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Names in the News - April 21, 2007

Staff Report • Apr 21, 2007 at 12:42 PM

LOS ANGELES - As Alec Baldwin's angry words to his daughter were being broadcast around the world, the 49-year-old actor explained himself Friday on his Web site.

"Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child," he wrote. "I'm sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now. You have to go through this to understand. (Although I hope you never do.) I am sorry for what happened. But I am equally sorry that a court order was violated, which had deliberately been put under seal in this case."

A voicemail Baldwin left for his 11-year-old daughter, in which he can be heard calling her "a rude, thoughtless little pig," was published Thursday by celebrity news site TMZ.com.

Baldwin and his ex-wife, Kim Basinger, have been engaged in bitter custody disputes over their daughter, Ireland, since the couple divorced in 2002.

"In such public cases, your opponents attempt to take a picture of you on your worst day and insist that this is who you are as a person," Baldwin wrote. "Outside the doors of divorce court, I have friends, I have respect from people I work with and I have a normal relationship with my daughter. All of that is threatened whenever one enters a court room."

Meanwhile, Baldwin's attorney, Vicki Greene, said she filed a Superior Court order Friday "to determine how the tape got leaked and to determine whether actions should be taken against Kim Basinger, or her attorneys, or Harvey Levin (who runs TMZ.com) and anybody else associated with the leaking of the tape and the violation of the court orders to keep the proceedings closed."

In a letter Greene sent to Levin Thursday included in the court order, the attorney said she called Levin at 12:30 p.m. that day after learning he intended to go public with the tape. "I cautioned you against taking any action, especially when what you disclosed to me could only have been obtained from an improper source, was sealed by the Court and should not be in your possession, let alone disclosed to the public," she said in the letter. Levin told The Associated Press on Friday that he obtained the tape legally. "I'm not going to talk about sources. I'm not going to say who we obtained it from," he said. "We obtained this legally. We discussed it, and felt it was an important story, and published it. If she disagrees, that's her opinion." Greene told TV's "The Insider" that "anyone involved in this case should want to protect Ireland, so whatever happened was either intentional, reckless or negligent."

The matter is set for a hearing June 5, Greene said.

Basinger's attorney, Neal Hersh, weighed in on the family saga Friday on TMZ.com. "I am concerned that Mr. Baldwin's recent statement, wherein he attempts to shift responsibility to Kim and her lawyers for his issues with Ireland, shows just how out of touch he is with the reality and gravity of the situation," Hersh said.

Basinger's spokeswoman had no comment Friday.

LOS ANGELES - Oliver Stone will direct a TV commercial as part of a campaign by MoveOn.org and VoteVets.org to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq.

The Oscar-winning director and Vietnam veteran will direct a 30-second spot that will air in about three weeks on national TV. It will feature a U.S. veteran of the Iraq war or the family of a veteran discussing the war's impact.

"They're giving it from their personal experience, either being on the ground or being at home waiting for their mother, father, husband to come home," MoveOn.org spokesman Alex Howe said Friday.

Stone, 60, is donating his services, Howe said.

"We have leaders in Washington who say they're ‘supporting our troops' - but the people who suffer most from their policies are the troops themselves," Stone said in a statement Thursday.

"I decided to participate in this project because, as a veteran, I know that America needs to listen to our servicemen and women. They've been there and they know what's really going on. They need to be part of this debate."

The soldier or family in the commercial will be chosen from some 20 finalists by MoveOn.org members in an online vote. Video interviews of the finalists will appear on MoveOn.org's Web site and on YouTube.

"Stories from veterans and family members have poured in over the past few years and we wanted to provide a platform where they could speak directly to the American people and policymakers," said Nita Chaudhary, a MoveOn.org campaigner.

Stone won best director Oscars for "Born on the Fourth of July" and "Platoon." He won a screenwriting Oscar for "Midnight Express."

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