They were married in 1973 when she was only 19 and divorced in 1981 without having had children.
She says that she was just ‘too young’ to make it work, and he has since remarried.
She has had the unhappy distinction of being cheated on repeatedly by her husbands — two out of four of them were unfaithful to her, with the last one throwing in a mortifying addiction to internet porn and an affair with the teenage daughter of a neighbour.
All of which means that Christie has no man sharing her homes in New York City and on Long Island — just her children.
He recalled: ‘You know guys are attracted to a woman’s looks — we’re shallow in that aspect of things — it’s just how we are made.’ But, as he remembers, her beauty made him feel insecure.
‘I felt like I was undeserving — it was extraordinary that I got her.
On tour around the world, Joel could often be found drinking in hotel bars. In 1991, there was a massive argument in a hotel room in Hawaii.
After he heard the news about her boyfriend, he got in touch to offer sympathy, and slowly their romance developed.
You can hear his joyous wonder in Uptown Girl, and he showed off his new lover in the video for the 1983 hit, with Brinkley dancing along, stiff legged, and Joel pretending to be a car mechanic.
I felt bad about it but it just didn’t work out — and believe me it’s not something we’d undertake lightly where there’s a child involved.’ His drummer Liberty De Vitto said bluntly that there were other reasons, too.
‘Christie wanted more kids with Billy, but Billy was always drunk.’Rumours swirled from 1989 onwards that all was far from well in the marriage.
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Brinkley was pole-axed by grief, but at this point her most famous husband, Billy Joel, enters the story.