Christie Brinkley: American Beauty

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Finding Inner Peace

Brinkley had said she wouldn't speak to me about her divorce from Cook, but she ends up discussing it anyway. Particularly galling to her were the accusations in the press that she kept the trial open to the public without considering the feelings of her children. "Maybe I can try again to clear this up," Brinkley says, tearing up a bit before steadying herself. "Divorce courts in New York are always open to the public. I didn't want special treatment." She felt very strongly she had nothing to hide -- and should not cower, in life or in the press.

Clearly discussion of the last couple of years is difficult for Brinkley, but she is not one to wallow. For now she's seeking solace and purpose in the things she feels she does best: her business ventures (she has a fabric collection at Jo-Ann Stores), environmental activism (she works hard on behalf of an anti-nuclear power group), and creating beautiful homes. Finally I get up the courage to ask her about men. It is, to put it mildly, a delicate subject. She says she just can't bring herself to go there. Not yet. "I haven't always followed my own advice," she says, "but I've always believed that you've got to be whole before starting with someone new. You've got to find that inner peace. I'd have to feel, 'Okay, the time is right to be open to that again.'"

As I'm getting ready to leave I spot the source of the earlier screeching. A parrot is sitting on top of his cage. "This is Kiwi Houdini Valentine," Brinkley says. "He got his name because he can escape from anything." And the Valentine part? "There were some issues with his feathers, but as you can see there's this red heart-shaped mark on his chest that's beginning to reappear." Far be it for me to look for metaphors in our avian friends, but c'mon. A beautiful creature whose feathers are ruffled, who has escaped her cage, whose heart is growing back?

Christie, really, you can't blame me.

Continued on page 4:  Christie's Secrets to a Healthy Body


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