TRYST TEEN CASHES IN
New York Post – 6/24/08
Supermodel Christie Brinkley’s cheating hubby, Peter Cook, paid $300,000 to his former teenage lover to keep her from singing about their torrid affair, The Post has learned.
Cook’s payment to then-20-year-old Diana Bianchi last March came in exchange for a promise not to sue him for sexual harassment.
The Post first reported last year that a deal had been made – but terms of the confidential settlement had been kept secret until yesterday.
Two sources familiar with the deal said Cook, 49, paid Bianchi $300,000, and in return she agreed to never talk about their relationship, which began when she was just 18 years old and working in his Hamptons architectural firm.
Bianchi had told The Post in 2006 – right after Brinkley booted the horndog hubby from their house – that Cook “first physically made advances at me . . . probably a month after I started working there.”
Once Bianchi raised the possibility of a lawsuit, Cook asked his lawyers how much it would cost him to defend it in court, a source said.
Cook desperately wanted to avoid that sort of public spectacle to spare his kids with Brinkley – Jack and Sailor – the pain of learning tawdry details of the affair, said the source.
In hopes of preempting the suit, Cook suggested that his lawyers offer Bianchi a payment close in amount to what a trial defense would cost.
After months of negotiations, Bianchi agreed to accept the $300,000, sources said.
Ironically, Cook’s settlement with Bianchi might turn out to be a huge waste of money, and his kids could eventually hear her tale anyway.
Last week, a Suffolk County judge ordered, over Cook’s objections, that his upcoming divorce trial with Brinkley be open to the public.
Brinkley’s lawyers have subpoenaed Bianchi to testify at the trial – which means she might be forced to publicly spill the beans about her trysts with Cook.
Confidentiality agreements typically are not binding on witnesses subpoenaed to testify at a trial.
Bianchi yesterday told The Post through her lawyer, Rosemarie Arnold, that, “I am not interested in getting involved in a dispute with Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook.
But, she added, “If compelled to testify, I will do so truthfully.”
“I do not enjoy being in the spotlight,” Bianchi said. “I’m looking forward to moving on with my life and regaining my anonymity.
Arnold said Bianchi “feels that she should not be blamed for the breakup of a marriage.”
The lawyer would not discuss any details of Bianchi’s settlement with Cook, saying she was allowed only to confirm that “the matter has been resolved.”
A source said one potential stumbling block to the deal was that Cook wanted Bianchi’s step-dad, ex-Southampton Village cop Brian Platt, to agree to stay at least 100 feet away from him.
Platt – who had confronted Brinkley about the affair – refused that stipulation because he feared that abiding by it would be difficult in the close-quarters Hamptons.