Christie Brinkley should have custody of her kids, Dr. Stephen Herman told the court at the Brinkley/Cook divorce trial on Tuesday.
“Joint custody is out of the question,” the court-appointed psychiatrist said, according to an Access Hollywood source on the scene.
Herman is considered one of the preeminent forensic child psychiatrists in the country, having testified at such high-profile cases as Woody Allen and Mia Farrow’s 1993 custody battle.
Herman has met 11 times with Brinkley, Peter Cook and their children, Jack, 13, and Sailor, 10, according to the Associated Press.
On the stand, Herman described Peter Cook as a “narcissist” with an “insatiable appetite” who requires constant attention – a trait that could rub off on the children, he warned. The psychiatrist criticized Cook’s decision-making, marking his affair with Diana Bianchi and using the children’s computer for porn as bad choices.
He also revealed that Cook allegedly told him that Bianchi initiated sexual advances, though the doctor didn’t believe Cook was trying to justify his actions.
During a cross-examination by Cook’s lawyer, Herman found fault with Brinkley as well, noting that she should see a psychoanalyst to deal with her anger and recognize the bond the children have with their father.
Questioned by the children’s attorney, Theresa Mari, he said Brinkley needs therapy as “an outlet for her anger and feeling of betrayal” by her unfaithful husband.
He said Brinkley, who’s been married four times, also “needs to
start working on deeper issues” — including “her choice of male
“I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of psychotherapy. I believe there
are other ways to deal with this,” Brinkley testified later. But
she added that she “would do whatever it takes to convince the
court” to grant her custody, even if it means going to therapy.
Brinkley was feisty and combative while questioned by Cook’s
attorney, Norman Sheresky.
“You wanted this trial so you could publicly flog your husband,” said the attorney, noting that Brinkley had supported keeping the trial open to the public.
“Absolutely not,” she retorted. “I didn’t want this trial. It’s humiliating for all of us. … I really, really wanted to settle this.”
She said most of the scandal already had been aired in the newspapers before the trial.
“I think I have done absolutely the best to hide any feelings I have about this from the children,” she said. “For two years, I concealed all of this. I’m just trying to give the children the kind of life they had before.”
Before the scandal, Brinkley described Cook to an interviewer as
“just the greatest father.”
The trial continues on Wednesday.