Alec Baldwin 'Alienated' From Daughter | Michelle Monaghan in the Mix; Soul Man Sushi; Six Degrees of Scott Rudin: Sharon Stone's Still Wanted

Alec Baldwin 'Alienated' From Daughter

How did Alec Baldwin find out his wife, Kim Basinger, was pregnant? According to this passage from his just-released book, "A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce," it wasn’t in the usual way.

"We were standing in her bathroom in her house in Los Angeles: Kim, myself and Kim’s then assistant. Kim said she had something to tell me. She seemed lost in thought, bordering on grim. Her assistant had a slightly woeful smile on her face. Kim said she was pregnant. A moment that one would have imagined, during all of your lifetime leading up until now, would be a cause of unprecedented joy, was more like someone telling you they wrecked your car. Or that your house had been flooded.

"We all just stood there while Kim talked of her doubts about me and our marriage. She was, however, determined to move forward with having the child, in spite of our current state of disconnect. Her assistant managed to sneak glances at me that seemed pitying, as if to say, 'How said to have this moment in your life play out this way.' I suppose that in hindsight the alienation from my daughter began that afternoon, before she was even born."

Baldwin cites Basinger’s lawsuit over the movie "Boxing Helena" as the cause of their marriage’s disintegration. He writes that when Basinger lost the suit to director Jennifer Lynch, and filed for bankruptcy, he proposed marriage. But once they were married, he says, the legal proceedings from the lawsuit wrecked their romance. The couple didn’t talk much on a trip to Peru but nevertheless returned pregnant.

Baldwin doesn’t flinch telling tales about his and Basinger’s marriage. He writes that he knew he had "outlived his usefulness to her" and that their marriage ended over how to educate their toddler, Ireland.

The fight was ostensibly geographical. He wanted to stay in New York, in East Hampton, Basinger hated it and wanted to return to Los Angeles. "She complained that the air [in Long Island] was making Ireland sick."

One thing Baldwin addresses in the book: his infamous phone tirade to his 12-year-old daughter in which he called her a "thoughtless rude pig." He never actually repeats the quote in the book. And oddly, with such a public forum, he doesn’t apologize to her here or show much remorse. He does say that he sent a letter of apology, but that it showed up in court later, ripped in half "by her."

As such, Baldwin’s book ends inconclusively and sadly. He observes that his daughter’s (he almost never calls her by her name, just "my daughter") childhood is fast coming at an end, and that he’s probably lost years with her he’ll never get back. The implication is that he’s missed out on a lot. What he thinks this means for Ireland is not said.

Baldwin is a smart and articulate guy, a talented actor and a likeable person. Because of this, I can’t believe he thought it was a good idea to write this book. He’s too close to the anger, I guess, to realize the story has become all about him and Basinger. Ireland, wherever she is, is incidental.

P.S.: You’d think Baldwin’s book would be at the top of the charts one week after its release. Alas, it’s No. 455 on amazon.com. Maybe the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, should have sent it out to media and reviewers who cover Hollywood. Me, I read the whole thing for free on amazon, where "Promise" is included in that "search this book" program. That’s some interesting marketing plan!

Michelle Monaghan in the Mix; Soul Man Sushi; Six Degrees of Scott Rudin: Sharon Stone's Still Wanted

I’m told that "Trucker," the really cool indie film we saw at the Tribeca Film Festival, may soon have a release date. This means that Michelle Monaghan may yet get her name in the awards mix before the end of the year. Her portrayal of a female trucker is so good it would be a shame not see it get a little recognition along with say Melissa Leo in "Frozen River." …

Monday night’s production at the Apollo Theater was pretty interesting. Japanese superstar Akiko Wada, a 60-year-old woman who is like the country’s Madonna, was the featured act. But she loves American R&B, so "Soul Man" Sam Moore tore down the house with his signature song, and the pair reminisced about meeting 30 years ago when Sam & Dave played Tokyo.

Also on the bill Monday night was Maxine Brown, who had many hits in the early '60s like Goffin & King’s "Oh No Not My Baby." Earlier in the day, Sam told WNYW's Rosanna Scotto on "Good Day New York" that he’s not happy about the forthcoming "Soul Men" movie from MGM. He has nothing to do with it, thank you very much. …

Happy 70th birthday to Ben E. King, one-time lead singer of The Drifters, whose hits included "Spanish Harlem" and "Stand By Me." Chuck Jackson and friends saluted him over the weekend at B. B. King’s. …

In Monday's column, due to a glitch and maybe a little confusion, I wrote that The Weinstein Company’s "The Reader" and Miramax’s "Revolutionary Road" were each produced by Scott Rudin. True, but "Revolutionary Road" is at Dreamworks/Paramount Vantage. A third Rudin movie, "Doubt," is at Miramax. All the publicists involved in these Oscar campaigns are somehow linked back to work at the old Miramax. Good luck to all! ...

Last week I wrote about Sharon Stone’s problems and said that AmFAR was possibly at a crossroads with her. Well, AmFAR wants us to know they still love Sharon and want her to raise money for them. She won’t be at their next big event in Dubai, but they’re not stupid: the Cannes audience comes to "Cinema Against AIDS" every May to see Sharon’s antics. Like it or not, she’s got the golden touch. ...