The 47-year-old supermodel - who has been happily married to Rande Gerber since 1998, with whom she shares son Presley, 13, and 11-year-old daughter Kaia - has revealed her first marriage to the 'Arbitrage' actor, 63, broke down after four years in 1995 because of their 17-year age gap but credits him for teaching her a lot about the world.
She told 'Oprah's Master Class': ''I just think your twenties, for women, is such a time when you're starting to come into your own and feel your own power and connect to your inner strength, and it's hard to do that - it's hard to change - in a relationship, because what one person might have signed up for, all of a sudden, you're not that anymore.
''I think I was more willing at 22 to be, like, 'Okay, I'll follow,' but then you start going, 'Well, I don't want to just follow - I want to lead sometimes and I want to walk side by side sometimes.''
Cindy revealed she doesn't view the marriage as a complete failure.
She explained: ''Richard's a super smart guy, and he's interesting, and he's interested, and I learned a lot about the world. It was a great chapter in my life.''
She also claims the actor taught her a lot about the importance of having a private life.
She said: ''Being a nice girl fro the Midwest, my inclination is always to give and say yes because I want people to like me. But then I saw Richard do it in a way that was like, 'You know what? Sorry, I'm not doing that. But I see you.' He felt it was really just about making that connection, looking someone in the eyes and making sure that they felt seen.''