New York Divorce Attorney on Christie Brinkley's husband's Barbara Walters tell all

Back in 2006, I was contacted by the celebrity gossip rag Star Magazine to weigh in on the Christie Brinkley/Peter Cook divorce. At the time they were asking about whether the fact that he had had an affair with a teenager would impact the equitable distribution in the Marriage. I expressed that I doubted his affair would have anything to do with anything, except establish the legal “grounds” for the divorce as is required by New York Divorce Laws.
In New York, unlike most other states in the Union, one cannot get a divorce without a legal “ground.” In this case, Christie was the plaintiff. She filed. She needed to prove grounds. It helped tremendously that her husband’s teenage paramour was willing to come into court and lambaste him, and tell all about the adulterous affair even though he reportedly gave her $300,000 in hush money.
In any event it turns out that Brinkley and Cook had an air tight prenup and he was not able to get much more than $2 million dollars even though the marital estate had reportedly appreciated by more than $60 million dollars – a lot of that as a result of Cook’s work as an architect, his fixing up houses in the Hamptons and Brinkley then turning around and selling for whopping profits. In the end, he saw none of this money since the pre-nup was clear that he only got what he came to the marriage with.
It seems the issue in this divorce was really the kids. It seems Brinkley wanted to “keep the children away from Cook.” In New York, unless Brinkley can show that Cook is a danger to the kids and is unfit, she would never be able to prevent him from seeing those kids. Nor would she be able to keep him from having overnight visitation with them. While Brinkley was able to show she was the primary caretaker, she was not able to prove that Cook was a danger to the kids and so it appears he gets overnight visitation. At least that is what he told Barbara Walters tonight on her interview with him on 20/20.
I am not sure why he felt the need to go public with an interview post-divorce. What was the point of the interview? It seems all matters of custody, visitation and equitable distribution were settled, he has a new girlfriend who even appeared on the show, I am not sure what the reason for this interview was.
I say once the divorce is final, move on. Don’t air any more dirty laundry.