Ma of teen mixed up in Christie flap slams the lothario
BY NANCY DILLON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Her eyes welling with tears, the mother of the teen in the middle of the Christie Brinkley-Peter Cook breakup lashed into the supermodel's philandering husband - calling him a master manipulator who stole her daughter's innocence.
"He's a predator. That's what he is, a predator," Frances Platt, 41, told the Daily News in an exclusive interview. "I'm shaking just thinking about it."
The Long Island mom of five said Cook, 47, had no business plucking her beautiful daughter from a high school job at a Southampton, L.I., toy store and seducing her with lavish gifts and a job at his architecture firm.
"My daughter, she's very naive and trusting . . . , " Platt said, breaking down and asking for a minute to compose herself.
As she brushed away her tears, she took a breath and continued: "She looks worldly, like she knows everything. But she doesn't. She has her moments when she's 5 years old again and looking to me to make it all better."
Platt described Diana Bianchi, now 19, as a typical teenager who never got in trouble and always stayed close to home to help with her three younger siblings: two sisters, ages 9 and 6, and a 4-year-old brother.
Bianchi grew up playing the piano and flute, in-line skating with friends and dreaming of becoming a Top 40 star, her mom said.
"She always loved to sing. Sometimes she was shy about it, but not that shy," Platt said with a smile. "We would miss the \[school\] bus a lot because that girl was in the bathroom, brushing her teeth and singing into the toothbrush."
She said her daughter is devastated over the public revelations about her relationship with Cook.
"This has been very hard for us, to be kind of thrown in the limelight," Platt said.
"Diana didn't throw her name out there," one of the teen's lawyers, Rosemarie Arnold, interjected. "The only reason she spoke out was to protect her reputation against false accusations. . . . This isn't a media-savvy woman, and she's being pitted against a very well-liked couple."
As she spoke, Platt fiddled with a large gold heart around her neck engraved with the names of her five kids.
"This is not what we want," she said. "I want my daughter to be happy. I want our lives to go back to normal. There's nothing I can say to make it better. I pray a lot. I really do."
Platt said Bianchi was "a young girl" who was taking her first tentative steps into adulthood when Cook swooped in.
"When you have daughters, you always want to be there for them. But you try to find a balance between protecting your kids and giving them space to live," she said.
Brian Platt, Bianchi's stepfather, is equally protective of her because he has helped raise the aspiring singer since she was just a year old, his wife said.
Brinkley, 52, announced a formal separation from Cook last week after Bianchi's stepdad, a Southampton Village cop, blindsided her with the news of Cook's two-timing ways on June 25.
According to one published account, the stepdad confronted both Brinkley and Cook together, telling his stepdaughter's older paramour, "If I were not worried about getting my pension, you'd be a dead man."
Through lawyer Joseph Tacopina, Brian Platt has denied ever making the comment. The Southampton Police Department is investigating the alleged incident.
Cook has not returned repeated calls and e-mails from the Daily News seeking comment. Frances Platt shook her head with disgust when asked about reports that Cook romanced another Southampton teen, singer Samantha Cole, during his courtship of Brinkley 10 years ago.
"So this wasn't the first time," she scoffed.
With Nicole Bode
Originally published on July 20, 2006
Source: NY Daily News