Having insisted on keeping the proceedings open to the media, Brinkley and her lawyers served up a long list of juicy allegations about Cook’s taste in online porn: the ,000 a month he dropped on adult Web sites, the nude photos he posted online, the user names he favored (“happyladdie2002,” for instance, and “wannaseeall”) while surfing swinger sites, even the videos he supposedly made of himself masturbating.Perhaps the most interesting thing about the porn-related revelations, though, was the ambiguity about what line, precisely, Cook was accused of having crossed. Was it the financial irresponsibility that mattered most, or the addictive behavior it suggested?Was it the way his habit had segued into other online activities?Or was it about Cook’s fitness as a parent, and the possibility that their son had stumbled upon his porn cache?
Two years later, Anne Heche, Ellen De Generes’s ex, accused her non-celeb husband of surfing porn sites when he was supposed to be taking care of their 5-year-old son.
The marriage of Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook collapsed the old-fashioned way in 2006, when she discovered that he was sleeping with his 18-year-old assistant.
But their divorce trial this summer was a distinctly Internet-age affair.
Polls show that Americans are almost evenly divided on questions like whether porn is bad for relationships, whether it’s an inevitable feature of male existence, and whether it’s demeaning to women.
The notion that pornography, and especially hard-core pornography, has something to do with marital infidelity has been floating around the edges of the American conversation for a while now, even as the porn industry, by some estimates, has swollen to rival professional sports and the major broadcast networks as a revenue-generating source of entertainment.A 2002 survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers suggests that Internet porn plays a part in an increasing number of divorce cases, and the Brinkley-Cook divorce wasn’t the first celebrity split to feature porn-related revelations.