Alec Baldwin Writes about
Parental Alienation in His
Bitter Custody Battle for Daughter, Ireland
by Sheena Berg
Award winning actor and current star of 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin's well documented divorce from Academy Award winning actress, Kim Basinger and subsequent contentious and acidic custody battle for their daughter, Ireland, is chronicled in his new book, A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey through Fatherhood and Divorce, (St Martin's Press, $24.95)
Baldwin and Basinger appeared to be the ideal Hollywood couple when they married in 1993 and with the birth of their daughter, Ireland, in 1995, were soon elevated to "perfect glamorous family" status. This was shattered with their surprising separation in 2000 and subsequent hostile divorce in 2002. Then began one of the most public and bitter custody battles recorded and Baldwin describes his personal pain and anguish as he battled daily, like so many other alienated parents, for equal access to his daughter who was being systematically turned against him by her mother.
Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is described by leading expert, Dr Richard Warshak in his groundbreaking book, Divorce Poison, as a deliberate and concerted campaign by one parent to turn children against the other parent by bad mouthing, bashing and brainwashing, in an effort to alienate them and sever their relationship. Alec Baldwin writes passionately about his vivid experience of divorce poison that drove him to the edge emotionally, professionally and financially. He points out that in addition to systematic alienation, non-custodial parents, often fathers, are forced to reluctantly walk away from their children because of overwhelming bias of judges, lawyers and court appointed therapists.
He cites a major reason for writing the book is because, " There is... enough injustice, inefficiency and corruption within the system to compel us as a society to closely examine what is being perpetrated on innocent men and women." Baldwin was further humiliated by the media exposure of the angry, frustrated voice mail left for his daughter who repeatedly failed to answer his pre-arranged phone calls from her father. The good news is that Baldwin reports things are currently good with his daughter and will continue to be so as long as her mother stays out of the father/daughter relationship.
This is a heartfelt, enlightening and very personal account of PAS and divorce poison and is a useful guide and rallying cry for the many moms and dads who are going through less public but equally devastating hostile custody battles and vengeful ex spouses. Co-parenting after separation and divorce should ideally be child centered with both parents promoting healthy parental relationships and putting aside their own adult, personal conflict and revenge. Pick up Alec Baldwin's book to learn first hand about Parental Alienation and refer to Dr Warshak's Divorce Poison for more information on identifying the warning signs of parental alienation and sound advice on how to counteract it.