By now, everyone’s heard about Alec Baldwin’s profane rant at his daughter via voice mail.
And a good chunk of America – including some who’d claim to know better – has taken sides; Baldwin is the bad guy, according to much conventional wisdom. And of course, calling your daughter a “pig” is very, very bad form, to say the least; don’t do it, Dads.
In most of these divorce squabbles, it does indeed take two to tango. And while venting at his daughter was a very bad thing, the fact is that Baldwin’s ex, Kim Basinger, is providing ample grounds for anger:
Basinger is facing trial on 12 misdemeanor counts of criminal contempt for allegedly disregarding court orders concerning Baldwin’s visitation rights.
I’ve known a lot of divorced dads in my day – guys who don’t have publicists, who can’t even afford lawyers to go to court over things like their ex-wives keeping their kids from them (although they’re happy to cash the child support checks). For most of these guys, guys who don’t have Baldwin’s resources to fight endlessly in court, the anger turns inward; depression, self-destructive behavior, booze. The simple fact is – as Basinger’s record shows – there are very few serious consequences for interfering with a father’s visitation in this country.
Once you get past the flagrancy of Baldwin’s tirade, the question you might ask yourself is – “Who’s the pig?”
“Kim Basinger did not release the voice mail. Additionally, the voice mail was not sealed under a court order,” said publicist Annett Wolf.
Catch that? “We deny releasing it, but there’s nothing saying I can’t, so it’s not illegal even if I did!”
Baldwin’s voice mail was stupid. And I make no claims to clairvoyance; I don’t know that it was the result of pent-up anger and frustration over Basinger’s apparent sabotage of his relationship with his daughter. But, Baldwin’s politics aside (way aside), I’d like as a father to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Because it might seem he’d have it coming.