by Gene Callahan and Stu Morgenstern
In the most disturbing news to celebrity watchers on the left since Lenin and Trotsky split, Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger and actor Alec Baldwin have filed for divorce after seven years of marriage, Basinger’s spokeswoman said on Friday.
Basinger and Baldwin were married Aug. 19, 1993, after meeting on the set of the romantic comedy, The Marrying Man, in 1991. They agreed to separate on Dec. 5, on the set of The Divorcing Man, according to documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Basinger, who won an Oscar for her performance in 1997’s L.A. Confidential, is living in Los Angeles with the couple’s five-year-old daughter, Ireland, Wolf said. After the divorce Ireland will be divided and grow up to become two bitterly hostile people.
Baldwin is reportedly busy at work on a one-man stage show based on the writings of Jacqueline Susann. Hopes are high that the show will turbo-charge Baldwin’s career much as Kelsey Grammer’s Macbeth boosted the prospects of Baldwin’s fellow ex-snow-tooter.
Sizzling Sex Siren to Mature Seductress
This is the second divorce for the 47-year-old Basinger, who was previously married to some other guy. Basinger has spent some three decades in the limelight. She first gained notoriety when she got buck-naked for Playboy at 17. The pouting blonde became the Breck shampoo girl, a top model, and, ultimately, the star of a series of movie duds in the nineties, such as The Real McCoy, Bless the Child and I Dreamed of Africa.
In 1989 Basinger bought the small town of Braselton, Georgia. Passing the town while stuck in a traffic jam, she was inspired when she saw a sign that said: “Braselton: If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home by Now.” After closing on the town, Basinger told reporters, “Finally, here are some people who will know who’s the boss.” Unfortunately, the production quotas in her five-year plan for the town were not met and the annual Basinger Film Festival did not attract the hoped-for following. Facing increasing financial difficulties, in 1993 Basinger had to sell the town’s children to a local coal-mining concern. Just kidding, she wouldn’t do that – instead, she bankrupted many of the locals who had backed her schemes and threw the local economy into a nosedive. At the time of these difficulties, Basinger was spending $6,100 for clothes and $7,000 for pet care every month, as well as maintaining three luxury homes.
Basinger is also famous for promoting the image of the modern, assertive woman in 9 1/2 Weeks. In what some have called a paean to woman’s inherent dignity, Basinger, at the order of her sadistic lover, who was played by another famous disappearing act of the 90s, Mickey Rourke, crawled across the floor scooping up dollars bills with her mouth.
A Brainy Beefcake, Battling Backward Bigots
Alec Baldwin was born in Massapequa, New York on April 3, 1958. Baldwin is the second of six children, several other of whom also continue to pester the American public from the silver screen. After high school, Baldwin enrolled as a political science major at George Washington University. However, this turned out to involve all sorts of papers and stuff, so Baldwin decided to revive his childhood interest in acting.
Baldwin starred in his own homemade movie of “Frankenstein” at the age of seven. By twelve Baldwin was haunting local movie houses, where he saw everything from Bedtime for Bonzo to I Am Curious Yellow. Disillusioned with politics and hungry for those freaky drama school babes, Baldwin moved to Manhattan and enrolled in New York University’s drama department. There he studied under Lee Strasberg, during the time Baldwin lived in the apartment directly below the famous acting coach. Baldwin subsequently studied acting in apartments below Mira Rostova, Elaine Aiken and Milton Kastelas, among others.
Baldwin landed a recurring role as “Harry the Hypochondriac” on the popular NBC daytime soap opera The Doctors. This led to assignments on the prime-time series Cutter to Houston and Wild Kingdom, which Baldwin appreciated for its “opportunity to work with such gifted actors as Bobo the Mischievous Monkey.”
But Baldwin has always retained his interest in politics, except during periods, like the one mentioned above, when he didn’t. In 1998, Baldwin contemplated a run for a seat in the US Congress, but abandoned the idea after Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank informed Baldwin, “I am behind you all the way.” When questioned whether possible public revelation of past misbehavior hadn’t played a role in his decision not to run, Baldwin responded: “I’ve nothing to hide. My life’s an open book.”
Baldwin’s political studies have extended beyond modern political forms to encompass a deep interest in political history and more traditional social constructs. This abiding respect for tradition was brought to the fore a couple of years back when Baldwin recommended stoning Congressman Henry Hyde and his family during the Clinton impeachment hearings.
In 1999, Baldwin achieved a lifetime goal when he was finally listed on famousveggie.com. He was subsequently threatened with removal from the site when it was rumored he had been spotted in Spago’s dining on corneille au raisins acides after the November 2000 election. Before the election Baldwin had created a flurry of publicity when he announced that he was planning to flee the country if George W. Bush won the presidential election, then reneged, then promised to leave if Gore was elected.
One disappointment in Baldwin’s life is that he has yet to purchase his own town. He reportedly has been in the market for a small village or hamlet, waiting, perhaps, for prices to fall after the Bush-created economic meltdown.
Besides his solo play, Baldwin is currently waiting to see if he wins the role of Mr. Conductor in Thomas and the Magic Railroad 2.
Hollywood Power Couple
Basinger’s and Baldwin’s life together has been a dizzying Hollywood roller-coaster ride.
Basinger and Baldwin were the subjects of a couple of highly-publicized court battles, including a 1993 lawsuit against the actress by producers of the film Boxing Helena, over her decision to cut out of the leading role. In another court case, Baldwin was ordered to pay $4,500 to a celebrity photographer after he allegedly punched the man in eye.
Although strong supporters of President Clinton, the couple had an angry tête-à-tête with the President several years ago. As described by reporters at the time of the incident, in early August, 1998:
In the Hampton’s this week, it was reported that Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, slated to host a fund-raising dinner for Bill Clinton, nearly canceled the event because pâté de foie gras was on the menu. Baldwin and Basinger, PETA co-religionists, are upset about the method by which the geese are force-fed corn meal to fatten their livers. It’s rumored that while contemplating calling off the event, Baldwin phoned up various invitees and asked them to visualize the galliformean torture by asking, “How would you like to be grabbed by the neck and have a big tube, shooting out some vile goop, slid down your throat?” Seemingly dazed by the thrust of Baldwin’s question, journalist Nina Burleigh replied, “Sure, I’d do it just to thank him for keeping abortion legal!” Former magazine editor Tina Brown told Baldwin, “I’d drop my journalistic integrity for that man faster than The New Yorker can lose money.” And Kate Capshaw apparently responded: “Well, I’m not attracted to Bill, but then, he’s just President, isn’t he? After all, I’m married to somebody rather important.”
Under the proposed terms of the divorce, Baldwin will be able to keep his “Thomas the Tank Engine” props, while Basinger will get the couple’s large collection of “Welcome to Braselton” signs.
January 16, 2001