Philandering Cook Still Has Right to See Kids

Hopes for a settlement in Christie Brinkley's divorce trial appear to have crumbled after three hours of negotiations failed to yield an agreement on child custody and other issues.

Lawyers for Brinkley and estranged fourth husband Peter Cook got a break in the court proceedings earlier today for the parties to try to work out a settlement. It's not clear what the deal-breaking obstacles were, or if they were able to find any common ground.

Brinkley and Cook are fighting for custody of their two children, ages 10 and 13, in a trial that has aired lurid allegations of adultery and Internet porn habits.

When asked this afternoon if a settlement was within reach, Brinkley told reporters, "Unfortunately, there is no agreement, and we are going back to trial."

Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook
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A few hours before, when the court first went into recess, Brinkley said a settlement was "what I hope and pray for."

Cook's Case for Custody

Earlier today, Cook's lawyer told "Good Morning America" that his client has as much right to share custody of his children as Brinkley does.

This, despite testimony Tuesday from Dr. Stephen Herman, a court appointed psychiatrist who said that awarding the philandering Cook custody was out of the question, because Cook's "selfishness, narcissism and childishness have caused great harm to his children."

Attorney Norman Sheresky told "GMA's" Chris Cuomo that the psychiatrist's report overlooks one thing that everyone, including Brinkley, has never disputed: Cook has been a wonderful father to his two children.

Robert S. Cohen
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"He is equally suited because he's a terrific father and because these children need him, Sheresky said. "What Peter wants is the right to see his child and not have a wife want to plaster this family's dirty laundry and have an open trial."

And Sheresky also pointed out that the psychiatrist's report also blamed Brinkley for the family discord, and that she, like Cook, needs to seek help.

"Christie Brinkley is full of rage. He [Herman] says it again and again. After two years she [still] requires psychiatric intervention."

In Cook's favor, observers said, is that in most custody hearings, judges do understand that just because you're a bad spouse doesn't mean you're a bad parent. "There is a difference in the way a person relates as an adult in the intimate relationships with other adults and the way they relate to their children," said Dr. Jill Hunziker, a clinical psychologist, who is not involved in the Brinkley case, told ABC News.

Christie Brinkley
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A Woman Scorned

On Tuesday, after the psychiatrist finished testifying, Brinkley returned to the stand, to defend her honor, after saying she would be willing to seek psychiatric care if it helped her maintain custody of the children.

Behind that fetching smile, Brinkley displayed the heart of a lioness protecting her cubs. Wearing a tan sweater over a powder-blue sundress, she described blacking out her husband Peter Cook's face in a wedding photo and screaming at him behind closed doors. She also claimed that Cook had been arrested for dealing drugs at a "gay truck stop" in Long Island, N.Y., accused him of insulting her mother in an e-mail and repeatedly mentioned Cook's self-professed habit of seeking sex on the Internet.

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