Alec Baldwin just gets shadier and shadier
Alec Baldwin may be the most famous of the Baldwin brothers acting clan, but he may also be the most infamous. And, that’s saying a lot, considering younger brother Stephen Baldwin once challenged President Barack Obama to a boxing match and little bro Daniel Baldwin was arrested for running naked through New York’s Plaza Hotel on a “crack-binge” screaming — what else? — “Baldwin!”
Alec, the eldest, has had a long and storied Hollywood career, but his list of bad behavior is as long as his impressive filmography. The Oscar-nominated actor and comedian’s tumultuous life off-screen has played out in the public eye since his starring roles in 1988’s Beetlejuice and Working Girl. His notorious temper has been well-documented and landed him in hot water with numerous arrests, court cases, and public shamings. To his credit, Alec seems to have begun a more positive second act, remarrying and growing his family, but has this Emmy-winning bad boy really gone good? Let’s take a closer look at the shady side of Alec Baldwin.
Baldwin punched a paparazzo with glasses
Alec Baldwin has a long history of run-ins with paparazzi, dating back to 1995, when the Oscar-nominee punched out photographer Alan Zanger. According to E News, the “notorious shaving cream” incident got its name from Baldwin sprayed shaving cream over all the windows of Zanger’s vehicle. The paparazzo was reportedly camped out in front of Baldwin’s home, snapping pictures of the actor and then-wife Kim Basinger as they brought home their newborn baby girl (Ireland Baldwin) from the hospital. A scuffle broke out, and Zanger accusing Alec of breaking his nose. The actor testified that he merely slapped the camera out of Zanger’s hands. “If I had wanted to physically attack him, I think things would have been very different,” Alec testified (via the Los Angeles Times). “With all due respect, he’s not a very big guy.”
A jury eventually settled the he-said-he-said dispute, acquitting the Malice star of misdemeanor battery charges. “He’s smooth,” Zanger told the Los Angeles Times. “He appealed to the jury. He’s an actor.” Baldwin saw it a different way, claiming Zanger “wanted it to happen” and pointing out that the shutterbug promptly filed a $1 million lawsuit against him after the incident. E News reported that the 1998 civil trial also went to a jury, which deliberated for two days before awarding Zanger a pittance of what he was asking for in damages ($4,500). Baldwin’s lawyers claimed the actor was “ecstatic” about that.
His fiery marriage to Kim Basinger flamed out
After 10 years of marriage (1993 to 2002), Kim Basinger called it quits with her Getaway co-star, citing “irreconcilable differences.” In an interview with People, Don Basinger revealed that his daughter allegedly couldn’t deal with Baldwin’s fiery temper. “He’s the most kind and generous man I’ve ever known in my life, and he’s overcome some very difficult things,” said Don of his ex-son-in-law. “All but one: his anger. Alec has this kind of anger where he reaches down for something that hurts, something that may have happened a year or two ago, and then abuses Kim with it. This has happened publicly. But it’s when it started happening in front of Ireland that Kim finally said, ‘Well, I’m not going to put up with that.'”
The handsome Hollywood couple went through an ugly four-year custody battle that ended with them sharing joint legal custody and Baldwin getting visitation rights. “There were times I could have chosen my movies better,” the Oscar-winning actress told Net-A-Porter’s The Edit. “I did this film, The Marrying Man, where I met my eventual now-ex husband, Alec Baldwin, but I was teeter-tottering because I had also been offered Sleeping with the Enemy which eventually starred Julia Roberts. Isn’t it funny that I turned down Sleeping with the Enemy and then I went on to sleep with the enemy!” She was joking (kind of), “Alec and I are cool now, though,” she said. “Life goes on.”
He called his 11-year-old daughter a 'thoughtless little pig'
In 2007, TMZ leaked a disturbing voicemail that Alec Baldwin left for his daughter, Ireland Baldwin. Embattled in a bitter custody battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger, Alec apparently took out his anger on his then-11-year-old child, calling her a “thoughtless little pig” who needed to have her “a** straightened out” during their next visit.
Alec apologized in an appearance on The View. “My deep, deep, deep and seemingly endless frustration about this situation, which is complicated, led me to end up saying something to someone that I really meant to say to someone else,” he said, but that tongue-lashing had serious consequences. The actor’s visitation rights with Ireland were suspended.
Ireland later claimed the rant was just typical father-daughter stuff, telling Page Six: “The only problem with that voicemail was that people made it out to be a way bigger deal than it was. He’s said stuff like that before just because he’s frustrated. For me it was like, ‘OK, whatever…'” Although dad and daughter have even joked about the infamous phone call on Instagram, the 30 Rock star admits that voicemail caused “permanent” damage. “I don’t think anybody ever recovers now from things like that cause it’s thrown in your face every day,” he told Good Morning America (via ABC News). “It’s a scab that never heals because it’s being picked at all the time by other people.”
He was tossed off a flight for being a 'smart' Alec
The Aviator star was booted from an American Airlines flight in 2011 for supposedly playing the app game “Words with Friends.” Baldwin tweeted about it: “Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving.” No big deal, right? Well…
The New York Post interviewed a passenger who painted a very different picture. “Apparently he said he was playing a game, but he was actually talking on the phone,” said Steve Weiss, who was sitting across the aisle from Baldwin. “She [the flight attendant] was very nice. The door was closed they just announced that they were pulling away from the gate. He got up threw his papers on the floor stormed into the bathroom slammed the door closed, beat on the wall and then came back. He said ‘If you want to kick me off, kick me off.’ He was just crazy, he just flipped out, the guy has problems.” The anonymous crew member who grounded Baldwin said, “Everybody is the same. Everyone has to follow the rules, it doesn’t matter who you are.”
Baldwin apologized for “acting badly” on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, but he also claimed the “snappy” crew member was flexing a “Soviet-level like enforcement of the rules.” Words With Friends had Baldwin’s b-a-c-k, releasing a screen grab to TMZ that featured the phrase “Let Alec Play” with the score reading: A Baldwin 1, American Air 0.
Love is in the air…and so is unbridled rage
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alec Baldwin was leaving New York’s Marriage License Bureau after “apparently obtaining a license to wed” his yoga instructor fiancé, Hilaria Thomas, when he got into a confrontation with New York Daily News photographer Marcus Santos in 2012. In a video interview with the Daily News, Santos claimed he was coming to the defense of another photographer when Baldwin started “punching and pushing” him. “I say stop, stop don’t touch me, and as you see in the pictures, I was far away from him and he lunged at me like raging bull,” Santos said. “And I didn’t think that could happen to me because I usually tend to be nice to everybody, I tend to respect everybody, I always give everybody space.”
Baldwin, who won an Emmy for his spot-on portrayal of President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, had a different account of this supposedly #fakenews story, tweeting: “A ‘photographer’ almost hit me in the face with his camera this morning. #allpaparazzishouldbewaterboarded.” Baldwin then tweeted a puzzling comment comparing his situation to controversy involving Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old who was shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Florida. “I suppose if the offending paparazzi was wearing a hoodie and I shot him, it would all blow over…” Baldwin said.
That time he gave bicyclists a bad name
According to CNN, Alec Baldwin was arrested and issued a summons for disorderly conduct and riding a bicycle the wrong way on a New York street in 2014. The bad boy bicyclist allegedly became angry and started yelling at police when they asked him for identification (He wasn’t carrying any.) “Police stated that he got belligerent and started arguing with them and using profanity,” NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster said. True to form, Baldwin took to Twitter to vent: “New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign.”
The New York Times spoke to a doorman near the scene of the arrest, who said Baldwin’s cycling behavior was commonplace: “If they had an undercover officer to write tickets for bicyclists going the wrong way or on the sidewalk, they’d write 50 to 60 tickets in an eight-hour shift,” the doorman said. Caroline Samponaro, director of bicycle advocacy at Transportation Alternatives, countered that Baldwin was giving bicyclists a bad name. “I think that the whole thing is more a reflection on him than on biking and the state of biking,” she said. “He’s in the headlines a lot, and it’s usually something unpleasant.”
He called Han Solo a 'little man'
Alec Baldwin cashed in by dishing dirt in his tell-all autobiography, Nevertheless: A Memoir. “I’m not actually writing this book to discuss my work, my opinions or my life,” he writes in the 2017 memoir (via The Guardian). “I’m not writing it to explain some of the painful situations I’ve either landed in or thrown myself into. I’m writing it because I was paid to write it.” Well, it doesn’t get much clearer than that.
In the book, Baldwin dishes on Hollywood collaborators, including 30 Rock Tina Fey, whom he describes (via the Hollywood Reporter) as “beautiful and brunette, smart and funny, by turns smug and diffident and completely uninterested in me or anything I had to say — I had the same reaction that I’m sure many men and women have: I fell in love.” Baldwin also made a point to refers to Fey’s husband as “travel size” and quip: “What’s she doing with him?”
Baldwin arguably saved his biggest insults for Harrison Ford, who took over Baldwin’s Jack Ryan role in The Hunt for Red October sequel, Patriot Games. Baldwin claims director John McTiernan asked Ford if “backstabbing” Baldwin bothered him. “Ford’s reply, according to John, was ‘F**k him,'” Baldwin writes in the book. Oh, there’s more. Baldwin also said Indiana Jones is not nearly as impressive in real life. “Ford, in person, is a little man, short, scrawny, and wiry, whose soft voice sounds as if it’s coming from behind a door,” he wrote.
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