Award-winning actor and current star of 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin’s well-chronicled divorce from Academy-Award-winning actress, Kim Basinger, and subsequent vindictive and acidic custody battle for their daughter, Ireland, is detailed 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 perfect Hollywood couple when they married in 1993, and with the birth of their daughter, Ireland, in 1995, were soon raised to “perfect glamorous family” status.
This was shattered with their unexpected separation in 2000 and later their hostile divorce in 2002. Then began one of the most public and bitter custody battles on record, and Baldwin details his own pain and unhappiness as he battled every day, 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 seminal book, Divorce Poison, as a deliberate and methodical campaign by one parent to turn their children against the other parent by disrespecting, criticizing and brainwashing, in an effort to remove them from the picture.
Alec Baldwin writes passionately about his nightmarish experience of divorce poison that pushed him to the brink emotionally, professionally and financially. He makes the point that in addition to systematic alienation, non-custodial parents (often dads) have to reluctantly walk away from their children, due to the overwhelming bias of judges, lawyers and court-appointed therapists.
He cites a big 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 coverage of the angry, irritated voice mail left for his daughter who repeatedly failed to answer his prearranged phone calls.
The good news is that Baldwin reports that relations are currently good with his daughter, and will continue to improve, if her mother stays out of the father/daughter relationship.
This is a heartfelt, engrossing and very personal account of PAS and divorce poison, and is a helpful guide and very encouraging for the many moms and dads who are experiencing less public but just as devastating custody battles and vengeful ex-spouses. Co-parenting after separation and divorce should ideally be more about the child, with both parents promoting healthy child-parental relationships, and putting aside their personal conflict and desire for revenge.
Pick up Alec Baldwin’s book to learn firsthand about Parental Alienation, and refer to Dr Warshak’s Divorce Poison for more information on identifying the warning signs of parental alienation and excellent advice on how to deal with it.