On Red Table Talk, Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin’s daughter Ireland opens up about challenges she had growing up with celebrity parents, including her famously combative father
Ireland Baldwin went through some pretty tough times as the daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, two emotionally volatile celebrities who became embroiled in one of the nastiest divorces and custody fights in Hollywood history.
In fact, at age 11, Ireland Baldwin became the subject of a high-octane news cycle in 2007 when a recording leaked of a voicemail her father left her. The famously combative “30 Rock” actor was angry that his daughter, didn’t take his phone call, so he chewed her out and called her a “rude, thoughtless little pig.”
Since learning to cope with anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, domestic violence and panic attacks, Ireland Baldwin is doing much better these days, as she explained Wednesday on Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch show.
Now 26, Ireland reflected on her challenges with her famous parents, first in a one-on-one chat with Willow Smith, then in a joint interview with Bassinger, Willow, and Willows mom and grandmother, Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris.
The interview marked Basinger’s first broadcast appearance in years, as the “L.A. Confidential” star opened up, as she has in the past, about dealing with anxiety and agoraphobia, a fear of leaving one’s home.
With Basinger, 68, and her daughter, the Red Table Talk chat briefly touched on Alec Baldwin’s parenting, which first became a topic of national conversation when he left the angry voicemail in 2007. That voicemail seemed to be off limits during the chat, but Pinkett Smith still asked Basinger about Alec Baldwin’s parenting in other ways, asking Basinger if she and her ex-husband saw “eye to eye” when it came to handling their daughter’s mental health issues.
Basinger quickly replied, “Eye-to-eye? No.”
In light-hearted tone, Basinger said, “Alec’s a funny one. We’re all fine. We all get along — whatever. But he’s a challenge. I mean, come on. We’ve had our challenges. I don’t think Alec was mentally or emotionally available for that talk.”
Ireland Baldwin chimed in: “There’s things I would go to my father for. But I never even tried to have this conversation in any way with him. I don’t think he would be able to really absorb any of it or understand any of it.
“He can’t really sympathize as much with it,” Ireland Baldwin said, explaining that his father’s resistance to difficult emotional issues probably stems from how he grew up. “It’s not his fault. And he’s gotten way better.”
It’s not clear when the episode was taped but it certainly took place after Alec Baldwin, 63, found himself plunged into his current crisis — the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Baldwin’s latest movie, the Western film, “Rust.” Baldwin was holding a prop gun that turned out to be loaded with a live round. The gun fired, Hutchins was killed and Baldwin is currently under criminal investigation and is being sued by Hutchins’ family for wrongful death.
It’s also possible the episode was taped before the Smith family was plunged into turmoil of its own when patriarch Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Academy Awards, March 27. The Smith family briefly addressed the Oscars incident at the start of last week’s episode, saying that they were focused on “deep healing” and possibly address it on Red Table Talk in the future.
Ireland Baldwin seemed to refer to the turmoil over the shooting when she said about her father: “I think he really suppressed his anxiety up until pretty recently. He’s really been dealing with things that have been thrown at him. He’s kind of been forced to finally deal with these things.”
In recent years, the actor’s parenting choices have become a source of public fascination in other ways because he has started a second family with his second wife, Hilaria Baldwin. Together, they have produced six young children, with a seventh is on the way.