Alec Baldwin has said he's done with Twitter – and has even threatened to quit acting to remove his family from the public eye – after being forced to apologise for threatening to "fuck up" a Daily Mail reporter who wrote a dismissive article about his wife.
Baldwin, star of 30 Rock, let fly on Twitter last week after a Mail Online gossip piece accused his wife Hilaria of posting a series of upbeat tweets during the funeral of James Gandolfini. He has now told Vanity Fair he will "never" tweet again, labelling Twitter a "waste of time" that inevitably results in public humiliation.
"I went to Jimmy Gandolfini's funeral, and when I was there I realised Jimmy Gandolfini didn't have Twitter," said Baldwin. "Jimmy Gandolfini was so beloved as a person, and he was so admired as an actor, and he didn't give a fuck about social media."
The Glengarry Glen Ross actor added: "It's just another chink in your armour for people to come and kill you. I stopped and said to myself, I'm going to try where I just don't do this any more."
Mail reporter George Stark wrote that yoga instructor Hilaria tweeted to request ideas for a wedding anniversary present and to encourage fans to watch her on the Rachael Ray Show as friends and family were saying goodbye to Gandolfini. Baldwin tweeted in response: "Someone wrote that my wife was tweeting at a funeral. Hey. That's not true. But I'm gonna tweet at your funeral … My wife and I attend a funeral to pay our respects to an old friend, and some toxic Brit writes this fucking trash … I'm gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I'm gonna fuck…you…up."
Baldwin later apologised for the homophobic tone of his comments, saying they "had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone's sexual orientation". Hilaria has denied tweeting during the funeral, while Stark's piece has been removed from the Mail website.
Baldwin told Vanity Fair he would love to quit acting if it meant finding himself outside the public eye. "I'd love to if I could, yeah. That would be the greatest thing in the world." Explaining his perspective, he said: "I'm having a baby. And everyone has seen how certain things have played out with my daughter, which has been very painful – it's been really unpleasant. That has consequences, and I do not want that to happen with my next child. I have one dream in my life and that is that this daughter I'm having – she comes to me about seven or eight years from now, she has a friend, and she's at her house and she says, 'Daddy, Susie's mom says you used to be on TV. Daddy, is that true?' She has no knowledge of me as a public person. That would be heaven for me."
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © Howard Lake