Listen up, tabloid reporters: Because of you, Alec Baldwin is saying "goodbye to public life. ... I've lived this for 30 years, I'm done with it."
In a long piece that appeared under his byline Sunday night on New York Magazine's Vulture blog, Baldwin, 55, writes that being labeled a "homophobic bigot" in the media after an altercation with a paparazzo in November 2013 was the last straw for him as a celebrity. (Sound familiar?)
"I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible," Baldwin writes. "This is the last time I'm going to talk about my personal life in an American publication ever again."
He also denies that he used a homophobic slur during that infamous confrontation with the photographer. "Do you honestly believe I would give someone like TMZ's Harvey Levin, of all people, another club to beat me with?" he writes.
Baldwin spoke to USA TODAY shortly before the essay's publication about friend/co-star Elaine Stritch, also touching on his life as a new dad (wife Hilaria gave birth to daughter Carmen in August). The last time he had children, he was married to actress Kim Basinger, and "I was much younger and when you're younger, there's more work. I worked all the time. Every moment I wasn't working, I was home with my family. I got divorced," he says. "And now I'm doing it all over again and I've learned that the key is, I've got to work less. I need to be home more. That's the goal now. I have a steady flow of things people want me to do."
Other revelations in the New York Magazine 5,000-word essay, which is labeled "as told to Joe Hagan" and is the cover story for the Feb. 24 print issue:
He's ready to move out of New York City, which he's called home since 1979. "I just can't live in New York anymore," he writes. "Everything I hated about L.A. I'm beginning to crave. L.A. is a place where you live behind a gate, you get in a car, your interaction with the public is minimal. I used to hate that. But New York has changed."
He's angry at MSNBC, which canceled his talk showUp Late with Alec Baldwin after the run-in with the photographer. "If MSNBC went off the air tomorrow, what difference would it make? ... MSNBC, in its own way, is as ... redundant and as superfluous, as Fox."
Baldwin also writes about his thwarted political ambitions: "I had dreams of running for office at some point in the next five years."
And there's the inevitable Shia LaBeouf angle: "LaBeouf seems to carry with him, to put it mildly, a jailhouse mentality wherever he goes," Baldwin writes of his fellow actor, whom he briefly worked with on the Broadway play Orphans. (LaBeouf left the production and was replaced by Ben Foster.) "He (LaBeouf) had that card, that card you get when you make films that make a lot of money that gives you a certain kind of entitlement. I think he was surprised that it didn't work in the theater."
There's much, much more in the essay, so do read the whole thing.