The last time we had an “official” Summer of Love was 1967, but here we go again: It’s already July, but to quote Sly and the Family Stone, circa 1969, “hot fun in the summertime” is just beginning. Like it or not, we all have a front-row seat watching A-listers act like Grade-D adolescents as they jump on and off the Marriage-Go-Round.
The old nursery rhyme perhaps says it most clearly: “Here we go round the mulberry bush….” You know how it goes. According to the lyrics, the spinning ride collapses once too many children pile on board. Hmmm … two’s company, three’s a crowd, any more and the ride is over.
The Marriage-Go-Round is collapsing all around us. Couples go round and round in their own private prison, till the accumulated weight of the problems on their shoulders make their marriages collapse. July 2 marked the start of the very public divorce trial of Hamptons Royalty Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook. The dissolution of this model marriage was initiated in summer 2006 when news leaked that photogenic architect Peter Cook had cooked up quite a stew with his 18-year-old personal assistant, whom he’d lured from a job as a Southampton toy store clerk, seduced into a yearlong affair, and then attempted to silence with $300K in cash stashed under a rock. Christie was told about the affair by the girl’s stepfather after she gave the commencement address at the girl’s Southampton High School graduation.
Back in 2002, when The Sheet asked Christie what made relationships work or fail, she replied: “Well, honesty is the foundation that allows a couple to thrive … Peter is just such a great guy and our lives are so intertwined…. He is the most incredible father you could ever see to all three kids.” Yeah right!
Apparently, socially acceptable parenting was thrown out with the bath water. Christie’s daughter (with Billy Joel), Alexa Ray Joel, testified that Peter once dunked her head in a bucket of water demanding she clean up a leak after a long shower she once took.
The “golden couple” are now battling in a camera-ready Central Islip courtroom over custody of son Jack, 13 (Christie’s son—who was adopted by Peter) and their daughter Sailor, 10, amidst allegations of Peter’s addiction to online porn and swinger sites. Still to come: bickering over cash, three boats, and East End real estate (Christie’s $30M Bridgehampton mansion is not up for dispute). Too bad Christie was so preoccupied protecting the Hamptons from the toxic waste of nearby nuclear plants to notice that her home environment had been poisoned. “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater, had a wife and couldn’t keep her….”
The past few months have been a non-stop spin of bold-faced names behaving badly. In May, ex-NJ gay Gov James McGreevey continued his seedy sex allegations in an Elizabeth, NJ, courtroom where he and estranged wife Dina Matos McGreevey quibbled over alimony, assets, child support, and custody of six-year-old Jacqueline. Ex-Gov Eliot Spitzer retreated to his Fifth Avenue lair with humiliated wife Silda Wall Spitzer after being linked to a prostitution ring. This summer, Hollywood princess Anne Hathaway was finally able to “Get Smart” and dump her Italian biz-whiz boyfriend Raffaello Follieri, just before he was arrested for financial irregularities.
Wheel of Fortune has spun out of control and become Wheel of Disaster: Who’s Having Sex with His or Her Ex? The rumor that Madonna is cheating on Guy Ritchie (while studying Kabballah) with Yanks’ third baseman A-Rod—whose wife, Cynthia Rodriguez, flew the coop and is rumored to be nesting with Lenny Kravitz—who was the former squeeze of Madonna, Lisa Bonet, and Nicole Kidman—whose own split from Tom “Hot Wheels” Cruise hogged headlines till his “I love this woman” abduction of starlet Katie Holmes.
Pamela Anderson, free from an annulled marriage to Rick Salomon (of Paris Hilton sex-tape fame) and freshly divorced from Kid Rock, is back together (yet again) with Tommy Lee, ex of Heather Locklear—whose second ex, Richie Sambora, split from Heather’s best friend and neighbor, Denise Richards, Charlie Sheen’s ex. And serial squeeze John Mayer is now bonding with Jennifer Aniston, ex of Brad—who is now parenting with Angelina, ex of Billy Bob Thornton—who split after she came home from Cambodia with first adopted son Maddox.
And let’s not forget Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger’s ongoing court battle over tween daughter Ireland (isn’t she old enough to declare independence?). Ron Perelman, through with hurling poison darts at ex Ellen Barkin (ex of Gabriel Byrne), is still battling ex Patricia Duff over their daughter, Caleigh.
This can all be likened to the adult(ery) version of “let’s play musical chairs!”
So here we go loop-de-loop … enough already! The Hokey-Pokey has become the Hanky-Panky. You put your whole self in, you put your whole self out, you put your whole self in, and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about. Over and over again!
Reality shows such as The Bachelor and Wife Swap have made anything seem possible. If Robin Williams (now divorcing) and Ethan Hawke can find happiness and father children with their family’s nanny, the celebrity playing field is open to us all.
So swing your partner and do-si-do all the way to the beach. “What’s love got to do with it?” Don’t ask. Just sit back, bask in the sultry breeze, and enjoy The Sheet!
Joan Jedell appears on national and local TV.
Her photographs are syndicated worldwide.