Baldwin makes TV apology, consults with Dr. Phil
EmptyActor Alec Baldwin will apologize to his daughter on national television on Friday for calling her a "thoughtless little pig," according to excerpts from a pre-taped ABC interview released on Thursday.
Appearing on "The View" for his first TV interview since he left a ranting voice-mail message to his 11-year-old daughter that was made public last week on the Internet, Baldwin also said he was ready to give up acting after nearly 30 years.
Baldwin, embroiled in a bitter, six-year custody dispute with his ex-wife, actress Kim Basinger, said he wanted to lobby for reforms in divorce, parental visitation and custody laws.
"I would like to devote myself to the cause of parental alienation," the 49-year-old star said on "The View" airing on Friday. He added that he was finishing work on a book about divorce that is due for publication in September.
Baldwin said he has asked the NBC network to let him quit his co-starring role as an egoistic TV executive on the popular sitcom "30 Rock."
But the network indicated it would not let Baldwin out of his contract. "We look forward to having him continue his role in the show," NBC said. The network already had renewed the series for a second season.
Meanwhile, television therapist Dr. Phil McGraw revealed that Baldwin had called him for advice on Thursday and that the two had a "far-reaching, intense conversation" about the actor's daughter and his former spouse.
McGraw, who offered on the CNN talk show "Larry King Live" to counsel the family, said Baldwin had given him permission to disclose that they had talked and that he also had "reached out privately" to Basinger.
Baldwin drew a storm of media attention and public outrage last week when the celebrity Web site TMZ.com posted a recording of a phone message he recently left for his daughter, Ireland, berating her as a "rude, thoughtless little pig."
In the voice mail, Baldwin said he was furious at not being able to reach her for a prearranged phone conversation.
"Obviously, calling your child a pig or anything else is improper and inappropriate, and I apologize to my daughter for that," Baldwin said. "There's nothing wrong with being frustrated or angry ... I took it out on the wrong person."
A Los Angeles family law judge who listened to the tape suspended Baldwin's visitation rights last week and set a hearing for May 4, at which time Baldwin could face further restrictions on his contact with the child.
A separate court hearing was set for June 5 on how the voice-mail tape was released to the media.