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Brinkley divorce lawyers go head-to-head

  • Story Highlights
  • Bob Cohen, Christie Brinkley's lawyer, sees trial ending in about 10 days
  • "He wants his wife to stop bad-mouthing him," Peter Cook's lawyer says
  • Cohen says Cook never contributed to household finances but now wants money
  • Television judges say trial should have been closed for children's sake
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(CNN) -- The headline-grabbing divorce trial of cover girl Christie Brinkley and architect Peter Cook was put on hold Wednesday.

Tuesday, a court-appointed psychiatrist took the stand and testified that while Brinkley should get custody of her two youngest children, both she and her soon-to-be ex-husband need therapy.

Lawyers Norman Sheresky, for Cook, and Bob Cohen, for Brinkley, joined Larry King to talk about the publicity of the trial, the psychiatrist's testimony and the effect the case is having on the children.

"Larry King Live" also featured television judges Joe Brown and Cristina Perez to analyze the case. Video Watch 'Showbiz Tonight' analysts discuss the psychiatrist's testimony »

The following is an edited version of those interviews:

Larry King: We begin with Norman Sheresky, attorney for Peter Cook. Is this a divorce that your client wants?

Sheresky: Oh, yes. I think it's time. Everybody realizes that this marriage is over. He offered a divorce, you know, Larry, two years ago. He said I did something bad, if you want a divorce, you can have it. And instead, Miss Brinkley decided that she wanted to have the divorce in public and she wanted to air all of the dirty laundry.

King: Well, what is your client asking for in terms of custody?

Sheresky: You know, custody is a funny word. I don't know that Peter wants custody, as a word. He wants a lot of access to his kids.

He wants his wife to stop bad-mouthing him. And it's all strange to him. This is a woman who has, for 10 years, in articles that in magazines and in letters to him has called him the greatest dad there ever was. And, unfortunately, you know, Peter did something bad and she wants nothing but payback. And she wants revenge. And it's about as vicious a case as I have ever seen.

King: The court-appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Herman, says Peter is "A narcissistic, self-destructive man who needs constant reassurance that he is a terrific guy." How did you react to that?

Sheresky: Larry, I think I have a lot of respect for that court-appointed psychiatrist. You're leaving out most of what he said. He said that this guy is a terrific father and always has been a father; that this guy is almost a model for a terrific father and that he should have a lot of access. And that, by the way, the mother, Christie Brinkley, should do a lot of things -- none of which she's done.

She needs a psychiatrist. She needs a psychiatrist for her. She needs a psychiatrist for her children, which she has not -- sort of discontinued. She has not done anything that the psychiatrist said that she should do.

But the bottom line of what the doctor said is that Peter and she are bonded to these children and that it is of the utmost importance -- that's what he said -- that these children have both a mother and a father and that they have a lot of access to each other.

King: And joining us now in Islandia, New York, is Bob Cohen, the attorney for Christie Brinkley.

Bob, anything you want to say in response to what Norm just said?

Bob Cohen: He's also trying to get money from Christie. And the fact is -- and it's quite undisputed -- that for 10 years, he never made a penny of contribution to Christie's home for any payment -- for schools, for camps, never a penny.

King: But your client, in the past, has called him the greatest father.

Cohen: Larry, she did that. She did that years ago when she thought he was the greatest father, frankly. But as the testimony has come out in this case, not only did he have an affair -- he hit on a woman who was barely out of high school. All the while, he was supposed to be such a great father.

King: What's your reaction to the psychiatrist saying that she needs a lot of help, too?

Cohen: Larry, I've never had a divorce case where I didn't think the people could use some help to get through the process. It's a trauma. It's not easy to go through a divorce, especially where there are kids.

So the answer to that is he said while he thinks she should have some therapy, he thinks he should have some therapy. The children have had some therapy. And we're getting through that notion.

But it can't undo what Peter has done here. So that's just the reality.

King: So why is she going so public with this?

Cohen: Well, Larry, I think that's a really good question. First of all, there hasn't been a case -- a custody case in New York that's been closed to the public for years and years and years, because embedded in our law is the media's right -- your right and the journalist's rights to have an open courtroom.

The reason why it's open is not only because the law requires it, (but) because for a couple of years, Peter and whomever -- his team, have been leaking information about this case and giving their spin on the case. And it's very easy to do that. A court of law is a wonderful opportunity for people to tell the truth and for the search for the truth. And so that's all that Christie has wanted from the beginning.

King: What about the damage to the children?

Cohen: The damage for the children, unfortunately, occurred not as a result of any publicity. Because the publicity started when Peter's then 18-year-old girlfriend held a press conference in July of 2006 to talk about what happened between her and Peter over the course of a long time.

King: How do you see all of this ending?

Cohen: I see it ending in 10 days or so. I think what Peter wishes, which is custody, he's the only person that I know that's involved in this trial. Of course, there's the judge. And he's going to make the ultimate decision.


But I think Peter's not going to get custody of these wonderful children.

I think he's going to get time with the children, which is just what Christie wants. And the money issues are complicated.

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