A court-appointed psychiatrist took the stand at Christie Brinkley's divorce trial and added a dispassionate, but intimate viewpoint to a case piled high with dirty laundry.
The psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Herman, said the model needs to examine her taste in men and that her husband, architect Peter Cook, is a narcissist with a bottomless ego. But between them, Brinkley should get custody of their two children, Herman said Tuesday.
Brinkley was cool to the idea of therapy. "I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of psychotherapy. I believe there are other ways to deal with this," Brinkley testified Tuesday. But she said she "would do whatever it takes to convince the court" to grant her custody of the children, aged 10 and 13.
Cook has admitted having an affair with a teenager who worked in his office and spending thousands of dollars on Internet pornography.
Herman had harsh words for Cook in a report for the court, saying the architect had an insatiable ego and "needs constant reassurance that he is a terrific guy."
But Brinkley "needs to start working on deeper issues" - including "her choice of male figures," Herman said under questioning by the children's attorney, Theresa Mari. He said the former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model needs therapy as "an outlet for her anger and feeling of betrayal" by her unfaithful husband. Herman called for therapy for Cook, too.
The psychiatrist, who met with the family 11 times, said Tuesday that shared custody "is not at all a viable option."
But he later agreed that both Brinkley and Cook had been "superb" parents. And he said Cook should be involved in his children's lives - caring for them if their mother is away on business, for instance.
Brinkley and Cook were married for a decade before his affair vaulted their troubles into public light in 2006. The trial has focused on his teenage mistress and his online sex quests. He has apologized for both.
Cook's lawyer, Norman Sheresky, accused Brinkley on Tuesday of seeking to "publicly flog" her husband, noting that she had supported keeping the trial open to the public.
"Absolutely not," a feisty and combative Brinkley retorted. "I didn't want this trial. It's humiliating for all of us. ... I really, really wanted to settle this."
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 and had trysts with her in his office and Brinkley's Hamptons homes.
Infidelity was "certainly the immediate cause" of the marriage's collapse, Herman said, "but I think there were problems before."
As for Cook's Internet porn habit, Herman said adults should be able to engage in Internet sex if they do so in total privacy, without children finding out.
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