Here We Go Again
July 8, 2008 1:51 PM
Ding! Ding! Here we go again with another public divorce battle that every entertainment journalist seems to take great joy into comparing to a boxing match.
What is it about models and bitter, public divorces lately? First, as documented in my previous blogs, there was Denise Richards and her apparent battle to make the details of her divorce from Charlie Sheen as public and accessible to their children as possible. Recently, the news outlets have launched into a fresh frenzy, with dirty details emerging about the divorce of Christie Brinkley and her estranged husband, architect Peter Cook, after their 10-year marriage (which ended in 2006).
Instead of a war of “he said vs. she said,” this battle, at first glance, appears to be fairly one-sided: She said he cheated, he pleads no contest to that charge. But even such a seemingly clear-cut admission of guilt hasn’t stopped Brinkley or Cook, via their respective attorneys, from finding other ways of taking jabs at each other.
At the (broken) heart of the matter is Cook’s extramarital affair with a teenage employee. As if that information isn’t damaging enough to any marriage, the trial testimony covered elaborate details about the money and gifts Cook showered on his teenage mistress, how he allegedly shoved Ms. Brinkley’s daughter’s head in a bucket of water in an apparent fit of rage, and other intimate details of his life with Ms. Brinkley. For her part, the supermodel is fighting for her custody of the couple’s 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter.
Isn’t it interesting how the stories and accusations didn’t end with this already very personal laundry list of details? For example, apparently in an attempt to blame the bright spotlight of the public trial on Brinkley, Cook’s attorney said about her: “For goodness’ sake: She’s on her fourth husband. … Your honor, we’re here because of the self-indulgent wrath of a woman scorned. … What kind of a mother wants her husband flogged in public?”
Is this what Mr. Cook or his lawyer honestly believe to be the sole purpose of the trial? To humiliate a man in front of his children? What about obtaining justice and, more important, awarding custody of the children? In order for a judge to make this life-altering decision, and to determine what is in the best interests of the children, aren’t details like the bucket incident an important part of that decision? Not taking sides here, but I also fail to see any rational reasons for pointing out that Brinkley is “on her fourth husband.” If you were the judge, what would be more important in your decision?
Painful and public deaths of celebrity marriages like this one are turning into quite a feast for reality show couch potatoes. Even if they don’t go the way of Denise Richards, choosing to invite cameras to further expose their lives to public scrutiny, many magazine shows certainly reveal enough to satisfy anyone with an appetite for this sort of thing.
If we’re being honest—when you are channel-flipping and get a little taste of a trial like this, where intimate details are free and available for anyone to hear and celebrities have their dukes up, ready to fight as nastily as they feel they have to—do you stop and look? Hard not to.
See you in court!