Baldwin +/- Basinger

Photo: Adam Scull/Globe Photos

Sparring ex-spouses Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger will take their feud to a Los Angeles court on May 4, when Baldwin will have to fight to resume contact with Ireland, the 11-year-old daughter he called a “thoughtless little pig” on a now-famous voice-mail message. Open combat is nothing new for the two, who have been brawling practically since the day they fell in love seventeen years ago.

The meeting
In The Marrying Man, he’s a playboy, she’s a hot nightclub singer. “You could feel the sexual tension between them,” a crew member says. Sometimes they appeared to work as an inseparable team, other times it was raw competition. “You’ve read about all the tantrums, the chair-throwing, the phone-smashing. Living it was 100 times worse. If Baldwin slammed a door, Basinger would slam another door harder. It was like they were two little kids, having a contest to see who could be the brattiest.”

MARCH 1992
The broken engagement
Basinger calls off the wedding when she learns Baldwin had dinner with his ex-fiancée. She tells Baldwin, “You’re history now—the wedding is out the window.” He woos her back to the altar.

The wedding
They marry in East Hampton. The ceremony lasts seven minutes; four paparazzi helicopters hover. “It was a zoo with the media,” says Baldwin’s mother, Carol. “There was a man who posed as a cop who turned out to be from the National Enquirer.”

Ireland is born
Coming home from the hospital, Baldwin scuffles with a photographer, who tumbles into some trash cans, breaking his glasses.

Baldwin threatens to flee the country
He’s upset that George W. Bush might get elected. Basinger calls her husband “the biggest moralist that I know.”

Basinger files for divorce
Basinger calls Baldwin “a tin-pot tyrant and bully,” alleging mood swings and “irreconcilable differences.” They swap accusations of alcohol abuse. Baldwin is despondent. It felt like “someone punching me in the stomach as hard as they could right before I had to go and run the marathon,” he says. “Finding a new love is the most unimaginable thing to me. I need Kim back in my life.” Baldwin tells her Ireland is better off with him. She vows, “You’ll never get her—not while I’m breathing.”

Divorce finalized, they have a custody agreement
Baldwin agrees to go to anger therapy and parenting school and to restrict phone calls to Ireland to a 90-minute window a day. Basinger agrees to install a private phone line for Ireland (at his expense) and e-mail him weekly reports on their daughter’s activities.

Basinger faces contempt charges
Baldwin goes after his ex-wife for allegedly obstructing his court-ordered visits and telephone calls. “Over and over,” he claims in court papers, “Ms. Basinger demonstrated that her resentments are more precious to her than the emotional well-being of her child.” Ultimately, he decides to table contempt charges in “an effort to make peace,” according to his lawyer.

APRIL 11, 2007
Baldwin calls Ireland a “little pig”
“You have insulted me,” he says to her voice mail when she doesn’t pick up. “You don’t have the brains or the decency as a human being … I am going to get on a plane and I am going to come out there for the day and I am going to straighten your ass out when I see you … I’m going to let you know just how I feel about what a rude, thoughtless little pig you really are.”

The “pig” voice mail is leaked
Baldwin apologizes. Says rant was meant for Basinger. Blames her for leaking it to media. Blames divorce courts for ruining families. Fires agents. Vows to leave country, again. Tries to quit 30 Rock. Says on The View, “If I never acted again, I couldn’t care less.”

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Baldwin +/- Basinger