TAPE TRIPS UP BLUSTERING BALDWIN
ALEC ("Bloviator") Baldwin is lying when he denies saying he'd leave the country if George W. Bush is elected president. He's said it more than once, and his long-suffering wife, Kim Basinger, evidently heard him.
Basinger was asked by a correspondent for the prestigious German news magazine Focus: "Your husband once said that he might leave the country if the Republicans win the upcoming presidential election. Would you go with him?"
Focus, in its Sept. 18 issue, quoted her as replying: "I can imagine that Alex would follow through with this. And then, I guess, I might go with him."
As negative reaction mounted, Baldwin frantically tried to back off his bombastic promise with a statement planted yesterday in Mitchell Fink's gullible column.
"I never said I'd leave the country, and my wife never heard of Focus magazine and never talked to them," Baldwin was quoted.
In fact, Columbia Tristar set up the meeting between Basinger and Focus U.S. Correspondent Annette Schipprack on April 17 at an international junket promoting the movie "I Dreamed of Africa."
And Schipprack has the entire interview on tape, in case Baldwin and Fink would like to hear Basinger's answer in her own voice. Schipprack says Baldwin can't change Basinger's quote after the fact: "You have to live with what you say."
Focus is the Time and Newsweek of Germany with a weekly circulation of 5.7 million. The magazine's publicist, Ronnie Chasen, told PAGE SIX's Jacquelynn D. Powers: "This is a very serious publication, and they are very scrupulous."
Our spies tell us that big-mouth Baldwin has threatened to flee the U.S. before. Back in 1992, while house-hunting in the Hamptons, he said he'd become an expatriate if the elder Bush triumphed over Bill Clinton. "At first I hoped he was joking, but when I realized he was serious I let the subject drop," recalls our source.
On Monday at a Screen Actors Guild rally, Baldwin told Fox News that if The Dubya wins, it "might be a good time to take a long vacation." He also promised that he is getting out of politics for the duration of the election. Fat chance.
Calls to Baldwin's and Basinger's publicists were not returned. Focus magazine says it expects star-struck columnist Fink to run a retraction.posted by aaron at 2:16 PM on September 20, 2000
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