Musings, rants, rambling, general nonsense

Parental Alienation

Posted on | April 21, 2007 | No Comments

By now I am sure you have all heard the heinous voicemail message left by Alec Baldwin for his 11 year old daughter, Ireland. The damage this will cause to his custody fight is yet to be seen, and damage to Basinger, who violated a court order to release the tape, must also be anticipated. I am a fan of neither of these idiots, but they serve a valuable purpose as very bad examples.

There can be no excuse for ever talking to a child that way, particularly a child with whom you are attempting to establish/maintain a relationship. To expect a young girl to want to pick up the phone and speak to a man with that sort of a temper is completely unrealistic. He was wrong and made a tragic situation even worse.

The campaign by Basinger, however, to cause just this sort of alienation, and encourage just this sort of reaction, has been well documented. Her behavior has been so deplorable that her own mother has chastised her in the media.

“Kim Basinger’s mother has blasted her own daughter for wrecking relations between her ex-husband Alec Baldwin and the couple’s daughter. Baldwin recently took Basinger to court in a bid to extend his custody terms after the actress allegedly violated a court imposed settlement, and now little Ireland’s grandmother is speaking out about the court battle…she calls [Baldwin] ‘wonderful,’ adding, ‘My heart is sad for Ireland. She’s the one that’s suffering the most. All this is killing her. I think Kim has tried to alienate Ireland from her father. Alec loves his daughter with all his heart. He really is a family man…I hate what [Kim] is doing.'”  – The Irish Examiner, 12/30/05

Now, in releasing this tape to the media, she has taken a very private, hurtful exchange and made it a global phenomenon. Baldwin should have been able to apologize to his daughter, and take whatever steps necessary to repair the damage his outburst caused. This child should not be forced to see this play out in the media. She shouldn’t have to hear talking heads and media outlets chanting in unison about Baldwin’s volcanic temper, his unloving nature – debating his fitness as a father.

This voicemail was a horrible, hurtful, thoughtless act. I know that Baldwin claims Basinger’s alienation campaign drove him to it but I am not willing to give him that pass. What I am willing to say is that Basinger has caused as much damage in this instance as he.

The victim here is the one person they should both be willing to protect. She is a beautiful and precious gift – not a pawn.

In a related note, Parental Alienation Awareness Day is April 25th. The Baldwin/Basinger case is just a very public example of what goes on every day all around the world.


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