Actor and onetime political aspirant Alec Baldwin was walking his dogs on Sunday when he encountered New York Post reporter Tara Palmieri, who had the temerity to ask him about a lawsuit involving his wife, Hilaria. What happened next was not hilarious at all:
The ???30 Rock?????? star grabbed the reporter, Tara Palmeri, by her arm and told her, ???I want you to choke to death,??? Palmeri told police, for whom she played an audiotape of the conversation.
He then called G.N. Miller ??? a decorated retired detective with the NYPD???s Organized Crime Control Bureau and a staff photographer for The Post ??? a ???coon, a drug dealer,?????? Miller???s police statement said.
At one point, Miller showed Baldwin ID to prove he???s a retired NYPD cop, which Baldwin dismissed as ???fake.???
Cops were called, and Miller, 56, and Baldwin, 54, both filed harassment claims against each other.
And that’s not all – Miller also claims Baldwin told him to… well, let’s say he issued an obviously insincere invitation to perform a sexual act. And he said unkind things about Miller’s mom. Then he began accosting random passerby to inform them that Miller was a drug dealer. “He was saying some serious racist stuff,” as Miller put it.
For some reason, Baldwin later took to referring to Mr. Miller on Twitter as “Ralston” as he continued his tirade: “Moments after I tweet about the Post, Ralston, the ex-crackhead ???photographer??? shows up at my door w 1 of Murdoch???s nieces in tow. Ralston claims he???s ex NYPD!! That can???t be!!! Ex NYPD don???t become crackhead, ex jailhouse paparazzi!??? Baldwin later deleted these offensive messages. It’s so cute when politicians and celebrities do that.
Baldwin denies making the offensive statements (but doesn’t the Post story say that reporter Palmeri recorded the conversation?) and claims Miller got into his personal space. Besides, he donated $50,000 to the Arthur Ashe Learning Center, and he’s an angry liberal, so he can’t possibly be a racist. Some wonder if Capital One’s spokesman has finally sunk to a depth the company won’t tolerate. Luckily, the company has extra time to come up with an answer, because they’re closed for Presidents’ Day today. I wonder if Baldwin would have the stones to mouth off like this to the Capital One barbarians.
Update (Feb. 19): The New York Post has a follow-up story this morning in which it explains that Baldwin’s racist rant was indeed captured on Palmeri’s audio recorder, and the recording has been turned over to the NYPD forensic unit. The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating Baldwin’s behavior. Local feedback has not been kind to Baldwin:
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) called on Hollywood to blacklist the tightly wound actor.
???If these allegations are true, then no television network or film studio should hire the veteran actor until he seeks help,??? Smith said.
???In today???s modern age, it???s a disgrace that people still use remarks that provide hatred to others based on race, religion or origin.???
Noel Leader, co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, said Baldwin can???t simply use his donation to the Ashe foundation as a defense.
???One has nothing to do with the other,??? he said.
???I can???t see why anyone would patronize or support his craft. As a black male, I???m offended by the word ???coon,??? but the other things are just as offensive, these stereotypical descriptions of the photographer as a crackhead and drug dealer. It???s highly offensive.???
Noting Miller???s decorated career with the NYPD, Leader said: ???That???s the irony of it all. Here???s a man who put his life on the line to make the city safe from the drug element and he???s being categorized as one, simply because he???s black.???
Baldwin is still denying he made the racist comments, which isn’t going to help him much if the audiotape really does capture him making them. He and his wife are saying the incident was provoked by aggressive paparazzi… an excuse that might have saved Baldwin if he’d stopped right before he hit the word “coon.”