Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Alec Baldwin
Aired December 17, 2008 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOY BEHAR, GUEST HOST: Tonight, Alec Baldwin -- he's made headlines and waves as a father and husband, giving him face time on the tabloids' front pages. Now, he's written a book on his divorce and being a dad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: This is a very, very personal question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Plus, he rocks Tina Fey's sitcom world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE," COURTESY SNL/BROADWAY VIDEO)
BALDWIN: What's that flavor.
TINA FEY: It's Dove age fighting acne cream.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Is there anyone who plays crazy better or sucks up to Sarah Palin so beautifully?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE," COURTESY SNL/BROADWAY VIDEO)
BALDWIN: You are way hotter in person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Frank and funny, he tells it like it is. Alec Baldwin is here and he's talking, right now on LARRY KING LIVE.
Welcome to LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Joy Behar sitting in for Larry tonight, always a privilege. But tonight even more so because my special guest is Alec Baldwin. You might recognize him from Emmy-award winning role on "30 Rock" or his numerous appearances on "Saturday Night Live." And now his mug is on book shelves.
He's the author of "A Promise to Ourselves
A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce." We'll talk about that and lots more tonight. Thanks for joining me tonight, Alec.
BALDWIN: My pleasure.
BEHAR: I'll hold your book up.
BALDWIN: That's incredible.
BEHAR: It's really...
BALDWIN: ...because you drank so much before the (INAUDIBLE)...
BALDWIN: ...you know somebody who drinks before the show?
BEHAR: I want you to know that I read this whole book cover to cover last night and I feel as though I spent the night with you.
Was it good for you?
BALDWIN: You don't remember?
You did spend the night with me.
BEHAR: I really thought this was a very compelling book.
BALDWIN: Did you like it?
BEHAR: Yes, I...
BALDWIN: I mean not like it, but did you appreciate some of it?
BEHAR: I went through it. It was -- it's not boring, even though it's got a lot of technical stuff about in it about the law. It's not boring. You write very well, I think.
BALDWIN: I find for people who went through that or someone close to them went through that, they got a lot out of it. For ordinary people that haven't dealt with that, it might be a little dry. I mean, I don't know.
BEHAR: But where are you at now in your head?
I mean how is everything in your heart and your head?
BEHAR: It's good?
BALDWIN: I like it. Yes.
BEHAR: You're in a good place?
BALDWIN: Well, yes. I mean I -- I feel happy. I have a -- the job that I have is a fun job.
BEHAR: A great job.
BALDWIN: It's a great job.
BEHAR: You're hilarious on it, also.
BALDWIN: We have fun. We have a great group of people. And I just -- I really can't complain about anything. I really -- and you look at the economy and you see how many people are struggling and don't have a job.
BEHAR: Well, that's can be a...
BALDWIN: And I have a job.
BEHAR: That could happen.
BALDWIN: People don't have jobs.
BEHAR: We have them now.
BALDWIN: Who would have thought?
BEHAR: I know. It's true.
BEHAR: But I think I saw that you're with your daughter Ireland, who is a beautiful girl.
BALDWIN: Yes, she's here with me. Yes.
BEHAR: She's here with you.
So that's all better?
BALDWIN: Yes. That is good. Yes.
BEHAR: That's great.
BALDWIN: I mean that's good. Yes.
BEHAR: So, let's talk about -- you know, some of the things I read about you recently in "The New Yorker" and everything were so interesting. Like, for instance, your brother William -- Billy, Billy. He said about you that there's always something for you to bleeping whine about.
Are you close?
BALDWIN: Did he say that?
BEHAR: Yes, he said that. Are you a whiner?
BALDWIN: He's such a little jerk.
BEHAR: He's a little jerk?
BALDWIN: He's a little punk.
BEHAR: So you're a whiner and he's a jerk?
BALDWIN: He's such a -- well, he's -- you know, he's just eaten up by envy.
BALDWIN: No. He's -- he's someone who actually the -- I'm eaten up with envy over him because he has such a wonderful family. He has his wife...
BEHAR: This is the brother who is married to Chynna -- Chynna Phillips?
BALDWIN: Right. He's married to Chynna. They have three kids. And he moved to California to do his show. And the show was just canceled the other day. And I think everybody is pretty despondent about that.
But I envy him because he's one of these people who -- maybe you have known some yourself, where he put it all on the line for his kids and his family. And when it came time to do the show, he moved to California. He moved them to California. He is all about his kids. He's a great dad.
BEHAR: And what about your other brother, Stephen?
What's up with him?
BALDWIN: Well, there's a kind of a tone when you say that, as if you know what's up with him.
BEHAR: Well, Stephen is an Evangelical...
BALDWIN: What do you think, what's up?
So why don't you tell us?
BEHAR: He's an Evangelist, isn't he, or whatever they?
BALDWIN: My guest tonight is Joy Behar...
BALDWIN: ...the co-host of "The View," 11:00 a.m. On ABC, weekdays.
BEHAR: Thank you for the plug.
BALDWIN: ...what's up with Stephen Baldwin?
What do you think is up with him?
BEHAR: Yes. Stephen. Stephen is the opposite of you. I mean, you're a Democrat, liberal...
BEHAR: Not quite a commie. I don't think you're a commie. (INAUDIBLE)...
BALDWIN: They -- well, people call me that.
BEHAR: You're -- no, please. That's ridiculous.
BALDWIN: They do. I mean I've had people say that.
BEHAR: But Stephen has said that if Obama wins -- he said this a few months ago, I guess...
BEHAR: ...he was going to leave the country.
Did he leave?
BALDWIN: No. But I don't think he really said that, because that got pinned on me, as well. They said I said I was going to leave the country when Bush was elected, which wasn't true.
BEHAR: That wasn't...
BALDWIN: I was thinking...
BEHAR: That wasn't something you said?
BALDWIN: I went on O'Reilly's show for no purpose other than to say find the audio clip or video tape clip, a written transcript where I said that. And they couldn't find it. This was another one of these Roger Ailes sociopathic urban legends that they make up over there at the Luftwaffe News Channel.
BEHAR: And those are the good points.
BALDWIN: But we like them.
BALDWIN: I like Bill.
BALDWIN: The Luftwaffe News Channel I'm not so sure about.
BEHAR: Are you happy about Obama winning?
I know you're a good Democrat. You must be thrilled.
BALDWIN: The world is ecstatic that Obama won. The world is ecstatic.
BALDWIN: Because the -- well, the world is ecstatic.
BEHAR: Not Russia. There was some bad guys from Russia...
BALDWIN: Well, who cares about them?
BEHAR: Well, they are big.
BALDWIN: I know. I'm just saying, there's -- well, I think that the world is ecstatic about Obama winning. And I think that -- because I do believe deep in my heart that America still, even now, 60 years after World War II, when America was a great hero and a great liberator, even 60 years later, people hold the United States in a very special place in their eyes for what they think we stand for.
And to elect an African-American man as president for the first time, that reenergized -- that kind of recharged the batteries of the spirit of democracy in this country, that people really hold up to a very, very high standard around the world.
BEHAR: Well, look at the reception he got in Berlin, I mean, just to name one place.
BALDWIN: Oh my god. I mean I think people are really, really juiced about that.
BEHAR: Now what about Hillary Clinton?
I mean what do you think of her as secretary of State?
You think that's a good choice?
BALDWIN: I think it's a fantastic choice.
BEHAR: You do?
BALDWIN: Yes. I mean I think who better?
I wrote this blog on Huffington Post...
BEHAR: Oh, you're blogging?
BALDWIN: I wrote this blog on Huffington Post.
BEHAR: Oh, you're blogging.
BALDWIN: No, I do it all the time. But I mean I wrote this -- I wrote this blog on Huffington Post about the fact that the president can't be everywhere. And, obviously -- and even in an age now, when he needs to be more places than ever...
BALDWIN: See, the world was a little sleepy compared to the way it is now. It wasn't this way in the '40s and '50s and '60s and so on. Even in the Vietnam era, it seemed quiet compared to the way it is now. And because the president must send someone diplomatically as his representative, who better than the woman who, you know, lost to him in this primary race by a nose, really?
BEHAR: Well, she...
BALDWIN: I mean by a nose.
BEHAR: She said some things about Obama during the primary...
BALDWIN: So what?
BEHAR: ...during the race.
BALDWIN: That's what they do.
BEHAR: Yes, I guess.
BALDWIN: They want to win.
BEHAR: Yes. And Bill Clinton, do you think that he'll be an impediment or a help?
BALDWIN: I don't think he'll be either. You know, I don't think -- I would imagine he would be -- I can't think of any possible role he would have that would be formal or otherwise. I mean she -- the great thing about her is that she is someone who completely stands on her own now.
BALDWIN: I mean, I'm of the belief that as smart as she is and as capable as she is, that she lost the race to Obama. She lost the Democratic primary because she ran as a woman. And, you know, Obama did not run as an African-American. BEHAR: No, that's true.
BALDWIN: He did not run as an African-American.
BALDWIN: And that's why he won.
BEHAR: What about...
BALDWIN: But she ran as a woman and she lost. So I think that that's a shame. That didn't have to be that way. But now, for her to contribute her great gifts to this administration -- because let's face it...
BALDWIN: ...when you look at her political posturing, he's either going to lose the election -- if he has a term, it's unlikely that he won't be the nominee. He'll be the nominee four years from now. And if he loses, then she's right where she wants to be. Win or lose, she's the same place...
BEHAR: And I -- when we come back, I want to ask you about Sarah Palin and -- speaking of women. But Alec's vicious divorce to Kim Basinger has gotten a lot of ink in the tabloids. We'll get his side of the story.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE," COURTESY SNL/BROADWAY VIDEO)
BALDWIN: You can't let Tina come out there with that woman. She goes against everything we stand for. I mean, good Lord, Loren.
BALDWIN: They call her -- what's that name they call her, Cari -- Cari -- what do they call her again, Tina?
FEY: Oh, that would be Caribou Barbie.
BALDWIN: Caribou Barbie.
BALDWIN: Thank you, Tina.
I mean this is the most important election... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alec...
BALDWIN: ...in our nation's history and you want her, our Tina, to go out there and stand there with that horrible woman?
What do you have to say for yourself?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alec, this is Governor Palin.
GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hi there.
BALDWIN: I see. Forgive me, but I feel I must say this. You are way hotter in person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: What were you thinking?
BALDWIN: She wasn't listening.
What do you want me to say?
People ask you the same question 90 times, which is like do you think the woman is beautiful?
BEHAR: She is pretty.
BALDWIN: Is that what you're asking?
BEHAR: We always...
BALDWIN: She's an attractive woman, yes.
BEHAR: We've all said she's pretty.
BALDWIN: So what?
BEHAR: So what?
BALDWIN: If looks were enough, Pamela Anderson would be, you know, would be governor somewhere, I guess. Somewhere they'd be buying that.
Did you get to talk to her a little off-camera?
BALDWIN: Very briefly.
BEHAR: Oh, yes.
Was it friendly?
BALDWIN: Well, she was entombed in Secret Service agents. And they had -- they covered the entire floor and the elevator and the entire floor. And they closed off the street. There had to be 950 Secret Service agents there.
BALDWIN: She's the vice presidential candidate.
BEHAR: Did you think that Tina's impression of her did anything for the election?
I mean do you think it had any...
BALDWIN: People say it did. I mean I couldn't possibly comment on that. I wouldn't know. But people say that it did. I want to think that -- I don't really know. I have more faith in the American people. I can't imagine that they would let that sway them.
BEHAR: Well, she -- what it was, was that she was on the Katie Couric's show...
BALDWIN: See, I think that did sway some people.
BEHAR: ...and Tina basically just took the script and did it verbatim.
BALDWIN: Well, that -- exactly.
BEHAR: So people who didn't watch Katie then got to see the vapidity...
BALDWIN: Well, I think...
BEHAR: ...of the conversation, I guess.
BALDWIN: But I think that the correct answer, then is that what Tina did -- and so beautifully -- was just underline what was already out there in the journalistic zeitgeist and on the record, which was that the woman was not ready to be the vice president of the United States.
BALDWIN: She just wasn't.
BEHAR: Do you think she knows that or knew that?
BALDWIN: I think it was a win/win for her to be the nominee. She is the only -- the second woman to be the nominee in this country...
BEHAR: Yes, that's right.
BALDWIN: ...other than Geraldine Ferraro, which was 24 years ago. And I think that, you know, for her, it's -- it's just full speed ahead now for her career and whatever she wants to do.
BEHAR: Yes. BALDWIN: Yes.
BEHAR: You know, you have such a great career going on right now. And yet every time I see you or I read about you, you say, I can't take it anymore, I'm sick of it and I'm getting out of the business.
Why do you want to quit?
BALDWIN: I think you just -- you can't do the same thing all the time.
BEHAR: But it's different all the time. You do theater...
BEHAR: You do movies.
BALDWIN: Maybe I would do that.
BEHAR: Television. Ah.
BALDWIN: But I think that -- I think that doing things that are very public gets to be tough. I mean I've done this for a living since 1980. I did my first job on a soap opera. And I've done it. And the other difference for me -- at least it feels like it's different -- is I've worked a lot. I think a lot of people get a lot of breaks and they take time off and they make a lot of money and they go and travel and they -- you know, they go to -- and I don't do that.
BEHAR: But don't you...
BALDWIN: I work.
BEHAR: ...you know, don't you regret that you didn't take that Jack Ryan part?
BEHAR: You would be so wealthy now, you could retire.
BALDWIN: No. I don't regret it at all.
BEHAR: You don't?
BALDWIN: Not really.
BEHAR: Harrison Ford made a big success of himself after that.
BALDWIN: Did he?
BALDWIN: Well, I think he was a big success before that.
BEHAR: But the actor that you revere is Tom Hanks, right?
BALDWIN: Oh, no, I appreciate him. I mean I was talking to Billy Bush -- and I feel like I'm doing the...
BEHAR: Billy Bush?
BALDWIN: Yes. That's what you're referring to, that I talked about how I admired Hanks, that he was...
BALDWIN: ...married to the same woman. And to me, the people who are the most successful people in the business are people who not only have achievement in the industry and wealth and rewards and all this other stuff, they have a happy home life.
BALDWIN: And Hanks had been married to the same woman for many years.
BEHAR: He is one of the few. He's like Gregory Peck and Jimmy Stewart and that whole group.
BEHAR: That -- but what is the...
BALDWIN: And he still has his sense of humor when you meet him. He's adorable, you know, so (INAUDIBLE).
BEHAR: What would you say is the shelf life of your relationships?
Like, how long do they really last, as an average?
BALDWIN: This is a very, very personal question, Joy.
You don't have to answer it.
BALDWIN: What color underwear are you wearing right now?
BALDWIN: Is it beige?
BEHAR: Beige. But what -- tell me the truth. I mean did...
BALDWIN: But I think we should trade. We'll trade.
BEHAR: All right.
BALDWIN: We'll trade information. You ask me a question, I'll ask you a question.
Go ahead and ask me a very personal question.
BEHAR: I did already.
What's the longest you've been in a relationship with a woman?
What's the shelf life of it, because some people...
BALDWIN: What's the longest I've ever been...
BEHAR: The longest?
BALDWIN: My ex-wife.
BEHAR: How long was that?
BALDWIN: Ten years I knew her. I was with her for 10 years.
BEHAR: Oh, that was 10.
BALDWIN: I was with her for 10 years.
BEHAR: That's pretty long.
BALDWIN: Oh, I mean for...
BEHAR: And I still haven't gotten to all of that. But I want to in the next segment.
We'll talk about the ugly D word in a minute.
BALDWIN: What color underwear did you wear yesterday?
Plus, an exclusive peek at an upcoming "30 Rock" episode. Ooh.
We'll be back in 60 seconds.
BEHAR: Alec's been kind enough to bring us an exclusive sneak peek of an upcoming episode of "30 Rock." Take a look and find out why he won an Emmy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "30 ROCK," COURTESY NBC/UNIVERSAL)
BALDWIN: Can I ask you a question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.
BALDWIN: Are you happy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I've got a boat, good friends and a trampoline. You tell me.
BALDWIN: That's the life, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing here? BALDWIN: I'm getting drunk.
Lemon, would you buy my mulch?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know, Jack. I just found out I was a jerk in high school. Yes. It turns out I'm not the lovable nerd. I was the bully you hate. This is mostly spit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Elizabeth.
It's Rob Sussman.
Still think I'm gayer than the volleyball scene in "Top Gun?"
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we -- we were friends. No, I just said that stuff to try to make it OK for you to come out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come out of what?
I'd like you to meet by wife, with whom I've raised three beautiful dogs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, boy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot deal right now. I'm so mad, all I can do is dance.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even Rob Sussman hated me?
He was the first gay guy I ever kissed.
What is wrong with these people?
BALDWIN: Nothing. They're good Americans. Hey, Lemon, check this out. I just made it up -- the three Bs -- beers, boats and buds.
Doesn't that sound great?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you having a stroke?
BALDWIN: No. No. All my life I thought I made good choices. But am I happy?
These people are happy. I envy them. I wish I was one of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Larry?
BALDWIN: Yes, I am Larry Braverman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: And you played Rob Sussman. BEHAR: Yes.
BALDWIN: He was so funny.
We have such great people on the show.
BEHAR: When did you know you were so funny?
Because you're one of these people who can do tremendous work in drama and then you turn into this hilarious comedian?
BALDWIN: Well, I think there's a difference, honestly. I think that the writing is funny. There are people who, they are funny. They just open -- I mean, you're a comic. You know that. There are people who, they just open their mouth and they're funny.
BEHAR: They're funny, yes.
BALDWIN: Like Tracy. Tracy, to me , is funny.
BEHAR: Yes, he's hilarious.
BALDWIN: Tracy will come to work and he won't even say, if you do that -- and if you do a content analysis of what he says...
BALDWIN: ...it's not funny. He's funny. You know, I'll go -- he'll come to work and I'll go, how are you doing?
And he'll go, I'm not feeling so good, Alec.
BALDWIN: And you burst out laughing. And he's complaining to you about his health...
BALDWIN: ...but his personality...
BALDWIN: Because he just is so -- his personality is funny.
BEHAR: Well, his whole physique, everything about him is funny.
BALDWIN: His whole demeanor. And with the show -- I mean, you know, if I can say her lines in a way that's funny, great. I don't know if I'm funny, but her lines are funny.
BEHAR: No, but you're -- you -- you're funny.
BALDWIN: I have a delivery.
BEHAR: Trust and believe, you're funny. We'll finally talk marriage, divorce and custody.
It gets nasty, when we come back.
BEHAR: OK. We're back with Alec Baldwin.
Alec, let's talk about your marriage now, OK?
I see that...
BALDWIN: Do we have to?
BEHAR: Well, you do, because you're in a good place about it. You have distance now.
BEHAR: You can talk.
Tell me about Kim.
What was it about Kim Basinger that attracted you to her...
BALDWIN: Let's talk about something else.
BEHAR: ...besides the obvious beauty?
BALDWIN: Right. Well, to me -- but...
BEHAR: What was it?
BALDWIN: To me, none of that matters. What I've learned is, is that there are relationships -- see, this is why I wrote the book, "A Promise to Ourselves"...
BALDWIN: ...from St. Martin's Press.
BALDWIN: I wrote -- I wrote the book because there are people I know who they can have a collaborative divorce. They can have a divorce in which everybody has some dignity and they can resolve these issues without lawyers and judges and court-ordered therapists and everything intruding in their lives.
BALDWIN: We're going to talk about that with some people that I brought on the show with me, Mike McCormick and some people who are activists in the Shared Parenting Movement.
But let's put it this way, so much of what I went through the last eight years, it was unnecessary. It was completely unnecessary. And it cost a fortune. And more the psychic toll -- I mean I aged like 20 years in the last eight years. So, really, it killed me. I was really tired.
BEHAR: I know. The book -- it comes through in your book.
BALDWIN: Yes, it's pretty heavy.
BEHAR: ...that you went through (INAUDIBLE).
BALDWIN: But that's behind -- in other words, all of that is behind me now...
BALDWIN: ...to the extent that I think that people do get tired. I mean -- I mean I can't think of anybody I have less respect for than some of the lawyers involved with my case and some of the judges.
BEHAR: Well, see, you know, I'm divorced, also. But we had no money, so I didn't -- we didn't engage in...
BALDWIN: How long were you married?
BEHAR: Sixteen years.
BALDWIN: How long did you know him before you got married?
BEHAR: Sixteen minutes.
BALDWIN: Right. So you can go -- you married somebody you didn't know?
BEHAR: A year-and-a-half.
BALDWIN: But you see, you knew him...
BEHAR: I met him in college.
BALDWIN: So you were very young and you were married to him.
BALDWIN: And you had no children?
BEHAR: We do have a daughter.
BALDWIN: You have a daughter?
BALDWIN: How old is your daughter now?
BEHAR: She's 37 right now.
BALDWIN: And how does she get along with (INAUDIBLE) -- is he still alive?
BEHAR: Yes, he is.
BALDWIN: And she's cool with both parents?
BEHAR: She gets along with him. It was a difficult divorce, as you know, all of them...
BALDWIN: It's you she can't stand.
Is she close with you?
BEHAR: No, no, no. We (INAUDIBLE)...
BEHAR: We don't have the alienation issue in our family.
BALDWIN: So you did not stand in his way from parenting the child?
BEHAR: No. Not at all.
BALDWIN: See, that's the way that it should be.
BEHAR: No. And he certainly didn't...
BALDWIN: You should encourage -- people should encourage it.
BEHAR: But, you know...
BALDWIN: It's better for the child.
BEHAR: But you say something about 50/50 custody. I'm not sure if I agree with that particularly.
BEHAR: I don't know if that...
BALDWIN: What about it?
BEHAR: Well, because why should it be 50/50?
BALDWIN: Well, you're on "The View." You have a constituency. You have to suck up to -- a feminist constituency (INAUDIBLE)...
BEHAR: No, it has nothing to do with them.
BALDWIN: Oh, it doesn't?
BEHAR: If the father is more present, then he should be there more in the divorce. BALDWIN: Well, no, no, no. Well, but here's the thing, and that is that I believe that 50/50 custody should be the default position for men who want and earn 50/50 custody. If during a divorce proceeding or a custody proceeding, you determine that the father was never there, he's only doing it to spite the mother, he's only taking half of something that he doesn't want to spite -- to reduce someone else's time...
BALDWIN: Like in -- West Virginia has a very important law right now where custody is allocated, after an analysis is done, of what the parenting -- of how the parenting duties were divided during the marriage. So, for example, if you and I are married and we have a kid and you go off to work every day...
BALDWIN: ...and I come -- and we get divorced and I say I would like to have 50/50 custody. And you say no, you worked all the time, I can go to court in West Virginia and say well, you worked all the time, too. In other words, we both had careers that took us away from the child. So it wasn't like you parented more than I did.
But understand, also, that no one who I work with or no one who I'm in touch with in terms of this issue, like McCormick and people like that -- men who abuse their wives, men who abuse their children, men who neglect their children and don't pay their custody and so forth, those people are the enemies of the Shared Parenting Movement.
BEHAR: Right. Of course.
BALDWIN: I don't want just anybody to automatically get custody. I want qualified men who want it, because many men don't want it. That's a very important issue, as well.
BEHAR: Do you remember the moment when your marriage fell apart?
Because I can almost remember mine.
BALDWIN: Tell me yours.
BEHAR: No, you tell me yours.
BALDWIN: No, tell me yours.
BEHAR: I'm sick of myself already, come on.
BALDWIN: Tell me. I'll tell you what color underwear I have on and you tell me what do...
BEHAR: What was the moment when you said, you know, this is not going to work?
BALDWIN: You know, I don't really -- I can't even really remember and it's all like a blur to me now, you know? And it doesn't really matter to me. I feel like I met someone and they were someone who was an incredibly alluring person and I was new in my business and I met someone who was very interesting. And I was at an age, I was...
BEHAR: How old were you?
BALDWIN: When I met her, I was 32.
BEHAR: Oh, so you were not such a baby.
BALDWIN: And -- no, I wasn't a kid.
BALDWIN: You know, I was 32 and I got married three years later. I was 35. My daughter was born when I was 37.
BEHAR: How long did you know Kim...
BALDWIN: So all of it was...
BEHAR: ...before you got married?
BALDWIN: Three years.
BEHAR: Oh, three years. So you really knew the...
BALDWIN: Well, see, exactly.
BEHAR: As they say...
BALDWIN: So I was saying (INAUDIBLE)...
BEHAR: ...you knew the grenade you were going to fall on.
BALDWIN: Those are your words, Joy.
BEHAR: OK. You know, you probably remember that infamous voice mail Alec left his daughter. We'll ask him about it when we come back.
BEHAR: All right, Alec, here's what I want to know.
That voice mail -- who do you hate the most about it, the person who let it to the -- gave it to the press...
BALDWIN: I don't think about it anymore.
BEHAR: ...the guy who did it on TMZ or yourself?
BALDWIN: I don't...
BEHAR: Who are you mad at the most?
BALDWIN: I don't -- right now, I'm probably angriest with the producers and writers of this show...
BEHAR: For asking the question?
BALDWIN: I thought that they had more journalistic integrity.
BEHAR: They don't.
BALDWIN: I thought they were more broad-minded.
BALDWIN: Yes. But it's OK.
BEHAR: But you're putting that behind you, everything (INAUDIBLE)...
BALDWIN: All that's behind me. Yes.
BEHAR: It was a momentary blast for you.
BALDWIN: Well, but I will tell you that the one thing that was interesting is that when people are honest, they talk about their own shortcomings and their own moments of weakness...
BALDWIN: And they do things that they shouldn't do. And those people that condemn you, I mean you still have people that will -- but like you could -- you could blog on The Huffington Post and you could talk about, you know, hurricane relief. And someone will say, what could I possibly learn about hurricane relief from you, you abusive son of a bitch who said...
BEHAR: Is that what they write to you?
BALDWIN: Oh, they just -- they never let it go. And what you realize is there is a very vibrant band of people out there who are like really sanctimonious.
BEHAR: I'm so interested in a lot of the things about you. Like I talked about -- I was reading about your family life, for instance, about your dad.
And he was strong and very, very powerful to you, I think, right?
And he died at a young age.
BALDWIN: He was 55. Yes.
BEHAR: And how old are you?
BALDWIN: I'm 50.
BEHAR: Are you worried?
BALDWIN: Yes. I am kind of.
BEHAR: What did he have a heart attack?
Did he have a heart attack?
BALDWIN: He had cancer.
BEHAR: Oh, cancer.
BALDWIN: Yes. He had cancer.
BEHAR: Do you worry about some (INAUDIBLE)...
BALDWIN: Yes, but I feel different. The stress of what I've been through the last eight years was a big thing.
BEHAR: How did you deal with all that stress. Did you go to therapy, meditate? What did you do?
BALDWIN: I did a lot of -- I think the best answer or the most honest answer was I had dear friends, and you know they're your friends because they can listen to you say the same thing over and over again. You say the same thing every day for a year.
BEHAR: What was the thing you kept saying?
BALDWIN: That's personal. That's private.
BEHAR: Oh really? Suddenly.
BEHAR: But what did you learn? What was the most important thing you learned about yourself?
BALDWIN: I learned -- I mean, I wrote this book to have this be the last word on that, and to not talk about my case anymore and my situation anymore, and to talk more about the issue. The issue interests me. What I went through privately -- I realize mine was tough because -- because a lot of it is luck with the judges you draw. Sometimes you have judges that are brave and have common sense. But as I say in the book, in the California family law system, the judges who are brave and smart and have common sense, they often don't make it into that room.
BEHAR: One of the judges you described as looking -- as a being a Joy Behar type in this book.
BALDWIN: How interesting. That's right.
BEHAR: Was that a compliment or an insult? BALDWIN: She kind of looked like you a little bit. She kind of looked like you, like she could be your sister. Not as fun and not as nice as you.
BEHAR: But your opinion of lawyers is like diabolical, I think you said. You use the word diabolical.
BALDWIN: What I said was that the judges in the case were like pit bosses in Vegas casinos. They were there to make sure everybody stays at the table and keeps gaming. They don't want any conflict resolution. Conflict resolution is the last thing on the menu. And the lawyers -- lawyers are lawyers.
BEHAR: They want the money. They follow the money.
BALDWIN: Of course they do. The people who get the quickest and most equitable divorce are people with no money.
BEHAR: That's right. You were saying something about how they would look into your finances and decide how much they could go for in the case.
BALDWIN: Well, I'm not saying that literally. I'm saying when you have to divulge all of your financial details on a forensic level in divorce accounting, they know how much money you have. They know how deep that can go. There was a part of me that thought there was a way that they thought it was a percentage of your income that they wanted, almost like a commission, like their work wasn't done until they had taken 10 or 15 percent of your net worth.
BEHAR: What about this business about -- after this voice mail became public, I read in the book that you contemplated killing yourself. Is that how bad it felt?
BALDWIN: It felt bad.
BEHAR: Had you ever gone that deep before, that low?
BALDWIN: No, never.
BEHAR: Do you think you'll go that low again?
BALDWIN: No, never. It was at a time when -- actually when that happened, it was at a time when I believed the worst was behind me. I actually had a couple months of everything being very pleasant. And on so many levels, the show, and we were winning so many awards; I felt like life was good. We live in a culture in which humiliating people and bringing people down for sport is a big part of it, mocking people. Your show, you go on Youtube, and the things you say, they sensationalize. I'm saying, if Elizabeth says something and gets into it with you or Whoopi, the next day on the AOL home page -- and what is dumber then the AOL home page? The AOL home page has to be like the dumbest content you can find. The AOL home page has, you know, the clip of you guys, you know, butting heads for only the fourth time that week.
BEHAR: I know, and I have to constantly tell people that we like people off the air.
BALDWIN: Who cares? Why does everything have to be about negative and people's problems? This person's butt is too big. Here, we snuck some shots of this woman on vacation at the beach.
BEHAR: Isn't it a distraction from the real problems of life, losing your job?
BALDWIN: That's what's criminal about it, is that we need to focus on what's wrong. We need to keep our minds on the things that matter and not what doesn't matter. And entertainment has become like this opiate that keep us from focusing on what is real. Who cares is some actress' ass is too big? Do you really care?
BEHAR: The actress does. More with Alec Baldwin when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRACY MORGAN, ACTOR: Hey, Alec Baldwin, what's up, bro, bro. It's your boy, Tracy Morgan, AKA A.B. I miss you, I love you. Seasons greetings to you and yours. Can't wait to get back to work, baby. Later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: That was Tracy Morgan.
BALDWIN: I love him.
BEHAR: You love Tracy?
BALDWIN: He's adorable. He's a great guy.
BEHAR: Tell me about your time with "Saturday Night Live." Why do they keep asking you back, because you're funny?
BALDWIN: I enjoy it. I enjoy doing it. I think that we were talking before about how -- you know, off camera you and I were talking about how do you make the decision to do this kind of show? How did they find you to do "The View?" How did that happen?
BEHAR: I was doing a freebie for Milton Berle's birthday party, and Barbara was there. She didn't laugh at anything. Everyone else did. One time I did an audition for Lorne Michaels, and he didn't laugh either. He said, that was very funny. I said, you didn't laugh. He said, I don't want you to think you got the job.
BALDWIN: Was "The View" already on the air?
BEHAR: No, they were in the process of it. Me and Star Jones, Meredith Vieira, Debby Matenopoulos, we clicked. It's changed, as you can see. What about Lorne Michaels, do you like working with him? BALDWIN: The thing is that Lorne is someone who -- there are people who are very smart, as you know, a lot of people in this business. And then there are people who are smart in a way that is useful in this business. Some people in this business are smart, but it doesn't translate into anything in this business.
BEHAR: So Lorne is smart in a special way. How is that?
BALDWIN: What is going to work and what is not going to work. You do "S&L," what sketches are going to work and what's not going to work, who will work on the show and not work on the show. When he came to me and said, do this show, I was very reluctant. I didn't want to say if it worked. That was seven months of my life doing the same thing for five or six years. But I'm glad I did.
BEHAR: You have how many more years to go?
BALDWIN: This is season three. I guess we'll do two more.
BEHAR: They always nail you for five years.
BALDWIN: We signed contracts for six, I think. I don't think we would do a sixth season of the show. I'm not sure.
BEHAR: I'm interested to go back to your family life when you were growing up on Long Island, all those kids around. It's like a thing of the past, that sort of Irish Catholic family. The Italians did it. They don't do it anymore either.
BALDWIN: As I say sometimes -- I think I wrote this in the book about my dad. I said I came from one of the last generations where people had a big family on faith. They were going to find the money and they were going to find a way to raise all their kids. And you know, my dad was someone who was a very hard-working guy. He was a really tough guy. He had four sons and he had no money. So some of the people we grew up with --
BEHAR: Did you get hit?
BALDWIN: Every now and then, but he didn't have to hit us. I was joking with my daughter yesterday. We were talking about what it was like to grow up with my dad as my father. You did exactly -- the difference between how we treated my mother and my father was ridiculous.
BEHAR: Why? How?
BALDWIN: My father would come home and be like, where are you going? I said, we're going to go to the skating rink and go skating. A little skating. My dad would go, what time are you going to be home? We'd be like, 10:30. We'll be home at 10:30. And we were home at 10:29. Where as my mother was yelling out the door, and we would be in the woods smoking. My mother would be like, what are you doing out there? My brothers and I would be like, yes, yes, we'll be right there. Keep your shirt on. It was so different.
BEHAR: Mistreatment, in a way, of your mom.
BEHAR: Well, not as respectful.
BALDWIN: She didn't have any juice.
BEHAR: She have any juice.
BALDWIN: She didn't have the juice.
BEHAR: Do you want to have a big family? You still have time to have a big family?
BALDWIN: No, I don't. I'm 50.
BEHAR: So what?
BALDWIN: What do you think I'm going to do the John Houston program?
BEHAR: You'll find a girl who still has her eggs.
BALDWIN: Babies with my staff down at my villa in Mexico?
BEHAR: Don't you want to re-create that for yourself a little bit?
BALDWIN: I would love to get married again. I would love to have more kids.
BALDWIN: If that happened, that would be great. I love kids. I love there lack of pretension. I love kids. The more I'm in the business, the more I love kids.
BEHAR: Do you have a girlfriend that you could --
BALDWIN: We'll be right back.
BEHAR: More with Alec in 60 seconds.
BEHAR: I'm back with the lovely and talented Alec Baldwin. What is your question?
BALDWIN: What is you and I have? What is that special something you and I have? There's a thing you have. The minute I come on "The View," I feel it. I love Whoopie. I liked Elizabeth. She's a nice woman. I love Barbara. But you and I, I hear strings playing when I walk in the room and see you. What is it about you?
BEHAR: What type of medication are you on? That would explain it. BALDWIN: I don't know.
BEHAR: The other story you told in your book about your family that I really enjoyed was about how your father and mother would put all the kids in the car and go to the beach.
BALDWIN: Jones Beach.
BEHAR: Tell me about that story.
BALDWIN: We would load up. My father worked at a high school, and he would go to the school and take all this equipment. He would take volleyball nets, bases for softballs and gloves and balls and mitts and bats. And we would drive there and we would play. They would make breakfast there. They would make lunch there on the barbecue. We'd stay there the whole day. Then the sun would be going down, 5:00, and he would load us in the car.
On the way home, he would say we're going to go to the park. There was a nearby park, a beautiful park in my town, called the Margery Post Park, for all you Massapequans (ph) who are out there. We would go to the pools and we would jump in the pool. My dad would say, everybody get a shower. Every time we would go, he would say, take a shower. I want all you kids to take a shower. Finally I said to him, why do we have to take a shower at the park? He said, because I don't want six kids taking showers and backing up my septic tank. What a way to have to live your life. That was my dad.
BEHAR: That's brilliant, really.
BALDWIN: My dad --
BEHAR: Must have been stinky in the winters.
BALDWIN: My dad was a guy who had to pinch a penny.
BEHAR: He had to. He was a teacher with six mouths to feed.
BALDWIN: He was great. My mom is great, too. She has her breast cancer foundation now. My mom was a housewife and raised six children. Now, in her mind, she's a celebrity in her own right. My mother would push any of her children down a flight of stairs for a photo op. She would. My mother would shove me down a flight of stairs to get a picture in the Daily News.
BEHAR: There's no business like show business. Mere on the trials, divorce, custody and those lawyers when we come back.
BEHAR: We're back with Alec Baldwin. Joining us now in New York is Michael McCormick. He's executive director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, and Mark Tabb, who co-wrote "A Promise to Ourselves" with Alec. Greetings, gentlemen.
(CROSS TALK) BEHAR: Hi, how are you out there? Michael, let me start with you. What is the importance of this book, do you think?
MICHAEL MCCORMICK, AMERICAN COALITION FOR FATHERS AND CHILDREN: With respect to that book, Alec has articulated something that hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people in this country have experienced. That's the pain of separation from their child. It's the inability to parent the way they want to parent.
BEHAR: You call that Parental Alienation Syndrome.
MCCORMICK: In an extreme form, it's parental alienation. Now, I'm not going to debate whether it's a syndrome or whether it's not a syndrome. Certainly, parental alienation exists. And anyone who works in this area and parents all around the country have actually experienced that.
BEHAR: And Mark, you helped Alec write the book, yes?
MARK TABB, "A PROMISE TO OURSELVES": Yes.
BEHAR: He also wrote a book with your brother, Steven, right?
BALDWIN: Yes. I met Mark through my brother, Steven. He had written Steven's book "Unusual Suspects" with him. I met Mark, went to the Super Bowl a couple years ago in Miami. And Mark is just a great guy. I loved working with him. He was a doll.
BEHAR: Mike, isn't it natural sometimes when people get divorced for one parent to be somewhat alienated from the kids?
MCCORMICK: There's some estimates that say up to 80 percent of the cases there's some level of alienation, but what we see is there's a wide range. So it could be from very mild to very, very severe.
BEHAR: And Alec's case, it was severe, in your opinion?
MCCORMICK: In my opinion, it was severe. He was frustrated at every turn with respect to enjoying a natural relationship with his daughter and being her father.
BEHAR: What made it so severe, do you think, and whose fault was that?
MCCORMICK: Well, I think there's a combination of factors there. I think the court system today enables a parent who is inclined to be an alienator -- the court will allow that to happen. I think that's unfortunate, that all of the vehicles to fight are already built into the system if there's a pre-disposition for that.
BALDWIN: That's an important distinction. And that is, forget about the litigants, because -- which is hard to do, but for the purposes of this discussion, you know, litigants come and people come to the dissolution of a marriage with a lot of bitter feelings. They -- marriage is still a very important commitment to people. They have a lot of hope. They certainly didn't plan on things going on that way. There is a lot of blame and acrimony.
These are two people that should not be -- be principle witnesses against each other in a trial. They are biassed, biassed, biassed, prejudiced people. And the courts know that. And the courts treat in family allow and in divorce custody law -- this is a civil proceeding that meets out criminal punishment. You are denied your rights as a parent based on the testimony of very, very biassed people, not just the other -- your ex spouse, but some of her collateral witnesses, as well. Custody evaluations are very, very biassed.
The thing is, the courts know this. The courts -- and they do nothing to stop it, because it's a racket whereby people are lining their pockets with a lot of money.
BEHAR: We discussed that before, about how it's just a big racket. . Do you agree with that, Mark?
TABB: I do. And one of the things, too, with parental alienation is it's not always the father who is alienated from the child. I'm working on a book currently with a woman who went through this very same thing where her son -- the alienation was so extreme that the father had remarried, and the stepmother told the child -- this couple was very young whenever they divorced. The new stepmother told the child, I am your real mother; this other woman is this crazy lady who wants to pretend like she is your mother. So let's just go along with it from time to time. But I'm really your mother. That's the depth of the degree of alienation that she experienced.
So it's not just something that's perpetuated against men, but it's also -- women experience this, as well. It's when you have, you know, one parent or the other that has an alienating nature. It's -- all bets are off of what's going to take place.
BEHAR: Is it mostly women who are the alienators?
BALDWIN: I think it's the -- more importantly, not in some gender-specific way, women are more likely to have the power to alienate. Women are more likely to be given primary custody of the child, because of the processes have evolved over the years. So a woman is more likely to have primary custody, and therefore alienate the father from them. But the point is that the courts and the judges -- forget about the lawyers. The lawyers are going to do anything they can to keep conflict resolution out of the court room. The judges should know that what's going on, and how this stuff can be circumvented -- there are recommendations that judges and some family therapists who work outside the system.
Some of people that I spoke to for this book, and I would love you to comment about this -- some of the people I spoke to outside this book who were family therapists, who did not rely on the state- sponsored family law system to make a living -- they weren't a part of the conspiracy. They work in family law outside of that. They don't take referrals from judges and such. They have their own very healthy practices. These people spoke scathingly about the system themselves.
BEHAR: There must be some good divorce lawyers out there, and how do you find one? Alec's advice when we come back.
BEHAR: We're back with Michael McCormick, Mark Tabb and Alec Baldwin. Michael, what is the solution to the problem?
MCCORMICK: Shared parenting.
BEHAR: Shared parenting?
MCCORMICK: What we need to do is have parents crafting the parenting plan under which their children will be raised in the event the parents aren't going to stay together.
BEHAR: Like a prenup?
MCCORMICK: Well, like a prenup, but actually a parenting plan in case you're going to get divorced at that particular moment. And if the parents can't agree to a plan, a presumption in law that says that we are not going to favor either parent, that the child will be --
BEHAR: So you make this decision before you have the children, or when they're born?
MCCORMICK: No, you make this decision at divorce. You go through a process to structure the plan under which the children will be raised.
BEHAR: But there is a lot of acrimony and anger.
MCCORMICK: If you can't agree, the state is not going to preference one parent over the other.
BALDWIN: You asked mark the other question --
BEHAR: Mark, tell me, I understand that you have personal experience with divorce yourself.
TABB: Yes, I do. My parents split up when I was 10 years old, and it was a very high-conflict divorce, and the conflict -- the tension has remained. And one of the things that Alec says in this book, which I think is brilliant, is he says let the divorce be the final answer. That is, once the marriage is over, stop fighting. You know? Just let the -- let the -- the battles end, instead of having the battlefield shift to the children. And so, you know, my own experience, that's one of the things that I've always desired, just get along, just get along. And I think that's --
BEHAR: Or walk away from each other. Walk away from each other.
BALDWIN: There are people who continue this kind of behavior, because they want to have a relationship with that other person. Go ahead, I'm sorry.
TABB: I'm sorry. Whenever you have children, your lives are intertwined with that other person for the rest of your life. BEHAR: Right.
TABB: Because there's not only the children's, you know, birthday parties and Christmases and all that, but grandchildren come along. There's weddings to consider, all of that. So there comes a time where it's just, let's get along. You're not married.
BALDWIN: Well, there are feminists who are opposed to parental alienation syndrome, and they dismiss that. And they fill it with all kinds of statistics about abuses and so forth, none of which we would dispute. But they can't dispute the fact that children, particularly girls who are raised in homes without a father, have statistically higher incidents of poor performance in school, drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity.
BEHAR: What do you say to gay marriage, then? You have two women raising children, there is no father in that house.
BALDWIN: Gay divorce, what would be more frightening?
MCCORMICK: What we say here is the courts aren't --
BEHAR: Well, you're kidding, right? But that's prejudicial what you're saying, because two mommies can work the same as a mommy and a daddy very often.
BALDWIN: But you're jumping tracks here in a very weird way, which is that gay marriage --
BEHAR: I don't think it's that weird.
BALDWIN: What does that have to do with what we're saying? I'm all in favor of gay marriage.
BEHAR: You said girls need a father in the house. I'm saying there are many girls --
BALDWIN: Where there is a father -- you're talking about completely disparate ideas. Where a father exists that is being denied --
BEHAR: I see.
BALDWIN: That's the problem. Where there are two women, there are no fathers.
BEHAR: I see. We're talking about apples and oranges here.
BALDWIN: Where there is two women, there is no father.
BEHAR: Yes. But it's an interesting point that people just fight for the rest of their lives, because they really are connected and they don't want to let go.
MCCORMICK: They need communication skills training to get to a workman like place about the relationship. They don't need to be emotionally involved on a go-forward basis. They need the skill set that will allow them to address problems.
BALDWIN: And for many people, the surest way for you to lose an on-going relationship with your child in adult life is these kids figure these things out.
BEHAR: I know.
BALDWIN: They get older and they see. One of the smartest things that was ever said to me was that all behavior is consistent and that the way people behave in divorce is a view as to how they behaved during the marriage. And children grow up and they see what's been done and what's been said, and as they get to be older, they can make up their own minds.
BEHAR: Thank you all, all three of you, for a very wonderful, interesting discussion. especially you, Alec. We would like to thank our guests tonight, especially Alec Baldwin. Larry will be back tomorrow. And remember you can always find us at CNN.com/LarryKing. Don't forget to check out Larry's blog. The news continues now on CNN. Thanks and good night.