Saturday, May 12, 2007

Leaking Family Problems


I want to begin by saying that I am not defending Alec Baldwin or David Hasselhoff. Both men got into some trouble recently because private interactions with their children were leaked to the press. In the case of Alec Baldwin, he called his daughter some awful things. In the case of David Hasselhoff, he was on the floor completely drunk eating a burger off of the floor.

Both men have big problems. I would like to begin with Alec Baldwin. He has had an extremely messy divorce from Kim Basinger. With a young daughter and joint custody, they both have to have contact with each other. Recently Alec was upset with his daughter because she did not answer her cell phone at the planned time for them both to speak. He left a message in which he called her a “rude, little pig.” This was his 11 year-old daughter. The message was leaked to the press and he went on the defensive. He even went on The View to discuss this.

The problem is that Alec Baldwin has an anger management problem. What makes it worse is that he was so cruel to his young daughter. She is not even a teenager. Being young and female, comments like that can lead to girls developing eating disorders. I think it’s safe to say that Alec needs help. He needs anger management training. Alec cannot mend his relationship with his ex-wife, but he needs help if he plans to be in his daughter’s life.

What upsets me though is that it is obvious that Kim Basinger leaked the phone conversation. She will be having custody hearings with a judge and this phone conversation should have been only given to the judge to listen to in horror. Now that it was leaked to the press, the judge has been put into a difficult situation. There will be public pressure to give full custody to Kim Basinger from the outcry over the phone message. At the same time, Kim Basinger did something as awful. She put her daughter into the national spotlight over this. It must be hard for a child to go to school having famous parents, but imagine what it must be like with the entire school knowing about what her father called her. When children deal with problems with parents, they don’t want all of their friends to hear the family dirt.

It is important for problems like this to be resolved in family court. The judge deserved to hear the phone message. Alec Baldwin deserved to be embarrassed in court. His daughter deserved better treatment. But most important, his daughter did not deserve to have her classmates and friends know about it.

In the case of David Hasselhoff, I feel differently. I feel that it is good that the clip was leaked because it could save his life. I feel that his daughter taped her interaction with him as a wakeup call. She doesn’t want her father to lose his job and to be around her while drinking.

When I think of the celebrities with alcohol problems, I feel sorry for very few of them. The one who I pity the least is Mel Gibson. Mel Gibson showed the world what so many people had already assumed, that he hates Jews. When I think of Paris Hilton going to jail, I feel that she’s finally going to pay for her life of bad behavior. But when I think of David Hasselhoff, I see someone in trouble who hasn’t hurt others. I want him to get better. I don’t look down on him in shame the way I do on Mel Gibson or Paris Hilton. Instead, I see this as an opportunity for David to get the help that he needs.

Sometimes leaking family problems can only make the problems worse, like in the case of Alec Baldwin. Kim Basinger may have caused her daughter more pain than Alec did with his phone message. I feel that leaking that message may have also been done to hurt his acting career. It will be hard for the judge who now has to decide which parent is the better one. Sometimes leaking family problems can save a life. When I think of the many celebrities who died of drugs or alcohol, I wish that something could have prevented it from happening. I believe that David Hasselhoff will get the treatment that he needs. If that tape was not leaked, then in a few years he could have died. I really hope that he gets better.

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