Christie Brinkley is a proud mother of three — and she loves to watch her children find their own paths.
“It’s really about trying to listen to what’s going on in their lives and support whatever passion they have going on,” Brinkley, 69, recently told Us Weekly while discussing her partnership with the American Red Cross. “If I want to drop a few words of advice, [I will] surround it [and] cushion it with lots of love, and then get it in there.”
She continued: “I try not to be too judgmental and all of that because I think, at this point, they’ve got pretty good heads on their shoulders and they know what to do.”
The supermodel first became a mother in 1985, welcoming daughter Alexa with then-husband Billy Joel. Shortly after their divorce, Brinkley gave birth to her second child, son Jack, in 1994 with ex-husband Richard Taubman. Brinkley and her third husband, Peter Cook, welcomed their first child together, daughter Sailor, in 1998. Cook, whom Richard Taubman, also adopted Jack.
“Sometimes I’m amazed that they really are watching and listening [to me],” Brinkley said. “Occasionally, I’ll look at them and they’ll do something, and I’ll just be so proud and I’ll think, ‘Oh my gosh, they really did hear that.’”
Alexa, 37, Jack, 28, and Sailor, 25, are all grown up and pursuing their own careers, with Alexa following in her dad’s musical footsteps and Sailor making her mark in the modeling world. Jack, for his part, is an entrepreneur and launched a ride-sharing service in 2019.
While Brinkley taught her kids many life lessons through the years, she’s also learned a thing or two from them.
“I find that they open up horizons for me all the time, and I love that about staying connected with my kids,” she gushed to Us. “I think it keeps me feeling invigorated and interested and excited about everything around me. So, there’s a real energy exchange there that’s just a beautiful thing.”
Brinkley modeled her relationships with Alexa, Jack and Sailor after her own maternal bond with her late mother, Marge Brinkley.
“I had the very best mom,” Christie told Us. “All my friends loved her, [and] everybody loved to gather at my house. My mom always made it so fun for everybody, and she and my dad were the kind of parents that were always there for me no matter what, [who] always stayed very involved in my life on every level.”
Christie explained that she was always able to pick up the phone “at any moment” and talk to Marge and her dad, Don Brinkley, no matter how far apart they lived. “I hope my kids know the same about me, that I will get up at any hour that they need me,” she added. “We are just there for each other. And there’s nothing that can replace time spent together.”
She added: “There’s just nothing like family. It’s the best thing in the world; it’s our launching pad; it’s our nest to come home when you need to just be home and get some hugs and then get back out there.”
Christie’s mother even inspired her new partnership with the American Red Cross.
“After I was born, my mom had a complication and she needed blood. And it ended up that my mom had very rare blood, and they started looking for a match for her blood and it wasn’t coming up,” Christie explained. “And they were putting notices out on the radio and asking everybody if there was anybody with a match. … She was in a pretty small town back then of Monroe, Michigan.”
It turned out that one of Christie’s uncles coached a baseball team, and one of the players was the perfect match. “He came to the hospital, donated his blood, and she was saved,” she recalled. “The message of donating blood is so powerful … and so it’s just a question of getting the word out there and letting people know that it’s easy to do. [Blood donation] just takes an hour out of your day, and it could do so much.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi