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Baldwin Book Rails Against Courts

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In his new book, Alec Baldwin says "Parental Alienation Syndrome" almost forced him to commit suicide. He says dads around the world are suffering at the hands of the judicial system.

alec baldwin
Divorce is ugly enough. Add kids into the mix and you've got yourself a big mess. Now, how about one spouse blaming the other for turning the kids against them? It has a name: "Parental Alienation Syndrome" -- and it's the focus of a new book by Alec Baldwin.

In his new book "A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce", Baldwin recounts his contentious divorce from Kim Basinger -- and how the brutal custody battle almost destroyed his relationship with his 13-year-old daughter, Ireland.

Baldwin discusses how after the now infamous voice mail was released (when he called Ireland thoughtless little pig), he nearly lost his will to live. He writes, "Driving up the Taconic Parkway, heading to an inn in the Berkshire Mountains, I began to think about what little town I would repair to in order to commit suicide - what semi-remote Massachusetts state park could I hike deep into and overdose there? When I returned to New York, the thought of jumping out the window of my apartment was with me every night for weeks."

As for his estrangement from Ireland, Baldwin says, "When you lose custody of your child, so much of what is magical and priceless in this experience is taken away from you. The moments still occur, but you are no longer there to share them. You find yourself constantly wondering what your child is doing now. An overwhelming pain comes from the knowledge that she is learning life through so many people's eyes, but least of all your own."

The actor is attempting to recast himself from bad dad to celebrity crusader for fathers' rights. The book discusses so-called "Parental Alienation Syndrome" and how many men are being railroaded in the judicial system by their bitter exes who use the children of relationships as pawns.

"Unfortunately, there are thousands of children like Ireland," says Dr. D. Lorandos, a psychologist and practicing attorney for Parental Alienation cases. "Parents' anger toward one another is tearing these children apart, and judges don't understand how to recognize when one parent is poisoning the child against the other."

Critics say Parental Alienation Syndrome is a cop-out. Some men are just aren't good fathers -- and keeping them at a distance protects their children.

So which is it?

next: Could Acne Lead to Teen Suicide?
40 comments so far | Post a comment now
aly September 25, 2008, 12:00 AM

Whoever has more money and willing to fight winsin the COurt, but not in the long run. Living well is the best revenge to the toxic spouse. I am glad to see Alec Baldwin be successful and content, while Kim Basinger is just toxic. Judges have too full of dockets and there is not enough psychs and help out there. Thank God he got a divorce so the kid doesn’t have to see that everyday.

Lulu September 25, 2008, 8:40 AM

People who are experiencing parental alienation reach a point that is frustrating and distructive to themselves and others. We are lucky all he said was “little pig”. THere are people that go through this who have no control they end up giving up in many way, becuase of poeple like Lori (who recently posted) who don’t understnad the concept and the depth of hurt that this causes to us. Now why don’t you look back and think about all the bad things YOU have said out of anger, I’ll bet you went beyong “little pig”!

Before you comment maybe you should research PAS for at least a week. Then come back and comment. If you can’t say something desent, then you are an alienator yourself!

Lisa  September 25, 2008, 9:56 AM

It’s not one parent over the other, it’s the attorneys that create the problem. The only goal of a Family Law attorney is to make money!! I was represented by Marc Vincent Kaplan. My case was a multi-million dollar case, as well. I was physically beaten by three of my ex-husband’s employees and Mark did nothing to protect me. When I left my ex, it was like leaving a white collar street gang. Mark’s invested interest was to protect his former employer Sorrel Trope. The attorneys don’t care about you, least of all your children. You are nothing but a joke they can share when they hang out with opposing counsel. In celebrity cases, the attorneys are insanely jealous of their clients. Attorneys find “their stage” in a courtroom, because no one else would bother to pay to see them on the “big screen.”

Lynda Langlois September 25, 2008, 5:18 PM

THE INADEQUATE, BADLY NEEDED COURT SYSTEM AND IT’S BIAS, and many times Kangaroo court systems….IF the man you are divorcing is a lawyer and you are trying to protect your child when you yourself suffered emotional and physical abuse. I have been going through a court system first for divorce and now for guardianship of my, our special needs adorable son. When Alex Baldwin uses negative adjectives to describe the court system, I can certainly identify! There is little recourse if you are a spouse who doesn’t hold the money, the power, and although caregiving and decisions are typically given to the mother, especial with special needs child, in a court where the husband is part of that system ….well it simply doesn’t happen. It’s like a Vegas weekend, who’s the judge, who’s the lawyer, and if you’re fortunate to get the best than you’ll do pretty good. If you have the ex-that is part of that system, that being the arm of the law that is self protecting (the legal system), it is HELL! Again, when I heard Alex Baldwin talk about his disdaine for the legals system, the process, the extentions, etc. I agree with him and feel that pain! I also know what it’s like to “gamble” when you pass your child over for visitation in hopes that no derogatory words are used, etc. In my case my son is unable to sit walk or talk,, but communicates through expression. He is bright and handsome and trapped. This same system, that did not protect his rights after I left his father for divorce is now threatening to put him in a group home which is the plan of the father. The father so many years ago, the lawyer who said he was a “good father”!! I wanted my son to have as many loving relationships as possible, especially since life was going to be altered with his special needs. I did not run off to california like I should have, I stayed and tried for many years not to taint my son’s opinion of his father until recently, in our guardianship fight. I have spent 3 years in hell, Analogy being,( It’s like hearing that your son was visitng Turkey, got caught with hashish, which he said was not his, and was going to thrown in jail for his life and I am flying over there to go up against the legal system and try to advocate for him!!) That is what it is like for me in this system where my ex is part of it. He is not only a lawyer, he is a wills and probate lawyer in that particular court!@!!! So when Alex Baldwin talks about Parental Alienation, I don’t hear anything about taking respondsibility for his outbursts, anger that may lead to a parent to want to protect their daughter from that kind of abuse. I believe there is a fine line,,, typically kids as they grow are smart enough to sift through the propoganda, usually. I had been a step parent to his children from a first marriage and saw essentially that, happen. They recognized that their father had issues, but they wanted some semblance of a relationship with him. I do think it wrong to deny time with a parent. To use the child as a pawn. There are so many layers of issues in this story, as with Alex’s…..I do believe even with all of the negative battles even in my life to advocate for my son’s life and finally his placement and outcome, that I believe the irony is: HE LOVES HIS DAD AND AT TIMES WANTS TO BE WITH HIM,,,,, THAT he understands both of our faults and ultimately negotiates his own feels about us. This of course does not negate the fact that I as his mother will continue to fight and advocate for his rights as a special needs young man. An area that gets ignored. This is about my Son’s future,, and this is about Alex’s daughter’s life with her father and her time with him. In my opinion the court systems, especially family law, and the probate court need strict monitoring, evaluations and not by “more” lawyers. The written documented word has taken on a life of it’s own, one of seemingly validation. THat is, ….if it’s accepted in court, that must be right! If the Lawyer says it, the judge makes the judgement that it’s ……the truth. I have never experienced such purgery, lies, and lawyers not being reprimanded for this behavior. If it were lay people, pro pers, they would be thrown in Jail. The “justice that “I” believed in as a young girl growning up in Wisconsin, ceases to exist in my experience. The mismanagement of lawyer fees, double billing, not being able to discern what is what is nothing short of an atrocity and crime!

Don, the 14%er September 25, 2008, 5:48 PM

Alec Baldwin was in the news.
Kim Basinger won, he did lose
custody of the child they had.
He didn’t start off as a bad dad.
But mean Mommy Kim has no heart;
father/child bond was torn apart.
Alienation was Kim’s goal.
Her sex was her ‘ace in the hole.’
For some odd reason, don’t you see,
courts always favor the mommy.
Kim’s denial of Al’s access
caused him to react in excess.
He called his kid a pig in rage.
Kim made sure this news made front page.
How many parents, in a huff,
talk to their children sometimes rough?
All of us, I’m sorry to state.
But Kim took it to the Fourth Estate.
So Alec looks like the bad guy
for Kim giving him a ‘black eye.’

Gail Lakritz September 26, 2008, 6:47 AM

My ex and his mother continually referred to our son as “a fat slob” and wanted him aborted before he was born, yet he got custody. The problem is with the courts, not the individuals. I am sure both of these people were at fault, equally attempting to pull the child apart. To bad, this child will end up destroyed, or worse, dead, from the acts of the parents.

Hank -Montreal September 26, 2008, 8:07 AM

I pity the poor child.
Rather than irresponsibly promoting the generalized hatred of fathers/men, based on perhaps a few mistake a dad has made out of fear, frustration, desperation and so forth,……focus on how we/society can help parents cope through this painful and difficult curse of divorce.
True, divorce lawyers ( aka - ambulance chasers ) would lose into the hundreds of millions of dollars annually if they would no longer profit from the destruction of families, but more importantly, childrens dreams.

Having divorced an ex who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder ( she rages, lies, is violent, profits from fabricated “victim ” status, has seriously battered our kids, is narcissistic, distorts reality just to name a few fine traits ), I can understand Baldwin’s frustration, hurt, confusion, loss of hope etc…..
My ex-wife appeared as a kind , gentle woman, however, behind closed doors, she could instantly fly into a rage, and convince you it was your fault that you “made her hit you across the head with a belt buckle”,….to name some of the more dociule rages.

Since the Canadian judicial system appears to be as warped and sick as the American system ,….
my children, are condemend to live with a mother ( who needs intensive psychiatric care ) who neglects, punishes, verbally, mentally and physically abuses the children, who has sent the children to Youth Protection “boot camps” ( read: for the most part juvenile Nazi concentration camps ) for expressing their DESIRE to SEE their dad…the whole with the help of her lawyer ( who my child support payments paid for ) , the “feminist slanted” “social” network, and a plethora of other dis-interested, self-serving “professionals” who profit from childrens suffering….
HELL ,….. YES ! ! ! !

Perhaps Kim Basinger’s behaviour behind closed doors does not match her pretty looks;
If we stopped broad - brushing all dads as monsters for a moments of weakness, as he possibly ill-verbalized hurt he may be feeling, while womens groups lobby to forgive the cold-blooded murderer of the likes of 5 child-assassin Andrea Yates.
If writers examine both sides of the coin , before jumping on one incident and exploiting it for their own profit/interests;
We CRIMINALLY CHARGED those who denigrate and destroy a childs image of the other parent, which in the long term teaches the child to do the same in their future relationships.
We CRIMINALLY CHARGED those “professionals” who teach or encourage a parents to employ the warped tactics of PARENTAL ALIENATION,…
and I can go on,….and on,…and on.
but ‘nuff said for now.

For the sake of ALL children, ie those who are tasked with taking care of us in our “golden” years,….
PLEASE speak out against ALL forms of child abuse, INCLUDING PARENTAL ALIENATION.
Write letters to your goverments, senators, all elected representatives, until EQUAL PARENTING is the norm and not the exception.
KARMA does exist, no matter what your faith is……
Peace out

ches king September 26, 2008, 2:23 PM

.. the majority of you will never have any real understanding of what an alienated parent or child experiences children and I are equally victims of “parental alienation” ..i have never raised my voice or my hand to my children in anger , i have loved them dearly like no other parent can , yet i have not seen them in almost 3 years and i live within a 2 min. walk of their current residence ,,they espouse hatred of me and my family and cannot provide any explanations for doing so every attempt at reconciliation is met with harrassment complaints , protection orders, stalking complaints and so on and so on and so on from my ex-wife … family court is a disgraceful entity that protects an abusive, bullying and intimidating parent , court has no interest in protecting children , it would rather delay and intentionally interfere with any efforts to establish a normal parental relationship with an alienated parent with the hope that the children will get old enough so that they will not have to deal with the issue .. family courts only purpose is to delay to the point where nothing can and will be done , they the judges throw their hands in the air and say “well, what do you want me to do about it” is disgraceful and shameful

Anonymous September 27, 2008, 8:39 PM

While some parents might alienate another, there is no such syndrome. The scientific community rejects it and will never accept it. Gardner was self-published, never had his theories tested, was pro-pedophilia.

PAS is most harmful b/c abusers use it to gain custody of kids. Why would you allow them to do this? How will you distinguish the kid who was abused and the kid who was “alienated”? Why are kids who were sexually or physically abused by Dad then given custody to him?

The Fathers Rigths agenda is this-
Presumptive Joint Custody (even to violent dads)
Lower or no child support
PAS, MMS (malicious mother syndrome), SAID (sexual allegations in divorce)
Domestic violence is mutual (it is NOT)
Attack services for female victims of violence (sue shelters, attack VAWA, limit restraining orders)
DISCREDIT WOMEN - call women false accusers and change public perception in domestic violence, child abuse and rape

Research PAS and the fathers rights groups before touting their misguided propaganda machine.

ahn cole November 16, 2008, 3:36 PM

the “family” courts, govt, and malicious mother all have an agenda, albeit, for different reasons, but it seems to boil down to phasing fathers out of the child’s life except for the father as a source of money.

there is absolutely no concern for truth, malice…in the “family” court when it comes to mothers lying, stealing, using the child….even though the court orders alludes to punishing the perpetrator of these problems, mothers are rarely punished, which only encourages them and entices them to be more bold in their maliciousness. Fathers are easily punished (along with the child) for the mother’s complaints, “concerns”, and false claims… then people wonder why fathers are so angry, who wouldn’t be, and malicous mothers know this and don’t care as long as they are yanking their ex’s chain whenever they feel like being mean or malicous, and any reaction by the dad is then even more fodder to take to the court and complain how “we don’t get along, so take away more time between him and the child”.

in other words it is a no win situation for the dad, no matter how well he tries to get along for the child’s sake and get on with his life. His ex will deny “visitation”, make the child unavailable for phone calls, and the “family” courts will do nothing to the mother when this is brought to their attention. Yet if the dad loses a job, is sick, falls on hard times, he is thrown in jail. Fair, huh?

fathers and children are being victimized every second of the day and night that they have to live with these unjust decisions that deprive fathers of rights to be part of their own child’s life, because the mother’s malice and desire to punish the dad through the child.

this is nothing more than a form of modern day slavery, where women ONLY are “victims” and men ONLY are abusers. This is not a court, but a kangaroo court where up is down, etc, and double standards in favor of the mother abound, so that more litigation will result, when the father is force through seek justice where there is none. The child is deprived of a loving parent growing up and is used as a pawn, all for the malicious mother’s convenience and need for control. (Isn’t rape defined as a contol over another person? rather than about sex, how is this any differnent?) and it is all justied by the subjective “best interest of the child”, which always seems to be more the “best interest of the mother”.

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