Lesson From The Celebrity World: Be Nice to Your Guys' Ex

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January 25, 2016

christie brinkley.jpgMy daughters just returned home from a trip to San Diego to hang with their two (former) step sisters, Kellie and Nicky. (They did not, unfortunately see their dad because he was too busy sitting in a bar getting wasted off his ass. A friend of mine who lives in his neighborhood saw sent me a text with the news. Very sad.) Anyway, guess who else the girls spent time with? My former arch nemesis: the ex-wife of my former husband, Rob the Great (Alcoholic).

If you had told me that my daughters would ever be in the presence of "THAT WOMAN,” I'd have called you Crazy. After all, I detested her because I believed everything Rob told me: she was evil, mean, manipulative, a horrible person, and an incompetent mother who just wanted his money and didn't want to work. Kind and loving girlfriend that I was, I hopped right in the middle of their relationship (at his insistence and encouragement, mind you). Over our years together, I helped Rob write and edit court documents, glared at Tina when we crossed paths in public, and generally consoled Rob for the years he spent with the Evil Bitch. I discovered his alcoholism and tried like hell to get him well. It all failed.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that the things Rob said about Tina were not exactly accurate and there probably was a whole other side to their story. During my marriage to Rob, I found myself on the receiving end of what Tina put up with for years—the rage, abuse, bullying, and explosiveness of an alcoholic tyrant.

…And then one day, I had enough. I called the police during one explosive drunken screaming fit, had Rob removed from our home, and called Tina, hoping to high heaven she would actually speak to me. She did. She listened, she consoled. Soon she became one of my biggest allies and supporters during a really horrific divorce.

Hmmm....

How many women do we know who have done some version of the same? Go after Mr. Amazing’s ex? I get it0-- it is tempting to get sucked in to the drama because Mr. Amazing seems perfect. Plus, he wants (and needs) support. Except maybe he is not so perfect. Maybe the ex knows a lot more about him than anyone else.

Today, I stumbled on the story of Christie Brinkley and her ex-husband, Peter Cook. They had a hateful divorce amidst Peter's cheating allegations with very young women. He remarried a woman named Suzanne, yet he and Christie continued battling in court. Suzanne stood by Peter and defended him. During one court hearing according to Page Six, Christie said to Suzanne that when Peter did the same things to her, she would be there. It didn’t take long. Page Six obtained an email that Suzanne wrote to Peter: “To think you fought Christie, the mother of your children, for custody, knowing what you were, knowing what you did … trolling the internet … filming your prostitute. Covertly photographing... and so much more.”

What a guy.

Suzanne then issued Christie a public apology:

“Christie and I have talked recently and I have privately apologized to her, but, given the public nature of their divorce and custody battle, I feel a public apology is also appropriate and deserved,” Suzanne Shaw wrote in a letter obtained by The Post Thursday.

Shaw said she was sorry for bad-mouthing the model by saying in 2012 that “it was the black cloud of Christie Brinkley’s hate” that had tainted Shaw’s marriage to Cook — when he had actually been continuing his skirt-chasing ways.

“Christie was wrongly vilified as being an embittered ex-wife,” Shaw wrote. “I now believe she had every right to do what she did by taking a public stand; she was only trying to protect her children and have the truth be told. Given the nature of Peter’s behavior, and battles for sole custody of their children, it was necessary for her to confront him publicly.”

Celebrity or Regular Jane (like me), there is a very important lesson to be learned: Stay OUT of the relationship that your guy has with his ex. It hurts everyone involved—you’ll make things between then worse, the children will suffer, and so will everyone else in the vicinity.

My story has a happy ending. While my marriage ended (actually, that’s part of “happy,” too, because I escaped), I made a new friend and so have my daughters. This past weekend, Tina was amazing to them while they were visiting, hosting dinner and swimming with them in her backyard pool. When I picked them up at the airport, my youngest daughter (age 10) proudly reported that Tina rocked and she was more fun than me.

One powerful life lesson.

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