Story By: James Edstrom

Alec Baldwin

I am no longer going to be quiet. I am sick of watching all this Alec Baldwin crap time after time. His hatred for the media and for the photogs who have every right to photograph him on the streets of New York City, has got to stop. I know first hand, I had to take him and his mother to court.

This Baldwin family is not nice. They are mean, deceitful and I cannot believe they continue to get away with acting like this. So I have contacted several people who used to work for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund and Stony Brook University Hospital, and I am going to write a tell-all book. It is time.

For those who do not know, I had to sue Alec and his mother Carol for breach of contract over a deal that was voted on by the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Fund board of directors. The deal was that I would help arrange their first fund raising event on Long Island in 1997. I didn’t ask for a fee, but it was agreed I would do it in exchange for a photo of the whole family together. 

At that time, all the Baldwin's, Alec, William, Daniel and Stephen, had careers and were at the top of their game. The photo was to be taken the night of the event. I worked hard for this event. When the time came to take the photo Alec, seated on a couch with his entire family, got up and said, " I am not going to give this picture to a f**king paparazzi.” and stormed out.

The photo was worth around $100,000 grand at the time. Even if I had sold it to 100 publications for a thousand bucks each, I would have a payday for all the work I did and would have taken no money from that raised for breast cancer research. But they screwed me. Alec walked out on the photo (I have a witness to the entire episode) and Carol kept saying they would make it up, that Alec behaved that way because he was fighting with his wife Kim Basinger and was in a bad mood, but she would make sure I got that photo. 

The day after the gala there was an an event honoring his father. Standing on stage with his family, Alec looked at me as he called all the media to the stage and said something like, this is the photo you all want, and posed with the whole family, rendering worthless any photo I could get of the family together. He did this on purpose and he did this vindictively. I did nothing to hurt Alec, all I did was to protect his mother and watch over her. And I put his mother’s Breast Cancer Fund on the map. He screwed me only because I was a celebrity photographer and a member of the media. There was no other reason. He could care less about all the time I put into helping his mother, he could care less about me moving out of New York City to help them. He could care less about anyone that was helping the fund.

In 1997, I was on every television show and my career was at the top of it's game. I was on 60 Minutes, Fox, Extra, MSNBC, Access Hollywood and so many more shows. I gave all this up to help a cause I thought was very worthwhile. I believed finding a cure for breast cancer and I believed in the Baldwins. How stupid I was. Little did I know how mean and dishonest this family was.

My celebrity friends performed for at the gala for free. Alan King was MC and when Gloria Gaynor sang " I Will Survive" to the room full of breast cancer survivors, there was not a dry eye in the house. Award winning actress Lee Grant was there, as was talk show host Rolonda Watts, and the event sold out. That night, we raised almost a million bucks.

My life has not been the same after this horrible family came on the scene, I was left devastated by them. I cried for months and thought about suicide. One minute I am on every television show and in the newspaper, living in a New York City duplex with a great career. The next thing I know, I am living in my brother’s cellar with no money even to feed my cats, because the Baldwins reneged on everything. I was conned. They left me with nothing.

The Baldwin fund kept using my contacts and building on what I had created. I had said from the beginning the gala should be held in New York City and in 1998 they took all my ideas and had it there. I was told the Baldwins did not even want to invite me, but certain members of the fund who were good people insisted that I attend. I did go and it was a bad mistake.

The Baldwins had security follow me everywhere and when I went to give Carol Baldwin a kiss, she turned and walked away from me. I started to cry. I did nothing to Carol Baldwin or her family and I really loved this lady. I was willing to forgive their lies and what they had done to ruin my life. I tried to look past it all, but being treated so badly that night finally made me angry. I wanted justice for being treated like s**t and I wanted justice for all their lies. And I wanted the world to know how the Baldwins were spending the Breast Cancer money they were collecting. 

Soon after, I retained lawyer John F. McHugh, to file suit against Alec Baldwin, Carol Baldwin and The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.

It was not easy. We had a judge at the beginning who must have been starstruck. He let Alec get away with everything. Alec would not show up at depositions time after time and the judge let him get away with it. I was also very ill at the time and when my lawyer told that to Baldwin lawyer Neil H. Greenberg, they could care less. When we finally got a judge to order Alec Baldwin to show up, Greenberg would not let him answer just about anything. 

Alec Baldwin then proved the kind of person he is He allowed his attorney to blame everything on his mother and, and when he did, the judge let Alec out of the case. He sold his own mother down the river.

We filed a appeal to have Alec put back in the case. It cost me $5,000 and I think the appeal would have worked. But the trial came up and the new judge would not allow any more delays, even though almost every delay was from the Baldwins and not us. It had almost been 10 years. I wanted my day in court, but I wanted Alec Baldwin there too. It was not to be.

We went to trial on December 2006, right before Christmas. This was not about money anymore, it was about justice. Sure, I wanted some kind of compensation to pay my lawyer, but I really wanted the world to know about how the fund spent its money. I wanted to let everyone know that the money Carol Baldwin collected and said would go or breast cancer research, also paid for her lifestyle. Her house in Stony Brook was paid out of the fund. Her car, limos, food, telephones and even her cable bill came out of donations that were made to the fund. She was and still is collecting a salary from the fund and so are other members of her family. In fact, this piggy bank the Baldwins discovered, has even grown more, with them forming another “charity” upstate called The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of Central New York. Even more Baldwins are on the payrolls. But that's another story.

I was disappointed in the trial, but I was lucky to have a very fair judge. She was great. I was on the stand and telling my story and I saw the disgust in the jurors faces and I saw their looks of horror at Carol Baldwin. This very rich family, collecting money for breast cancer research and every personal expense was being taken back from the fund. I clearly recall the looks on the jurors faces, when I told them that Carol Baldwin and her daughter Beth were also collecting salaries. But more disappointing was the media’s reaction. In the stories they wrote, instead of concentrating on where the money raised in the name of research was going, they concentrated on my battle over the value of the photo I was promised. Of course I wanted them to know the value of the pic but, more important, I wanted the media to concentrate on where the breast cancer research money was going. This is what outraged me the most.

So, after two days of testimony, I was called into the judge’s chambers. I cannot discuss the outcome of the suit, so I won't. But one of the things the Baldwin's wanted was a confidentiality agreement saying I would not disclose anything I knew about the Baldwins. I refused and told them point blank I would be writing a book someday. Now that day has come. 

I was not happy with the trial ending. I was told by the judge that it was Christmas and the Jury may take it out on me if I kept them there. My lawyer John F. McHugh said, "if a judge says that, you have to listen".

The media said Carol Baldwin and I made up. Not so. I was just being civil. In the back room, she gave me her cell phone number, like I would ever call this woman. It was not the photo deal that hurt me so much, it was Carol Baldwin and her family. I loved and adored this woman, treated her like a queen and I protected her. I was loyal and have nothing to be ashamed about in the way I handled the Baldwins. And everyone connected with the fund, said they never saw a great event like mine again.

My life has never been the same. I moved back to New York City, but my trust and ambition were all but destroyed by this family. There are very few people I trust anymore. I look at this celebrity business with hatred. I may have started, which is all about celebrities, but I no longer will cover events myself, unless I am being hired. I get invited to everything, yet I just will not go out. I am a hermit. The Baldwins destroyed any feeling I had for this business and just about any feeling I have for this life. I spend my time working on my website and spending time with the abused homeless kid I took off the streets a few years ago. I do not know how to make myself whole again, but I am working so hard on making the kid I took in whole.

I do not know what the answers are, but now I know that I want to write a book about the Baldwins. Maybe this will give me some peace. I have started to contact other people who were involved with the family, and everyone has such a bad taste from them. They have all said they will cooperate with the book. My co-writer is Ellen Sterling (Bahron). She is an award-winning journalist, and as News Director at Stony Brook Medical Center at the time all this happened, she worked with the Fund and I worked closely with her. She, in fact, is the witness to the incident I mentioned above, as well as many of the statements Carol Baldwin made to anyone that would listen.

Carol Baldwin loved to talk about the private family dirt. She loved to tell the horror stories of incest and she loved to talk about how her husband, Alexander, Sr., was so abusive, and all about his affairs. We would drive around in the car and she trashed anyone and everyone. She disliked Kim Basinger and she thought she was such a untalented actress. When we saw L.A. Confidential together, she spent the whole movie putting Kim down. I can just imagine what she said when Kim won an Oscar.

The apple does not fall far from the tree. As I have said before, William Baldwin is the only humane person in this family. He clearly sees what his mother and family are. The rest of this family are pure trash. Guests on The Jerry Springer Show would look normal compared to them. Sister Jane, too, was always very nice.

I am not trying to get revenge. I am trying to get peace of mind by writing this book. I believe justice was never served and I was never made whole by the courts. Every time I read another story on Alec Baldwin's antics with the media, it brings back all those bad memories of what was done to me. Alec Baldwin is a terrible person. And if Alec Baldwin thinks he will silence me with a lawsuit, bring it on, I have plenty of witnesses to back up everything I say, and would welcome a chance for all of us to have our say. 

And, it is worth noting that the charity itself bears close scrutiny. They have declined requests from organizations like the Better Business Bureau and Guide Star Foundation for information. Available records show that they’ve spent more than they’ve raised at times.

Tomorrow I head into seclusion for a month at Dune Point Guest House, on Fire Island to start the first chapters. I hope this book will end my sadness and distrust of the world.


Anonymous said…
So when will this book come out