updated 06/02/2010 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/05/2010 AT 8:40 AM ET
Christie Brinkley was empathetic but stern with Alexa Ray Joel after her daughter took some pills and was hospitalized in December.
“Your job as a parent is to listen. And to dole out as much love as you can,” the supermodel tells Ladies’ Home Journal in its July issue. “That includes tough love. I told Alexa, ‘You got yourself worked into such a tizzy. You need to examine that, you need to seek professional advice.’ ”
Brinkley, 56, says anyone can understand the pain of heartbreak, but that Alexa, 24, overreacted to her breakup. “She tried to do something dramatic to prove to her boyfriend how much he hurt her,” Brinkley says. “I think many people can relate to that excruciating pain of love gone wrong. I’d rather have a broken arm than a broken heart.”
Brinkley found out about the incident randomly, as it was happening. She called Alexa to chat, but a girlfriend of hers picked up and said they were in an ambulance. “It’s sketchy; she took some pills,” the friend said.
Brinkley, was driving with a friend, Mindy Moak, in the Hamptons at the time. They raced to Manhattan. “Christie was crying, then she shifted into Mama Bear mode and went to work making calls, talking to doctors,” Moak says. “By the time we got there, Alexa looked fine.”
Brinkley says it wasn’t a suicide attempt, as Alexa had only taken homeopathic aspirin. “She’s not the kind of kid who hangs around clubs and does drugs,” Brinkley says.
She adds that Alexa is still in therapy but has been focusing on her career – and is proud of following in her mother’s footsteps by shooting a Prell shampoo commercial. Says Brinkley: “I’ve never seen her quite so radiant as she was coming home from her photo shoot for Prell.”