there that have been so supportive, and that feeling of letting people down, is just awful. So I thought, I have to find a silver lining here. And I immediately thought, because of the personal nature of the song and everything, it’s gotta be one of my daughters.”
While Sailor (who her mom says has “bad stage fright”) was hesitant about the opportunity and hasn’t had much time to rehearse, Christie said she has no doubt she’s the right woman for the job.
“Sailor is truly one fearless, strong, amazing person who just always impresses me,” she said.
She added: “They popped her into my costumes. They fit her perfectly.”
Christie even FaceTimed with Sailor from bed during rehearsals — and was amazed at her progress.
“I saw joy written all over Sailor’s face,” she said. “And I said, ‘Honey, I can tell that you love this. In overcoming your fear, you discovered a new passion, a new joy. And she said, ‘I know, mom, thanks.’ You know, so it’s like, I mean, that is like the golden lining.”
Christie is also dealing with another unexpected blow — the suggestion she was faking her injury which came from someone she had long called her friend, Wendy Williams.
“Wait, she said that this is a fake? I’m totally shocked, because have been there for Wendy Williams,” Christie said when told of the talk show host’s claims.
“Oh my God. When Wendy Williams had stage fright for Chicago, I immediately, they called me up and they said she’s ready to drop out. And I went over to her apartment and sat her down and said, ‘You know, Wendy, do not let your fear,’ kind of what I was telling Sailor, ‘do not let your fears define you. You know, if you have something that you want to do, you gotta just trot. You gotta give it your all and just do your best and you can’t worry what other people think.'”
Sailor will be up facing her fears and dancing against The Supremes’ Mary Wilson, Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown, comedian and actor Kel Mitchell, country star Lauren Alaina, NFL legend Ray Lewis, The Office star Kate Flannery, pop star Ally Brooke, former NBA star Lamar Odom, James Van Der Beek and President Donald Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer. Their pro dance partner pairings will be unveiled during the premiere.
Season 28 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.