Christie Stops Trial | Musical 'Shrek' Revealed | Sting, Police Head to Big Finale | Bronfman's $73.5M Screw-Up; New York Gossip
Christie Brinkley's divorce trial went on hold for three hours on Wednesday before resuming later in the day.
In the last couple of days, Brinkley's pals have urged her to stop the trial once Peter Cook's infidelities and sicknesses came out — but before testimony involved her small children.
Brinkley has always wanted to settle the case; it was Cook who continued to hold out for a big payday, sources say.
Even Cook must realize that testimony in the custody portion of the case would involve references to his 10-year-old daughter Sailor and 13-year-old adopted son Jack. At this point, Cook has nothing to gain and everything to lose.
Stay tuned. One option for the lawyers would be a press blackout, meaning they would agree to no more press conferences or TV interviews until a settlement is reached. Tuesday night on TV, Brinkley lawyer Robert Stephen Cohen said in an interview that he would be happy to talk settlement in exchange for just that. Certainly the interviews given by Cook's lawyer, Norman Sheresky, haven't improved his standing in the legal community or in the court of public opinion.
And don’t blame Brinkley for allowing her divorce case to go forward in public.
Brinkley won real vindication on Tuesday when a court-appointed psychiatrist testified that the former supermodel should have custody of her kids. The shrink, while citing Brinkley’s own need to seek help for some issues, said that Cook is basically a narcissistic jerk who shouldn’t be allowed to have a pet, let alone a human child.
But kids are not what this case is about for Cook. It’s money.
Cook could have given up already and spared his kids and his elderly parents’ humiliation. It can’t be a surprise to him that he’s lacking in the role model department. He surely could have guessed that the revelations about Internet porn and affairs with young women were going to rule out having responsibility for kids.
So what’s driven him to this point? Money.
Cook, sources say, obviously feels that even losing the kids doesn’t matter as long as he gets a sizeable chunk of Brinkley’s holdings. Dividing money in divorce (or any case) is much more black and white than anything we’ve heard so far about character.
Cook’s whole strategy is to get past all the awful personal stuff, concede his failings and let his sick peccadilloes become public record if only for one reason — to get his hands on some cash, a couple of boats and Hamptons real estate.
Of course, Cook could pull custody off the table as an issue and negotiate with Brinkley to get some remuneration. That would be the chivalrous way to go, considering the shrink’s report. But greed is funny that way: If Cook’s not going to have his kids, at least he can keep some expensive toys to impress future victims.
Musical 'Shrek' Revealed
On Tuesday, the Broadway musical version of "Shrek" was revealed to a few journalists, investors and the people who book all-important group sales. The show is set to open Dec. 14 in New York after a fall tryout in Seattle.
The producers — Dreamworks Animation and Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions — distributed a CD with four songs from the show featuring members of the cast, including star Sutton Foster. Their titles are "Big Bright Beautiful World," "I Could Get Used to This," "I Know It’s Today" and "Build a Wall."
The songs, which I’ve heard, are the usual middle-of-the-road Broadway fare of the Disney ilk. Sondheim they’re not, but if your standard is corporate, upbeat family fare — and there’s nothing wrong with that — "Shrek" should be just fine.
By all accounts the show looks pretty good. Sources say the costumes and sets, as presented, were promising. The story follows the plot of the first "Shrek" movie, they say, which makes sense.
There were a couple of oddities, though, about the two showings on Tuesday. Neither Dreamworks Animation’s micromanaging chief, Jeffrey Katzenberg, was present, nor was Mendes. The latter may still be working on his film, "Revolutionary Road," but Katzenberg comes to everything his name is attached to.
Meantime, sources who saw the presentation wondered if Mike Myers, who played the title role in the films, is getting a royalty. In the Broadway show, Shrek has a Scottish accent for no other reason than Myers gave him one for his original characterization.
Sting, Police Head to Big Finale
Brace yourselves. Unlike a lot of groups — ahem, The Who — who announce their big finale but don’t mean it, The Police are about to say goodbye. And I do mean forever.
The last four shows take place in the New York area: Aug. 3 in New Jersey at the PNC Bank Arts Center, and Aug. 4 and Aug. 5 at Jones Beach on Long Island. Those three shows feature Elvis Costello and the Imposters as the opening act.
But the big ending comes on Aug. 7 at Madison Square Garden as a benefit for PBS and public television in New York. The B-52s will open the show at 8 p.m. But then, at 9 p.m., The Police — Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland — will play their last-ever show together anywhere. Expect a very full set, I’m told, with all the songs from all the different legs of this tour that began in May 2007.
One thing’s for sure: This is it, too. Another Police reunion after 25 more years would be a little unseemly, no? Sting already is 56, Copeland turns 56 next week and Summers is 65. I doubt they will be interested in this come 2033.
The tour has been one of the most successful in history, yielding something in the neighborhood of $200 million-plus. But even more money won’t be an incentive in the future. What’s done is done, I’m told. With the Garden show, the Police retire into the rock record books.
Tickets at the Garden are officially gone, although I’ve heard there may be one small block of seats that will be released to the public soon. Something tells me scalper prices for this last, historic show are going to be over the top, especially as the days wind down to those last performances.
Bronfman's $73.5M Screw-Up; New York Gossip
As I first told you exclusively, rock group Nickelback has officially left Edgar Bronfman’s Warner Music Group for a "360" deal with Live Nation.
In 2007, Warner paid $73.5 million for Road Runner, the little record company from which Nickelback sprang, thinking the hitmakers were sticking around. Bronfman and friends didn’t read the fine print that said Nickelback’s own contract with Road Runner was ending. Whoops!
Like Madonna, who also left WMG, Nickelback will release its CDs through Live Nation as well do touring, merchandise, etc. WMG probably doesn’t care, since they really aren’t a record company anymore, but it’s worth noting since they’re a public company. Wall Street can decide what to do about a music company without music. ...
I was a little startled to learn from Wednesday's Rush & Molloy column in the New York Daily News that Lazard Freres chairman Bruce Wasserstein — also the owner of New York magazine — is squiring an unidentified girlfriend at the big media conference in Idaho. He's also separated from his wife, Claude.
Well, here's a newsflash: said new relationship is old news. This reporter spotted the couple on Nov. 23, 2006 — that's right, 2006 — waiting in line for a table at Peter Luger's out-of-the-way steakhouse in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Knowing Wasserstein was up to no good, I left out the date when I noted in the next day's FOX411 that he was there for the chops. About a week later, the couple was strolling down University Place in New York City on a gray winter's Sunday, arm in arm...