D-I-V-O-R-C-E: The Sordid Celeb Splits of Christie Brinkley, Alex Rodriguez


Is there any better way to head into a holiday weekend than with some salacious scandal about celebrities? Today’s papers both start the long 4th-of-July weekend off with a “BANG!” with the sordid details of Christie Brinkley’s first day in divorce court where husband Peter Cook was raked over the coals (and how!) and the not-all-that-surprising news that Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez’s marriage to wife Cynthia has hit the skids.

First up is the divorce trial of ’80s supermodel Christie Brinkley from architect Peter Cook. This story has been in the tabs for a couple of weeks because of Brinkley’s insistence that the proceedings be held in open court. Cook wanted the trial closed, for the sake of the couple’s two children. After yesterday’s testimony at the Central Islip, L.I., courthouse, you can pretty much understand why. Here are some of the alleged details of Brinkley’s and Cook’s failed marriage that the world learned:

  • Cook gave his teenage mistress Dana Bianchi (now in her 20s) $300,000 in hush money to keep quiet about their affair.
  • Brinkley found pornographic images on her son Jack’s computer, which were placed there by Cook.
  • Cook is a “gold member” of, and would frequent the “discreet fun no strings,” “young women for older men” and “masturbation” chat rooms and spent up to $3,000 a month on sex sites.
  • Cook would broadcast himself masturbating in front of his webcam.
  • Cook reportedly mistreated stepdaughter Alexa Ray Joel, Brinkley’s daughter with singer Billy Joel.

Naturally, this is chum in the water for the tabloid sharks. The Daily News devotes two full pages to the trial, while the Post doubles the News‘ coverage with four full pages. Both papers dispatch columnists to the proceedings, and both Jo Piazza (News) and Andrea Peyser (Post) understandably side with Brinkley. Piazza gets quite graphic in her description of what actually happened in the courtroom yesterday:

“And then, just after Christie’s camp basically held up Cook’s testicles for the world to see, she snipped them off and put them in her purse when the 49-year-old Ken doll admitted some of the naughty things he had posted on sex Web sites.”

Andrea Peyser’s usual moral outrage works well with this story, as she implores Brinkley to “take the kids. Take everything.” Chances are that probably won’t even be an issue. (The “Horny toad sinks into own slime” headline is pretty inspired as well.)

Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, we learn that Alex Rodriguez and wife Cynthia have been living apart and are probably headed for the big D(ivorce). The latest twist in this bizarre tale is that as A-Rod has been linked to Madonna, Cynthia is rumored to be seeing Lenny Kravitz! The Post runs with this story, putting in its front page headline “A-Rod’s wife dumps him for rock star.” The paper also reports that Mrs. Rodriguez is currently in Paris shacked up with the singer.

The Daily News actually gets a comment from Cynthia Rodriguez’s mother, Evangeline Scurtis, who denies that C-Rod and Kravitz are an item. Scurtis refused to comment on the state of her daughter’s marriage.

One person perfectly willing to comment on the whole affair, albeit in an utterly oblique way, is Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner, who looks to be a quote-machine for years to come. Without mentioning Rodriguez by name, he yammered about the Yankees’ recent slump, telling the Daily News, “I don’t know. Maybe a little less outside distractions and a little more concentrating and they’ll start hitting better.”

The Post reports that at last night’s game when reporters asked him about the state his marriage, Rodriguez made the “safe” hand signal and zipped his finger across his lips.