Alec Baldwin said "goodbye to public life" over the weekend in a lengthy New York magazine essay filled with jabs at everyone from Shia LaBeouf and MSNBC's Phil Griffin to TMZ's Harvey Levin and Rachel Maddow.
In a nearly 5,300-word piece that exhumed all his recent paparazzi run-ins and celebrity feuds, the 55-year-old former "30 Rock" star vowed to end his life in the spotlight.
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"I've lived this for 30 years, I'm done with it," Baldwin wrote in the essay, published Sunday night on New York's Vulture blog
. "I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible. This is the last time I'm going to talk about my personal life in an American publication ever again."
Baldwin said a lot of his angst stems from a November incident with a paparazzo in which he was accused of using a homophobic slur.
"I find myself bitter, defensive, and more misanthropic than I care to admit," he wrote. "And I’m trying to understand what happened, how an altercation on the street, in which I was accused — wrongly — of using a gay slur, could have cascaded like this. There's been a shift in my life. And it’s caused me to step back and say, 'This is happening for a reason.'"
Baldwin feels he has been wrongly painted as a homophobe by the media — a title he says couldn't be further from the truth.
"Am I a homophobe? Look, I work in show business. I am awash in gay people, as colleagues and as friends. I’m doing 'Rock of Ages' one day, making out with Russell Brand. Soon after that, I’m advocating with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cynthia Nixon for marriage equality. I’m officiating at a gay friend's wedding. I'm not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me," Baldwin wrote.
Baldwin then recounted his negative experiences working with Shia LaBeouf, who suffered a public downfall after a plagiarism incident and also recently vowed to quit public life. More in Baldwin's burn book: TMZ's Levin, MSNBC's Griffin and Maddow, actor Rob Lowe, and CNN's Anderson Cooper, among others.
The only choice, Baldwin wrote, is to get away from New York, the city he's called home since 1979.
"I just can't live in New York anymore. Everything I hated about L.A. I'm beginning to crave," he wrote. "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."
"It’s goodbye to public life in the way that you try to communicate with an audience playfully like we’re friends, beyond the work you are actually paid for. Letterman. 'Saturday Night Live.' That kind of thing. I want to go make a movie and be very present for that and give it everything I have, and after we’re done, then the rest of the time is mine."
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