The former supermodel says she felt “hoodwinked” on Today back in March (12) when a scheduled chat about her role in the musical Chicago turned into an emotional interview about her broken marriage and bitter divorce and custody battle with ex-husband Peter Cook.
Brinkley fought back tears during the live TV spot as she opened up about court papers she filed in November (11), claiming her architect ex had violated their divorce court ruling a total of 28 times by sending her abusive emails.
She told Lauer, “Since the day he realised I wasn’t coming back, there has been a real character assassination going on… I filed (the court papers in 2011) mainly because I wanted to protect myself and my children.
“I have a right to peace. I just want peace. And besides the confidentiality agreement, I also asked for, and got, an agreement that demands civility, that demands him to stop berating me every opportunity that he can get.”
But the TV outburst prompted a bitter war of words between Brinkley and Cook, who attacked his ex in a series of media moments days later for going public with their court battle details.
Cook accused her of trying to “garner public sympathy” by “dishonest means”.
In a statement, he wrote: “I am also shocked by the blatant lies she told regarding our divorce proceedings of four years ago, including denying the indisputable fact that she fought for an open courtroom despite the warnings it would harm our children.
“(Brinkley) will stop at nothing to continue the drama in our lives in order to harass me and keep herself relevant in the media. Clearly, Christie does not believe I was punished enough four years ago for my indiscretions in our marriage, but for the sake of our children I wish she would find a way to move on.”
And now the model is blaming Lauer for going too far with his line of questions.
In a new Los Angeles Times interview, she says, “I got hoodwinked on the Today show. I’ve known Matt Lauer for 30 years. I never expected him to do that to me. I was completely shocked.
“Each question was so inflammatory that I needed to respond because I couldn’t let it lie there as fact.”
Brinkley and Cook split in 2008 and the former couple’s court fight turned ugly in 2009 when a judge overseeing the case ruled that Cook should be fined $5,000 (£3,125) each time he spoke negatively about his ex.