Christie Brinkley

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Somehow, "messy" just doesn't seem to cover it.

The divorce trial of Christie Brinkley and her soon-to-be-ex fourth husband is shaping up to be ugly as both parties appear in a Long Island courtroom this morning for the first day of proceedings, including a supporting turn by the other woman.

The 54-year-old former cover girl filed for divorce from 49-year-old architect Peter Cook in 2006, after 10 years of marriage, following reports he had carried on an affair with then-18-year-old staffer Diana Bianchi—which he later confirmed in an open letter to the New York Post.

Wasting no time on courtroom pleasantries, or closed courtrooms, Bianchi is expected to be among the first witnesses to take the stand.

Instead of the de rigueur celeb practice of closing courtrooms and sealing even the most innocuous documents, this case will be open for public consumption.

Last month, Brinkley opposed a legal move (backed by Cook) that would have closed the proceedings. As a result, the Central Islip Supreme Court took the precaution of moving the case to a larger courtroom than planned in anticipation of a swarm of press.

Judging by this morning's crowd, it was not an unwise move.

"So much has already been in the press about what happened," Brinkley's attorney, Robert Stephan Cohen, said. "We believe the only way to get at the truth is through an open courtroom. Mr. Cook shouldn't be embarrassed. If he is, it's his own fault."

A second woman, Carri Lyn Ciamarra, is also set to take the stand in the early days of the trial. The 31-year-old fitness model, who was and still is married, will testify that she too carried on an affair with Cook last year.

While the finer details of the disintegration of their marriage have more or less already been dissected ad nauseum by the press, Cook's infidelity, while sure to grab the most headlines, is not at the crux of the trial.

As the couple had the foresight to hammer out a prenuptial agreement in their relationship's salad days, the trial will serve to determine custody, not financial, matters.

Brinkley's 12-year-old son, Jack, with previous husband Richard Taubman, was adopted by Cook during the course of their marriage. They also have a biologicial, 9-year-old daughter, Sailor.

Both are seeking primary custody of the kids.

"He wants custody," said Cook's attorney, Norman Sheresky. "He thinks he's the better parent."

Brinkley's team, as expected, heartily disagrees.

"All this publicity has been generated by Peter's abysmal behavior. The notion that he's a candidate for custody is beyond anything."

In addition to the children, the trial will also serve to determine the division of some of the couple's joint property, including three boats and real estate.

The proceedings are expected to last roughly four weeks.

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