Days after Kobe Bryant’s fatal crash, Christie Brinkley is sharing her love for the NBA legend and reflecting on her own helicopter accident 25 years ago in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.
Christie told “Extra,” “I got a call from my daughter Sailor… She knows I’m sensitive to helicopter things. As soon as she said it, though, I spontaneously burst into tears. I grew up in a Lakers house; my parents had season tickets. My parents never missed a game, and my mom adored Kobe. He made her feel like a million bucks. She just always repeated how kind he was, how warm he was. And as a result, I loved him, also for everything he is, but also how he treated my mom.”
She went on, “Then the next thing I thought, ‘Oh, my God, a helicopter.’ I don’t know the details, I just know that my last thought was I just wanted everybody that I know to know, especially my daughter Alexa, wanted her to know how much I love her… It crystalized. When you really think you are about to die, it is about love. It all boils down to love.”
Getting emotional, she added, “I think that’s what we can say and really count our blessings for Kobe’s family: Everybody he touched knew how much he loved them… That’s a really great man.”
The 65-year-old also revealed her recovery from her “Dancing with the Stars” arm injury has been difficult. “Hasn’t been easy,” she said. “When you can’t get on the ground to do push-ups and having your arm in a cast was disorienting. And [during the] holidays, I did put on a little weight. I sort of made a vow this new year to get back to where I just feel great. I feel better when I exercise every day, and I’m working with a physical therapist to get back a lot of strength… My attitude is, until I feel completely independent, I am just going to build my strength back.”
Brinkley is also taking over as guest ringmaster at the Big Apple Circus, saying, “I’m excited! I’m thrilled to be the ringmaster of the Big Apple Circus.”