07/10/2008 AT 12:05 PM EDT
An exuberant-looking Christie Brinkley said she "can't really regret" her marriage to Peter Cook, noting that "out of this union came Sailor, my beautiful little daughter."
Triumphantly addressing the media after reaching a surprise settlement
Thursday morning in her divorce trial from Peter Cook, Brinkley called the settlement "a very bittersweet moment." She added: "It really is the death of a marriage, but it's also I think a new start for all of us and I'm very pleased with the results today."
Brinkley, 54, received sole custody of the couple's two children, Jack, 13, and Sailor, 10, and gets to keep all 18 properties in the Hamptons – "several" places on Long Island and one house in the Turks and Caicos were being disputed. She also agreed to pay $2.1 million to Cook, 49, who was awarded "parenting time."
"I was here fighting for custody," she said. "I think a mother's greatest fear is somebody trying to take her children, trying to take custody of her children. That's what I was up against. And so I've won custody and decision-making, and that's really all I ever wanted."
When asked whether she has any regrets about the ugly trial
going on as far as it did she said, "I really didn't have a choice. I was trying to settle the day I learned about the absolute truth about the facts, and I wanted to settle but unfortunately we could not reach an agreement until 6 o'clock this morning."
"We've had so little sleep we don't even know we've had such little sleep," she later quipped of the all-night negotiating.
She flashed an especially wide smile when asked about the dinosaur diorama in her hand – a school project of Jack's that was shown in court – and what grade Jack received for it. "I think he got distinguished," she beamed.
She also explained the peace sign earrings she sported Wednesday and Thursday: "I believe we all need to work everyday toward peace ... I'm really glad that today we found some peace."
Relaxed and upbeat, she laughed off a question about whether she has any thoughts of dating, announcing, "let's see how the summer goes."
In contrast, Cook hurried out of the courtroom ahead of Brinkley. While he rushed out he simply told reporters, "I got everything I've been asking for two years."
See the Hollywood marriages – Britney & K-Fed, Jessica & Nick and more! – that ended in a high-profile divorce on the covers of PEOPLE