Alec Baldwin was suicidal after ‘rude pig’ tape, hates Matt Lauer

gulu exhibit 120509
When the now-infamous “rude, thoughtless little pig” voicemail message Alec Baldwin left his daughter was first made public, Alec waited until the media outlets had finished dancing around, and then quietly gave a public apology. His explanation then was that he was simply angry and frustrated with his daughter, his ex-wife Kim Basinger, and with the legal system on the whole.

Alec is now talking about the whole incident extensively with Playboy (story via People). Alec claims that in the immediate aftermath of the tape’s release, he was suicidal. He even claims to have gotten professional help, and says that his reasoning for not committing suicide was that “If I committed suicide, [Kim Basinger’s side] would have considered that a victory. Destroying me was their avowed goal.” Yikes. He’s basically saying he didn’t commit suicide because that’s just what Kim Basinger wanted – his dead body. He also talks about how he will never again appear on The Today Show, because Matt Lauer spoke to Harvey Levin about the tape without even calling Alec. That I understand:

It was the private voicemail message not meant to be shared and yet ended up being heard by nearly everyone – Alec Baldwin’s angry April 2007 tirade against his daughter, Ireland, accusing the then-11-year-old of being a “rude little pig” who needed to have her “ass straightened out” after she had “humiliated me for the last time.”

Only now, as the Emmy-winning 30 Rock star admits in a candid interview with Playboy for its July/August issue (on newsstands and online Friday), after the phone message was exposed, he contemplated killing himself.

At the time of the voicemail, Baldwin and his ex-wife, Kim Basinger, were in the sixth year of their bitter custody battle over the child. In the wake of public outrage about the contents of the message, Baldwin set about repairing his public image, apologizing during an appearance on The View and writing an advice book for divorced fathers, A Promise to Ourselves. But reaching those points proved an arduous climb.

Describing his thoughts of killing himself as “very serious,” Baldwin, 51, says, “I spoke to a lot of professionals, who helped me … If I committed suicide, [Kim Basinger’s side] would have considered that a victory. Destroying me was their avowed goal.”

His self-destructive state of mind was such, recalls Baldwin, that he also offered to quit 30 Rock and actually went ahead and – briefly – dropped his agent, who also represented Basinger.

As for why Baldwin chose The View as his platform to unburden himself, he says, “Whoopi Goldberg is a friend. I called her and said, ‘Do you think I can get a fair shake?’ Because when you talk about family law and parental alienation, there is this unfortunate gender-based dynamic. Could I walk into a show with a strong female audience? Would they understand my point of view? I trusted Whoopi and Barbara Walters. Whoopi is an impeccably decent person, and I am grateful she gave me a forum.”

In the course of his Playboy interview, Baldwin does not share similar sentiments about some others in the media, whom he has yet to forgive for the roles they played at the time of the controversy. He calls producer Harvey Levin of TMZ – which first made the voicemail public – “a human tumor, a graceless character who lives in that weird netherworld.”

Nor will Baldwin agree to appear on his own network’s top-rated morning program. “I’m on an NBC show, and Today was considered vital,” says the actor, who will also soon be seen with Cameron Diaz in the movie My Sister’s Keeper. “But when that voicemail tape thing happened, Matt Lauer interviewed [Harvey] Levin before he even called me. Lauer put Levin on Today, and they never phoned me. When it’s in their interest to reach me, they know how. I saw that and said, ‘My relationship with the Today show is over.’ I’ll never do Today again, ever. Life’s too short.”

[From People]

I totally get Alec’s media complaints, and I understand the Matt Lauer stuff. I don’t think Alec is in the wrong on that count – and it’s totally his call which media outlets he will speak to. But back to the crux of the issue – the tape, the aftermath and what it says about Alec. Personally, I understood his frustration and anger in general about the never-ending divorce and custody battle between him and Kim, but I thought the message crossed the line into verbal abuse. I can’t even imagine having a father who would take out a nasty divorce on his kid in that way, and that’s coming from an only child of a nasty divorce. My thoughts on Alec are currently that he’s a brilliant actor with a pretty screwed up personality and personal life. I can watch 30 Rock, and I generally avoid interviews with him. That’s my compromise.

Alec Baldwin is shown on 5/12/09 at an exhibition at the UN. Credit:

gulu exhibit 120509

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21 Responses to “Alec Baldwin was suicidal after ‘rude pig’ tape, hates Matt Lauer”

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  1. Darya says:

    It was not that abusive. How do you think people talk to their children when they are angry at them? With low “inside” voices? Maybe if the kid was a pre-schooler it would have been considerably worse….This was nothing really and he certainly never made a habit of it. Those comments are pretty accurate about Harvey Levin. He’s extremely creepy as he acts and pretends he’s one of those much younger airheads who have that ridiculous show, TMZ. (saw it once)…ewww.

  2. n says:

    all that rage, he is one very angry man.

    seems to me it wasn’t born of his divorce from Kim Basinger. and blaming Matt Lauer — well, he’s just an easy target.

    it must have been there all along.

    wonder what’s the root cause of Alec’s rage? anyone have any ideas?

  3. aleach says:

    kim should be the one to blame for the voicemail. im sure my dad has said just as nasty things to me, but my mom never released a voicemail to the whole world to humiliate me even more. poor ireland.
    i really love alec. he had a moment of weakness, understandable with all the custody b.s. he was going through, he made a mistake, & apologized.
    it should have been between hin & his daughter ONLY in the first place.

  4. Giz says:

    After the photography incident, I’ve never thought much of Baldwin. This is not to defend Bassinger. IMO, she comes off as a bit of head case as well.

    To think that at one time, I would have considered voting for Baldwin had he decided to run for public office in NY. He’s become a such a buffoon.

  5. Wif says:

    Photography incident?

  6. clare says:

    Do that Hulu commercial to me again, Alec! (pant, pant)

  7. dew says:

    Not that bad?! I feel sorry for anyone that thinks that’s “normal, or not that bad”.

    That voice mail had SO much rage and hatred, I can see why Kim left him and went to such extreme measures to protect her child from that rage.

    And under “normal” circumstances, I’d look down on someone posting a private message to the public, but in this case, it seems to me that it made it clear to everyone what kind of man Alec is in private. Maybe they thought if they had tried just to play it for the judge, that Alec’s legal team would have suppressed it. Now Alec’s legal team can’t suppress it.

    A mother protecting her child from a monster in sheep’s clothing, that’s what I think the release of that voice mail was about.

  8. the original kate says:

    interesting how it’s everyone else’s fault: he tells his 11 year old daughter not to humilate him again, how kim’s lawyers want to “destroy” him, etc. he needs anger management, pronto. also he needs to lay off the carbs/booze as he looks more bloated every time i see him.

  9. KateNonymous says:

    I make the same compromise–I think he’s a wonderful actor, particularly in comedies, but I’m very glad I don’t know him.

    For many years, I’ve gotten a “control freak” vibe off of Alec Baldwin. I think the anger that we heard on the tape is part of that. If his daughter is, in fact, a “rude, thoughtless little pig” (and I don’t know her–maybe she is, or at least maybe she is sometimes, because 11 isn’t all that charming an age in a lot of people), well, Baldwin is part of that equation.

  10. DaLena says:

    This had pretty much all blown over and now here it is again because Alex spoke about it in a magazine article. Let’s move on….there’s nothing more boring than re-hashing and re-hashing old celebrity gossip….NEXT!!!!

  11. Diana says:

    Interesting, it’s Baldwin who continually drags his ex-wife and child into to the media.

    It’s been my understanding he has an issue with anger-management.

    Once again, it’s all about him.

  12. Lainey says:

    I think he got frustrated, as anyone with kids does easily. It’s no one’s business. Kids can be rude, irritating and horrible, sometimes.

  13. judy says:

    Baldwin is a dry drunk. He is paranoid. I bet his ex never wanted him to kill himself I bet she wished she could have killed him and got away with it. He had her in court every chance he got he was that bitter about her kicking his drunk ass out. He is angry and abusive and I see why she wanted her child to spend little time with him because of his verbal and physical abuse..I have no pity for this man he caused this all by his little old self.

  14. Dr D says:

    I am sure the “greasy one” never saw a cheeseburger he didn’t love though.

  15. gee_gee says:

    We need to get ALL of the Baldwins together for a reality show now. What a bunch of drama queens. So entertaining. Suicidal? Alec, please. Seriously ?

  16. MB says:

    Remember how hot he was in his younger days? In “Prelude to a Kiss”…hot!!

  17. Magsy says:

    His nasty message on the answering machine was the least of his problems. Trust me, a celeb mom leaving the same message would have been burned at the stake.He’s always opening his big, fat drunk mouth and saying stupid shit.

  18. Jean says:

    It’s a game of scorched earth on both sides. AB, as he has admitted countless times, crossed the line by leaving that message. Basinger inflicted equal damage to her daughter by releasing it to the media. Did it never occur to her that her actions were equally injurious to her daughter as to Baldwin?

  19. BOGART4017 says:

    What are you blaming Matt for? You’re the bone-head tearing down your own daughters self-esteem. You sound like the shoplifter who gets caught and rather commit sideways than face jail time. Next time be more careful about your choice in mates. My mom has said a lot worse to me over the phone but my father didnt bother to release the statements to the general public.

  20. Doc2009 says:

    Alec has blamed everyone except himself.
    You never hear from Kim and I am sure she has her quirks but he is a very angry person who wants total control.
    Blaming Matt was the wrong thing. He should of called the Today’s show to give his point of view. Matt would of given him that chance.
    Alec needs to go to anger management classes instead of a shrink.

  21. Doc2009 says:

    One last thing is he wants to run for office and I am concerned anyone who seeks attention by telling us he wanted to commit suicide is not ready for that challenge.