Alec Baldwin said he contemplated suicide after a voicemail in which he called his daughter a "rude little pig" leaked on the Internet.
In the infamous tirade, heard around the country in April 2007, Baldwin told his then-11-year-old daughter Ireland that she needed to have her "ass straightened out" and had "humiliated [Baldwin] for the last time." The Emmy-winning 30 Rock star tells Playboy in the magazine's July/August issue that at times, he had "very serious" thoughts about killing himself. Ultimately, he was talked out of it.
"I spoke to a lot of professionals, who helped me," Baldwin said. "If I committed suicide, [ex-wife Kim Basinger's side] would have considered that a victory. Destroying me was their avowed goal."
At the time of the voicemail, Baldwin and Basinger were in the sixth year of their custody battle over Ireland. To protect 30 Rock from the fallout, Baldwin also offered to quit the show, he said.
Baldwin publicly apologized on The View and authored a book for divorced fathers called A Promise to Ourselves. Baldwin said his friendship with View moderator Whoopi Goldberg helped him decide to apologize on the show.
"Whoopi Goldberg is a friend," Baldwin said. "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."
But Baldwin is far from enthusiastic about two other TV personalities. Baldwin called TMZ's Harvey Levin "a human tumor, a graceless character who lives in that weird netherworld" — and cut ties with Today show anchor Matt Lauer.
"I'm on an NBC show, and Today was considered vital," Baldwin said. "But when that voicemail tape thing happened, Matt Lauer interviewed 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."
What do you think of Baldwin's revelation?