Model and actress Christie Brinkley broke down in tears on the "TODAY" show Tuesday while discussing her divorce from Peter Cook, an architect, more than four years ago. She accused him of trying to destroy her public image, but he has fired back saying everything she has claimed is a lie.
Brinkley, 54, originally planned to speak with "TODAY" host Matt Lauer about her upcoming role as Roxie Hart in the Broadway revival of Chicago, but Lauer asked a series of questions about the couple's public divorce more than four years ago that seemed to bring back a lot of bad memories. Brinkley and Cook were married for more than 12 years and raised three children together – but have continued throwing accusations at each.
"Since the day that he realized that I wasn't coming back, there has been a real character assassination going on. I asked for and got a confidentiality agreement with the original divorce. I alone have maintained the confidentiality agreement. I had offers for a sympathetic show from Oprah; Jeff Zucker offered me an hour on primetime. Everybody asked me to come on. I did not want to do it," Brinkley explained in the interview.
As Lauer continued pressing the issue and asked what kind of effect the allegations were having on their children, which she has custody of but Cook has rights to visit, the Broadway star fought to hold back tears.
"[Peter] continues to contact me. . . I just want peace. And every time I have any joy or any kind of success in anything, he has to try to destroy it," she said.
Cook fired back the next day, claiming in a statement that virtually everything his ex-wife said in the "TODAY" show interview, including her tears, were a lie.
"Christie was entirely dishonest about the circumstances surrounding the current court action which was precipitated by her and … is doing further damage to our children," Cook said. "I am also shocked by the blatant lies she told regarding our divorce proceedings of four years ago, including denying the indisputable fact that she fought for an open courtroom despite the warnings it would harm our children."
He added that he also wants peace for his children and his family, but insisted that Brinkley is more concerned with wanting attention to help her career along.