Peter Cook is turning his marital problems with Christie Brinkley into a public affair.

An even more public affair, that is.

The 47-year-old architect has finally fessed up to reports that he carried on a yearlong relationship with his personally hired teenage office assistant and has issued an apology to his estranged wife.

"I love my wife," Cook said in a statement released through his lawyer to the New York Post--a very personal touch. "I have loved her since the day I met her.

"For a lifetime I've tried to prove how much I love her. This is an aberration. I'm sorry. I'm contrite. I'm stupid. Foolish. No excuse."

Cook's attorney, divorce specialist Norman Sheresky, told the newspaper that despite his being hired, Cook is hoping for a reconciliation with his CoverGirl wife of more than 10 years.

"He hopes there's no divorce. If she wants one, and he certainly hopes this doesn't happen, but if--it will not be nasty. She can have whatever she wants."

Which could be considerable.

The former fun couple, who have two children together--one biological child and a child Brinkley had from a prior relationship whom Cook adopted when he and Brinkley tied the knot in 1996--both earn in the millions and shared, at least until recently, a Hamptons estate designed by Cook.

As for his affair with the Diana Bianchi, now 19, Cook has copped to his philandering ways, though denies, per the girl's words, that she was "just a tool of his little game."

Sheresky told the Post that Cook "denies that any relationship with that person was nonconsensual. It means, as he told it to me, quote, 'I took no advantage.' The idea that the other person involved didn't knowingly consent to this relationship is garbage."

Bianchi stepped forward last week with her claims that Cook hired her as an assistant and quickly began seducing her, lavishing her with gifts ranging from jewelry to a down payment on a car.

Though to hear Sheresky tell it, Cook was practically a victim of circumstance.

"He got involved, in over his head somehow, and he wants to make it up to her for the rest of his life," he told the Post.

"I personally think Peter Cook is a terrific guy. He didn't invent adultery. He didn't invent the certain kind of person who would engage in it with him, either. He may, however, have invented the huge profuse unending heartrending apologies he is directing toward his wife."

While he may not have invented his adulterous partners, he reportedly did his best to seek them out.

Just two days after Bianchi made her story public, '90s pop singer Samantha Cole stepped forward with a similar tale of seduction.

"Our story is exactly the same," she said of Bianchi. "It's very odd."

The 29-year-old songbird claims she met Cook when she just 18 and despite the fact that he was engaged at the time--to someone other than Brinkley--he offered her help on her music career and hired her as an assistant at his architecture firm. She said their affair lasted about a year.

Cole claimed she broke it off with Cook and that he popped the question to win her back. She refused, and a month later Cook was engaged to Brinkley.

Sheresky, however, told the Post that Cook was being misrepresented by the press.

"Look, nobody's been saying anything decent about this man who loves his wife and who loves his children. He adopted one of her other children. He's been a great husband."

That's not taking into account the extramarital affair, presumably.

"He wants this to go away...To beg her forgiveness," Sheresky told the paper. "For her take him back. He says he's married to a terrific woman."

For now, Brinkley has refused to speak or respond publicly to the matter.

Her publicist, Elliot Mintz, said last week that Brinkley is "just a woman who at this moment is completely preoccupied with the protection of her children, trying to isolate them from all of this coverage, and trying to heal."

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