Actor Alec Baldwin is in the headlines again. He is accused of racially abusing a New York Post staff photographer, who is also a decorated, retired police officer.
Both parties in the alleged incident have taken opposing positions, with the photographer claiming he was called “racist” epithets and Baldwin countering that he was “assaulted.”
After being called to the scene to intervene, police have confirmed that the alleged episode took place at around 10:50 am on Sunday near a Greenwich Village yoga studio owned by Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria Thomas.
Baldwin was first approached by New York Post reporter, Tara Palmeri, while he walked his two small dogs outside his East 10th Street apartment. The actor was asked for a comment about a lawsuit recently filed against his wife related to her work as a yoga instructor.
The Daily News reports that the 30 rock star replied, “I have nothing to say to the Daily News,” mistaking Palmeri for News staff.
It’s alleged that Baldwin then grabbed Palmeri by her arm and told her, “I want you to choke to death.” Palmeri, reportedly, has since played an audiotape of that conversation to police.
It was at this point, reportedly, that Post photographer, G. N. Miller, who is black and was working on the Thomas follow-up story with Palmeri, stepped in to help his colleague.
Baldwin allegedly called Miller “a c**n,” a “crackhead,” and a “drug dealer” during the confrontation.
During the heated exchange, Miller — who previously worked for 15 years in the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Organized Crime Control Bureau — says he showed the actor his ID to prove he was a retired police officer after Baldwin became “too aggressive.”
According to the New York Post, Miller says Baldwin dismissed Miller’s ID as “fake,” abused him with a series racial slurs, and “bumped” him in the chest during the face-off.
“He was saying some serious racist stuff. He said some choice words about my mother, and he was telling people in the street that I’m a drug dealer. He could have said a lot of other stuff. But he used all of the stereotypes associated with black people.”
Baldwin later told police Miller had “pushed into him.” The 54-year-old also posted a series of messages on his Twitter account, some of which the Post claims were later deleted.
Among the still visible tweets on the actor’s timeline, one read:
“Thank u 2 NYPD officers who came to my home 2day so that I could file a formal complaint against NY Post “photographer” who assaulted me.”
In a tweet that was reportedly deleted, Baldwin referred to Miller as “Ralston,” writing:
“Moments after I tweet about the Post, Ralston, the ex-crackhead ‘photographer’ shows up at my door w 1 of Murdoch’s nieces in tow.”
The Post also alleges that Baldwin posted this message from his Twitter account, before deleting it.
“Ralston claims he’s ex NYPD!! That can’t be!!! Ex NYPD don’t become crackhead, ex jailhouse paparazzi!”
Both Baldwin and Miller have filed harassment claims against each other, and the actor has robustly defended himself on Twitter against the Post’s coverage of the event.
The Associated Press reports that the actor tweeted a message that said:
“I wonder what outrageous claims the Post will make tomorrow re the ‘photographer’ I filed an NYPD complaint against today.”
Baldwin added that the Post’s reporting of Miller’s claims that he was called racial slurs amounted to “magical thinking.”
According to the Post, neither of the two men’s police complaint will go any further, except possibly in a civil action.
Reportedly, Baldwin’s spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik, has since slammed Miller’s accusations as “completely false,” adding, “that’s one of the most outrageous things I’ve heard in my life.”
The Daily News notes that in June last year, Baldwin had a violent altercation with one of their photographers, and is also upset by the Post’s recent coverage of the lawsuit action pending against his pregnant wife.
Where do you think the blame lies, if any, in this latest incident involving Baldwin?