The Best Revenge
Indeed, if there were a handbook on how to make everyone wonder what your husband was thinking when he decided to cheat, Brinkley would be Exhibit A. Three months after her split from Cook, the 52-year-old mother of three has stunned onlookers each time she has turned out at an event with her bankable beauty—and her dignity—intact. That's no surprise to her daughter with ex Billy Joel, Alexa Ray, 20, who says of Brinkley, "Anything negative, she translates into something positive. She always handles herself with class."
It helps that Brinkley has kept busy with younger kids Jack, 11, and Sailor, 8. "She's getting ready for Halloween," says her good friend, dermatologist Patricia Wexler, adding that the "artistic" model would likely make their costumes. But with the kids back in school, Brinkley is also "focusing on her career," says acquaintance Barry Slotnick. On Oct. 13 she shot a CoverGirl commercial, two days after unveiling a wake-up-call plan featuring her voice. As one onlooker at the launch of the service marveled, "She looks like she's in high school!"
And Cook? These days, says his lawyer, Norman Sheresky, the Southampton, N.Y.-based architect is "doing fine. He's adjusting to the fact that he's probably going to get divorced—or I should say that his wife is getting a divorce from him." A friend who spoke to him a month ago says, "He completely regrets what he did. He still had hope of a reconciliation."
It appears, however, that Brinkley is moving on: On Sept. 14 she served Cook a "summons with notice," typically the first step in a divorce, and has hired powerhouse attorney Eleanor Alter. "How is she doing emotionally?" Wexler says. "It's a work in progress. But she's strong and smart and beautiful, and she's going to do okay."
1. "She has a good team of people around her helping her through this difficult time," says Alexa Ray Joel (with her mom Sept. 7).
2. "His office is busy, despite his tarnished reputation," says a source in the Hamptons of Cook, an architect there.
3. Brinkley filming a CoverGirl ad in TriBeCa.