When Billy Joel took Christie Brinkley back to his New York apartment for the first time she was forced to leave... because a 19-year-old Elle McPherson was already there waiting

  • New biography reveals how supermodels were vying for Joel's affections
  • Singer met pair in St. Barts after splitting from wife Elizabeth Weber in 1982
  • They cowed over him in a piano bar alongside Whitney Houston 
  • Back in New York, he started dating the models and 'felt like a teenager'
  • One night he managed to persuade Brinkley to come back to his apartment
  • When he opened the door, Macpherson, then 19, was standing there
  • Brinkley left the pair that night, but ended up marrying Joel in 1984

When Billy Joel managed to persuade supermodel Christie Brinkley to come back to his New York apartment for the first time, he tried to act cool.

Secretly, the teenager inside him was screaming 'Yes', but when he got to the building which overlooked Central Park, he was confronted with a problem part of him wished his friends could have seen.

For as he opened the door, a 19-year-old Elle Macpherson was already stood there, waiting for him.

A new biography by Fred Schruers reveals that Brinkley left the pair that night, but she ended up marrying The Piano Man in 1985, and would inspire his album 'An Innocent Man'.

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Billy Joel met supermodel Christie Brinkley (left) during a trip to St. Barts in 1983 following the split from his first wife Elizabeth Weber. However Elle Macpherson was also vying for his attention at the time

Billy Joel met supermodel Christie Brinkley (left) during a trip to St. Barts in 1983 following the split from his first wife Elizabeth Weber. However Elle Macpherson was also vying for his attention at the time

The first night Joel managed to bring Brinkley back to his New York apartment, a 19-year-old Elle Macpherson (pictured left in 1985 and right in 1990) was already waiting for him

The events that unfolded have been released as part of the serialization of a new biography by Fred Schruers. 

According to Page Six, it involves 100 hours of interviews before Joel decided against persuing the project. 

In 'Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography,' the singer lays bare his history of suicide attempts, his tumultuous marriages — including one to supermodel Brinkley — and how he's now trying to keep his life together.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee travelled to the Caribbean island of St. Barts after he split with his first wife Elizabeth Weber in 1982.

It was there, while playing in a piano bar, that he met Elle Macpherson, then just 19, and Christie Brinkley, 28.

The pair were standing alongside him with the then undiscovered Whitney Houston. All of them at the time were trying to woo Joel for his attention.

Inspiration: Weber inspired three singles, but Christie Brinkley, who Joel married in 1985 inspired all of An Innocent Man

Brinkley, who starred in Joel's music video for Uptown Girl, told Schurers that Whitney was telling him 'I can sing', while Macpherson 'draped herself on the piano like Michelle Pfeiffer [in The Fabulous Baker Boys].'

When they returned to New York, Brinkley and Macpherson competed. Joel said that he 'felt like a teenager again' as he dated the pair at the same time. 

The first time Brinkley went home with Joel, the child inside him from Hicksville, Long Island was screaming 'Yes', but when he saw Mcpherson inside, the other side of said: 'Even as part of me thought, "Oh, God, no," another part of me was going, "If my friends could see me now." '

Brinkley who didn't seem phased by the situation left, but she was the one Joel loved.

They married in 1985, and they conceived their daughter, Alexa Ray, on their wedding night.

Tops: Billy Joel, who has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, found his love life and career dogged by drinking and depression

Tops: Billy Joel, who has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, found his love life and career dogged by drinking and depression

Rough waters: Joel said in the book that he fell in love when he first met Elizabeth Weber, who cheated on her husband Jon Small, with Joel, before leaving both 

Rough waters: Joel said in the book that he fell in love when he first met Elizabeth Weber, who cheated on her husband Jon Small, with Joel, before leaving both 

Joel met his first wife, Elizabeth Weber, in 1970 and was smitten from the start.

'She wasn’t like a lot of the other girls I knew at that time who had taken home ec and cooking classes,' he recounted. 'She was intelligent and not afraid to speak her mind, but could also be seductive.'

Joel began a relationship with her, in spite of the fact that Weber was married to Jon Small, the drummer of Joel's short-lived duo Attila, with whom she had a young son named Sean.

When Small uncovered the infidelity, Weber split, leaving both him and Joel. While her husband was left alone, it was Joel who took her disappearance the hardest.

One day, Joel took a fatal dose of the anesthetic Nembutal and phoned Small to apologize. 'The next thing I remember, I woke up in the hospital and learned that they had pumped my stomach,' he told Schruers.

It was Small who saved Joel's life, rushing to Joel's mother's Long Island home, finding Joel lying on the floor and getting him medical attention.

Another suicide attempt ended with Joel checking into a mental health center, where he found himself surrounded by others who were not as lucky.

Third time: Joel reportedly picked up Katie Lee in a hotel lobby when she was a college student, before the two married in 2004 

Third time: Joel reportedly picked up Katie Lee in a hotel lobby when she was a college student, before the two married in 2004 

'The people I was locked up with were never going to be able to overcome their problems, whereas mine were all self-made. I can fix this, I thought.'

Weber returned, to Joel this time, not Small, and began to manage the songwriter's career, which began to take off even as he medicated his depression with a steady stream of alcohol.

Though friends found Weber controlling and brusque, Joel was enchanted, writing singles such as 'She's Got A Way' and 'She’s Always a Woman' for her.

Joel describes the relationship now as a transaction. He says when he debuted 'Just the Way You Are' for her on her birthday, she asked him deadpan 'Do I get the publishing, too?'

The relationship entangled Weber's brother Frank in the finances as well, and years after she and Joel finally divorced, the songwriter found Frank had siphoned $30million out of his fortune.

Striking: Joel said he took Lee to a performance of his own musical during one of their first dates, though she didn't know who the fading songwriting star was then

Striking: Joel said he took Lee to a performance of his own musical during one of their first dates, though she didn't know who the fading songwriting star was then

'I hooked up with the Borgias!' said Joel. 'What a family to pick.'

Shortly after things ended with Weber in 1982, Joel was vacationing and met his second wife during an unreal encounter on the Caribbean island of Saint Bart's.  

Brinkley was asked to star in the music video for Uptown Girl, leading to the pair growing closer together.

In 1985, Brinkley and Joel married and he dedicated the album an 'An Innocent Man' to her, though the declaration proved to be questionable in later years of their relationship.

Touring constantly to make up for his past financial struggles, Joel became worn down by a life on the road and strained the marriage.

One night in 1993, after a concert at Nassau Coliseum, rather than go home to Brinkley, Joel booked a hotel.

A band member told Brinkley that Joel was unfaithful that night, a claim Joel denies but one that led to his eventual split with her.

'Christie likes to joke that the end of the marriage spelled the end of my songwriting career,' Joel said, but it became a reality, as the next two decades saw him write and record very little.

Instead, he drank and spiraled into depression. He had three car accidents between 2002 and 2004, which he once blamed on 911 and denied the involvement of alcohol. 

His romantic partner at the time was Katie Lee, who was in college when he flirted with her in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel.

According to an interview in the New York Times, one of their first nights out was to Joel's own Broadway musical, Movin' Out. 

The two married in 2004, when Lee was 23 and Joel was 55, moving into a $4million penthouse in Tribeca together.

While the relationship didn't spur Joel to new songwriting endeavors as it had with his past two wives, but it did eventually unravel just the same.

Joel was in and out of rehab, but at Lee's insistence went back on tour, often playing shows with Elton John.

Lee herself became a fixture in the art scene. One day Joel saw a photo of her dancing with another man at a gallery showing at Art Basel Miami, though she rebuffs any accusations of an affair.

Joel could not handle his jealousy, and Lee seemed uninterested in couples counseling that he suggested.

'I realized, it’s not going to happen,' Joel said, and told her 'We’re over. Just don’t send me messages, don’t leave me cute little phone calls, don’t tease me, don’t f--- with me, just end it.'

'I’m an old man now, a vulnerable man. Don’t do that to an old guy.’ The pair divorced in 2009.

It now seems the man once described by music critic Robert Christgau as a 'force of nature and bad taste' has cut back on his time in the spotlight.

Though he released an album of classical compositions in 2001 and in spite of still touring arenas, Joel hasn't released studio music for a solid two decades. 

His drinking and depression have still not been resolved, at least according to the man himself, who in spite of numerous trips to rehab says he still has the occasional drink.

He's somewhat humbled from his days of dating supermodels, and is living with a girlfriend, 33 and a former hedge fund manager, but he says he remains a romantic.

'You can have all the money in the world, you can have mansions, you can have properties, you can have yachts, you can have limousines, you can have motorcycles,' he told Schruers.

If you don't have love, 'it doesn’t mean a goddamn thing.'

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