Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger – the living embodiment of Edward Albee’s George and Martha. They argued, they married, they argued some more, and even after a divorce, the arguing continued.
How Did Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger Meet?
In keeping with their combative ways, neither Baldwin nor Basinger can agree on the circumstances surrounding their first meeting. Baldwin remembers the event taking place in 1989 on the set of Basinger’s comedy film My Stepmother Is an Alien and being contrived by mutual friend Linda Henrikson.
For her part, Basinger insists that it happened in 1990 at Morton’s restaurant and that she had arranged the little get-together so they could discuss The Marrying Man – the Neil Simon-penned script that they were about to start filming.
Basinger further claimed that almost immediately after the introductions were made, “he kissed me and then asked me if I wanted children.” Later, he apparently made a phone call at the dinner table and told the recipient that Basinger was, “driving me insane. And we’re getting married.”
Romance – And Tension – Blossom
Perhaps the eventual union was inevitable. According to a crew member who toiled on The Marrying Man set, “you could feel the sexual tension between them. It was like a heat-seeking missile had been fired.”
Right from the beginning, the interactions between the pair were volatile. The filming was dogged with claims of screaming matches, slammed doors, thrown cellphones, and curse words so vile the air in the studio turned blue. The stars, of course, refuted any and all assertions.
Post wrap party, Baldwin continued to court Basinger and they eventually did begin to date in earnest. However, the once-divorced Basinger stubbornly refused to entertain the notion of marriage – and she may have stuck to her guns had her defenses not been lowered by a bitter, character-assassinating lawsuit and court case.
Persistence – And Protection – Payoff
The problems started in 1991, when Basinger reneged on her agreement to star in the Jennifer Lynch-directed film Boxing Helena. A lawsuit against the actress was launched and just before she and Baldwin began production on their second film together – The Getaway – an L.A. judge ordered Basinger to pay over $8 million in damages.
The ruling left Basinger with no alternative but to declare bankruptcy. Through it all, Baldwin was by her side, shielding her from the press, attempting to boost her ego, and share in her burden. When he, again, broached the subject of marriage, Basinger enthusiastically agreed.
Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger Get Married
The wedding took place in East Hampton, New York, on August 19, 1993 – the bulk of the event planned solely by Baldwin in a mere six weeks. Of the 100 guests, 90 of them were either a friend or relative of the groom. The ceremony itself lasted seven minutes, four helicopters stuffed with paparazzi hovered overhead, and a surprise fireworks display capped the event.
And Baby Makes Three
By all accounts, the very early years were kind to the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. But trouble brewed beneath the surface. On October 23, 1995, they welcomed daughter Ireland Eliesse, whose homecoming was marred when Baldwin punched persistent photographer Alan Zanger in the nose and shattered his glasses. Months later, a jury awarded the victim $4,500 in damages.
The End Is Nigh
Though no one will ever know the true reasoning behind the decision – some argued simply incompatibility, others blamed Baldwin’s temper, and still more pointed to a disparity on where they should settle down and raise their bourgeoning family – the fact remains that on January 12, 2001, Basinger filed a petition for divorce.
A Battle Royal Between Baldwin and Basinger
The most contentious disagreement between the pair concerned the custody of little Ireland. Basinger wanted physical custody with shared legal custody; Baldwin called dibs on the same.
The divorce was finalized in November of 2002. Basinger emerged the victor and Baldwin was relegated to visits every third weekend and restricted telephone interaction, all on top of the parenting and anger management classes that he was ordered to attend.
Distance Between Them
The ensuing years were not kind to Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, and co. – in April of 2007, he took her to court and alleged that she was not honoring the court’s ruling and days later left a voicemail on Ireland’s phone in which he labeled her, “a rude, thoughtless little pig.”
However, by 2013, the anger and animosity between the exes seemed to cool – somewhat. While speaking to Access Hollywood, Baldwin demurred that his ex, “is obviously one of the most beautiful women that (has) ever lived, and even divorce doesn’t muddy my view of that.”
During a 2016 interview with Porter Magazine, Basinger offered up this gem: “Isn’t funny that I turned down Sleeping with the Enemy and then I went on to sleep with the enemy! Alec and I are cool now, though. Life goes on.”