His most celebrated character, 30 Rock’s caustic executive Jack Donaghy, was a fount of fabulous insults. “You have the wind-battered face of a New England cod fisherman,” Jack once told a female co-worker.
But the real Alec Baldwin’s put-downs can tend toward the prosaic. On Thursday, after a Daily Mail showbiz reporter claimed he and his wife had been tweeting from a funeral, the actor called him, variously, “a lying little bitch”, a “fucking little bitch” and a “toxic little queen”.
The journalist, George Stark, had written an article claiming Baldwin’s 29-year-old spouse, Hilaria, was tweeting about her wedding anniversary and an upcoming television appearance while the couple attended the New York funeral of Sopranos star James Gandolfini.
Baldwin, 55, responded with a stream of angry tweets, which began: “Someone wrote that my wife was tweeting at a funeral. Hey. That’s not true. But I’m gonna tweet at your funeral.”
He went on: “My wife and I attend a funeral to pay our respects to an old friend, and some toxic Brit writes this fucking trash… How much of this shit are people supposed to take? With these fucking blatant lies EVERY DAY.”
As his tirade came to a close, Baldwin deleted his @ABFalecbaldwin account, signing off with the assertion: “My wife DID NOT use her phone, in any capacity, at our friend’s funeral. Now, fuck this twitter + good luck to all of you who know the truth.”
Yoga instructor Hilaria, who is due to give birth to the couple’s first child this summer, also responded to Stark’s article. “I hope that this reporter knows how much pain and drama he has caused from his poor journalism. Lying and bullying are shameful,” she tweeted. “I don’t believe in bringing phones into a funeral and I never did and never would.”
Defending Baldwin’s rant, she added: “My husband fights for me fiercely. It hurts to be misunderstood and it hurts to see your loved one in pain – even more so when she is pregnant.”
The incident occurred less than a week after another social media spat between a celebrity and the Daily Mail. On Monday, Liz Jones penned a column about Rihanna, accusing the singer of being a poor role model and calling her a “poisonous pop princess”. Rihanna responded by posting an unflattering photograph of Jones on her Instagram account, and describing the columnist as “a sad sloppy menopausal mess”.
Nor is it Baldwin’s first public slanging match. In 2007, he faced embarrassment following the leak of a private voicemail to his then-12-year-old daughter, Ireland, in which he told her she was “a rude, thoughtless little pig.” Just last month, the actor used the Huffington Post as a platform from which to pour scorn on New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley who had given his recent Broadway play, Orphans, a poor review.