Alec Baldwin's daughter, Ireland, faced the brunt of a nasty divorce battle with his ex-wife Kim Basinger.
Father-daughter relationships can often get complicated. Sometimes, dads find it difficult to understand their daughters as they grow up, but that doesn't stop them from being protective and loving. However, if a parent releases their frustration from a complicated marriage onto their child, it can leave the child feeling traumatized for life.
Alec Baldwin and his eldest child Ireland Basinger-Baldwin, 25, have a rather complicated relationship. Their relationship received media attention when he was going through a very public divorce with Kim Basinger, 67, along with a nasty custody battle, as per CheatSheet.
Baldwin, 62, and Basinger met in 1990 and got married in 1993, only to divorce after eight years. In his 2008 book, A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce, the 30 Rock actor said that it had become hard for him to stay in his daughter's life after the divorce. He and Basinger fought in court for years and it cost nearly $3 million in legal costs. Eventually, they agreed on joint custody.
He didn't blame Basinger but the attorneys and other experts for the long-drawn-out separation. However, he does blame his ex-wife for not letting him see their daughter. She tried to block him from visiting, refused to discuss parenting, and didn't even let Ireland have telephonic access to call her father. She also didn't drop their daughter off during scheduled switches "for reasons of convenience." He described the situation as "parental alienation syndrome."
The worst was yet to come. In 2007, a voicemail from him to his daughter, when Ireland was 11, went viral. He called Ireland a "rude thoughtless little pig." The tape was sold to TMZ, and it was released publicly. It affected his mental health and he told Playboy two years later that he even contemplated killing himself because of the leaked voicemail.
It caused a "permanent" break in his relationship with Ireland. "I don’t think anybody ever recovers now from things like that … It’s a scab that never heals … I think my daughter, that’s hurt her in a permanent way," he said.
Baldwin, who now has five kids with his wife Hilaria, said in 2019 that his relationship with Ireland has improved. "My relationship with my daughter is normal. Of course, it’s damaged as a result of high-conflict divorce," he said, as per Closer Weekly. "There are scars, there are echoes of that. It’s tough. But I get along great with my daughter," he said.
He regrets that he never gave her time when she was growing up. "You look at all the time that was lost … If you did an analysis of the actual days I spent with Ireland [when she was growing up], you’d be appalled at how little it was," the actor continued. Back then, the father-of-six was obsessed with work, he says. "Trying to make it in the business and not getting that right, never getting that right. I married somebody who was successful. She was a very successful actress. Kim was kind of peaking. She was 37 and I was 32. We got married. We both were working all the time. [Ireland] would go with Kim on location and I would go and meet them. Then we got divorced. There was a very acrimonious custody battle. Painful. Painful."
The 25-year-old said that she had to work hard for their relationship to be normal. It took "a lot of time and a lot of therapy," said the model, as per Amomama. She likely let off steam in 2019 when she took part in the Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin. She dished out some tough love on her father and even referred to the 2007 voicemail.
After all these years, Basinger told Net-a-Porter that "divorce is hard on a kid, no matter how you cut it." The 67-year-old added, "And ours was very public and nasty. So I brought up Ireland in a very unconventional way. I just wanted her to be free."
The 62-year-old father is protective of his model daughter, who once posted a scantily clad photo of herself on Instagram. He commented on it saying, "No … just no." And, it came to be known as the "ultimate dad reaction" by the internet, as per CheatSheet.