Carol Alt, claiming a victory of sorts in a court loss, smiled through her tears Wednesday as she said a judge's decision that her ex-husband owed her no money finally frees her from the most important relationship of her supermodel years.
"I feel vindicated and free. These are tears of joy," said Alt, facing cameras outside U.S. District Court in Manhattan after Judge Colleen McMahon found that the statute of limitations had run out on her rights to $165,000 in shares of a water filtration business.
Alt, a former Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl, said the $1 million lawsuit she brought in 2007 was not an "anger thing" but instead was an effort to bring resolution to a lingering financial tie to former New York Rangers defenseman Ron Greschner, to whom she was married for 18 years until 2001.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
"It's really finally over," she said. "It's like an ending, a solid ending."
Alt, 47, testified a day earlier that she trusted Greschner, 53, to handle her finances even after they signed a separation agreement in 1997, a decision she insisted she does not regret.
"If I went back right now I'd do the same thing," she said. "Call me stupid. Call me a dumb brunette, not a blond."
Alt, who recently posed for the December issue of Playboy magazine, approached Greschner after the court proceeding to wish him well. "This is the last place I wanted to be," she told him.
Earlier this week, Greschner told reporters that he had no desire to see Alt's Playboy spread. "I have no interest in seeing a 50-year-old woman naked," he told the New York Post of his ex. "My wife right now is 40 and hot after five kids."
Outside court on Wednesday, Alt told reporters: "When he speaks to me, he still touches my heart." She added, though: "I feel sad that he has no memory of our life together."
Greschner, of West Palm Beach, Fla., declined to comment immediately after the court proceeding. He spoke at length a day earlier about the joy he gets raising five children, ranging in age from 3 to 12, from another relationship.
In court papers, Alt's lawyer had written that Alt and Greschner separated under "extremely amicable circumstances" because Alt could not conceive after a battle with cervical and uterine cancer and Greschner strongly desired to have children.
Alt said raw food cured her cancer and led her to write multiple cookbooks. She called Greschner "one of the smartest people I know" and said she was happy he had "five beautiful children."