Right up there in the leagues of Hollywood royalty, the Baldwin family sits pretty next to fellow industry greats such as the Coppolas, the Barrymores, and the Sheens. The acting clan has been in the biz since the four brothers — Alec, Daniel, Stephen, and Billy Baldwin — were in their prime. A time when being referred to as a Baldwin, such as in 1995’s Clueless, meant you were an “attractive guy” (via Chicago Tribune). Sure enough, back in the day, the Baldwin brothers were total heartthrobs — who can forget Alec in 1988’s Beetlejuice or Stephen in 1995’s The Usual Suspects?
Not only attracting attention thanks to their high-profile acting gigs, the Baldwins have also made headlines for their colorful personal lives, from the iconic coupling that was once Alec and Kim Basinger, to the brothers’ more volatile marriages and personal struggles. It’s not just the brothers who make up this legendary brood, however, as their children and wives have also made names for themselves and carved out their own niche audiences within the A-list.
However, much like the former first-generation siblings, it looks like everyone in this family has had their fair share of strife and difficulty. Here are the tragic details about the Baldwin family.
Whether it's Hilaria or Hillary, this situation definitely wasn't hilarious
Hilaria Baldwin, wife of Alec Baldwin, has regularly attracted attention for her ability to portray the perfect family life on her Instagram account, playing the role of proud “mama to five Baldwinitos.” That is, until December 2020, when Hilaria found herself in the center of a controversy that left the public questioning her heritage, accent, and even her name.
The scuttlebutt began when Amy Schumer teased the mom-of-five online after she posted a photo of her fit frame a mere three months after giving birth, per Page Six. Hilaria clapped back, criticizing her body-shamers in an Instagram video. What the public gravitated towards, however, was the influencer’s American accent. After all, in the past, Hilaria has identified as being Spanish.
According to the Daily Beast, the starlet’s former “CAA speaker page [claimed] that she was born in Mallorca, Spain,” and she took part in interviews that “identified [her] as a Spanish person.” Thanks to some online sleuths, however, it was revealed that she actually grew up in Massachusetts — and her real name is Hillary Hayward-Thomas. Hilaria finally took to her Instagram to confirm the rumors, murkily admitting, “Ethnically, I am a mix of many, many, many things.” This, of course, didn’t sit well with the public, particularly immigrants, or as Ale Russian wrote for People, “Appropriating a different culture … [is] a painful topic, one that becomes even more hurtful when someone like Hilaria, a self-professed white woman, thinks it’s no big deal.”
Hailey Bieber didn't exactly get along with all of Justin's Beliebers
While Justin Bieber and his wife, Hailey Bieber (neé Baldwin), may give off the image of total marital bliss, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t had their own share of ups and downs. Of course, the Canadian crooner has openly credited his missus for his newfound stability in life after a whirlwind of shady behavior, but he’s also come to Hailey’s aid, as well — particularly when it comes to his Beliebers.
As we all know, Justin was involved in a highly-publicized, on-and-off relationship with Selena Gomez for what seemed like forever. When the singer tied the knot with Hailey in 2018, the online bullying really began, causing the model to announce that taking social media breaks made her “feel so much [happier] as a person” (via Teen Vogue). As she explained on her Instagram Story, “It’s hard to focus on your well being and mental health when each time you open Instagram someone is tearing apart … your relationship.”
As the years have gone on, it appears that Justin’s Beliebers don’t exactly, well, “belieb” in this union. In December 2020, the singer clapped back at a fan on his Instagram Story, writing (via People), “I just wanted to share this so that people get an idea of what we face day to day. It is extremely hard to choose the high road when I see people like this try and rally to gather people to bully the person I love most in this world.”
Daniel Baldwin admitted to being a drug addict
Daniel Baldwin, the second oldest of the Baldwin brothers, rose to fame in the early ’90s, starring in flicks such as Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, acting alongside Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson. Tragically enough, while he was climbing the A-list ladder, he was spiraling into a severe drug addiction.
Speaking on Primetime in 2007 (via ABC News), the actor admitted that he “began using cocaine” in 1989, after landing his “first solid acting job” in his late 20s. “I’m a straight-up cocaine addict,” Daniel said. “I don’t really drink very much, although I have abused alcohol in the past. And I don’t use any other drugs. I don’t take pills. I don’t do anything. I’m a … diehard coke head.” He proceeded to let the film crew follow him on what was to be his ninth rehab stint at the age of 46.
In more recent years, Daniel has gotten sober, and is using his past experiences to aid others who are struggling, from helping drug addicts recover in Austin, Texas in 2017, to joining his brothers in a plan to open a drug rehab center in New York State in 2020. At the time of this writing, Baldwin’s ninth rehab trip was his last.
Daniel Baldwin's ex-wife threatened to kill him in front of their children
Along with battling an almost-20 year drug addiction that began in 1989, Daniel Baldwin has also suffered an extremely turbulent love life. As Mirror notes, “Daniel has been married three times and has five children by four different women.” It’s his third wife, Joanne Baldwin, however, that caused him the most trouble.
According to Mirror, the Knight Moves star met Joanne in 2006, “when she was the chef at a Malibu rehab centre which he attended.” The following year, the pair married, yet the marital bliss didn’t last long. By 2011, TMZ reported that Daniel had filed for divorce and a restraining order, stating, “Due to recent events in our home and for the safety of my children and myself, I have made this decision.” The actor then added, “I have had my share of problems with drugs and alcohol many years ago and know first hand how difficult a position she is in.”
Terrifyingly enough, in Daniel’s declaration obtained by TMZ, it was revealed that Joanne would reportedly become “highly intoxicated in [their] home,” and had threatened to kill her beau in front of their children, with their daughter allegedly asking, “Is Mommy going to kill us?” After briefly putting their split on hold, the volatile couple finally went their separate ways.
Alec Baldwin's infamous voicemail
It was the 2007 voicemail splattered upon countless headlines: Alec Baldwin calling his then-11-year-old daughter, Ireland Baldwin, a “thoughtless little pig,” all while throwing jabs at his ex-wife, Kim Basinger, whom he divorced in 2002.
Gossip rag TMZ obtained the shocking tape, in which Alec thundered, “I don’t give a damn that you’re 12-years-old or 11-years-old, or a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the a** who doesn’t care about what you do,” adding that he would “straighten her out.” Unsurprisingly, a family judge “temporarily barred Baldwin from having any contact with his child.”
Thankfully, the trio was eventually able to make amends. In 2012, 16-year-old Ireland shrugged off the sitch, telling Page Six, “The only problem with that voice mail was that people made it out to be a way bigger deal than it was. For me it was like, ‘OK, whatever.’ I called him back I was like, ‘Sorry Dad, I didn’t have my phone.’ That was it.” By 2017, the model roasted her father and the voicemail fiasco during the comedy special, One Night Only, which Alec took in stride. As for the actor, it looks like he’ll forever carry some form of guilt after his outburst. Speaking to Good Morning America that same year, he revealed that the incident is a “scab that never heals, because it’s being picked at all the time by other people.”
Alec Baldwin and his notorious temper
Besides his iconic Donald Trump impersonations on Saturday Night Live and the role of Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin is also known for his feisty temper — one that’s gotten him in trouble many, many times. One of his most memorable episodes? The biking incident where he got himself arrested in 2014.
Per CNN, the eldest Baldwin brother found himself cuffed and “issued two summonses — one for disorderly conduct — after riding a bicycle the wrong way on a New York street.” As Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster noted, “Police stated that he got belligerent and started arguing with them and using profanity,” after he failed to provide identification. Naturally, the actor took to Twitter to vent, writing, “New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign.”
Although in this particular situation the actor was verbally aggressive, he’s also been known to get physical — like the time in 2012, when a pap claimed to the Daily News that Alec had “lunged at [him] like [a] raging bull,” complete with “shov[es] and punch[es].” Unsurprisingly, the It’s Complicated star eventually landed in anger management, but as he revealed on The Howard Stern Show in 2019, “You go to anger management classes and, it’s funny … you realize you’re not that angry.”
Stephen Baldwin filed for bankruptcy
Since climbing to the top of the A-list ladder in the late ’80s, you’d think that all the Baldwin brothers have led a pretty cushy life, right? Think again. In 2009, The Hollywood Reporter unearthed court documents that “Stephen Baldwin filed for bankruptcy … claiming he owes more than $2.3 million and owns a New York property valued at only $1.1 million.” Yikes! Along with owing “about $1.2 million on two mortgages” and “more than $1 million in taxes,” The Usual Suspects star also revealed he was behind on his credit card payments, too.
By 2012, the situation got worse, with TMZ reporting that Stephen was arrested “for repeated failure to file personal income tax returns … for the years 2008, 2009, and 2010,” shockingly owing the city of New York “more than $350,000 in back taxes.” According to The Blast, the actor “narrowly avoided jail time by agreeing to pay back $300,000.”
Lady luck was finally on Stephen’s side by 2019. Per The Blast, he finally “paid back $21,434.87 in owed taxes,” and the IRS even filed “documents clearing the $407,000 lien,” which the star and his wife, Kennya, owed. Sure, he had to move from a mansion just outside New York City to an apartment in Queens, but it beats making a jail cell your humble abode. As The Blast notes, all in all, Stephen cleared himself of “$429,185.62 in tax debt.”
Ireland Baldwin went to rehab after a breakup
In April 2015, Us Weekly reported that Ireland Baldwin had “quietly split” with rapper Angel Haze — yet, being a Baldwin meant that what was to come didn’t exactly fly under the radar. Per R Online, the daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger subsequently checked herself into the Soba Treatment Center, a rehab facility in Malibu.
According to a source close to the starlet, “Ireland said that substance abuse and partying was only partially to blame for her mental and physical breakdown,” claiming that because of her breakup, “[she] said that just wanted to numb the pain the only way she knew how.” The model herself spoke out, writing in a since-deleted Twitter post (via R Online), “I checked myself into Soba for two weeks to just get away for a little bit. I’m not much of a party cat but I am here [to] deal with some emotional trauma and getting the intensive therapy I needed in order to recover.”
A few weeks after her treatment, Ireland recovered, and as the years went on, she became an advocate for mental health. In 2020, the starlet opened up about her “severe anxiety disorder” on her Instagram Story (via USA Today). “Announc[ing] a new project aiming to help those with mental health issues,” Ireland said that she would be “hosting an Instagram Live series” speaking to a variety of different people “about specific mental health issues they deal with.”
Politics have left the Baldwin family divided
You’d think that the entire Baldwin family would be critics of Donald Trump, thanks to Alec Baldwin’s impersonations on SNL. After all, the 45th president himself took to Twitter to express his displeasure in a since-deleted tweet (via Time): “Alex [sic] Baldwin, whose dieing [sic] mediocre career was saved by his impersonation of me on SNL, now says playing DJT was agony for him. Alex, it was also agony for those who were forced to watch. You were terrible.” Ouch!
Well, as it turned out, Trump actually had one Baldwin in his court: Stephen. The younger Baldwin, who is a staunch supporter of The Donald, admitted to CBS News in 2016 that he didn’t find his brother’s sketches “very funny.” The following year, he told The Hollywood Reporter that he “[hadn’t] spoken to [Alec] since the election … by his choice.”
Not only did Stephen clash with Alec when it came to politics, but with his daughter, too. As Hailey Bieber revealed to The Times in 2017, “It was a very big issue for me, but my dad’s still my dad.” The following year, she heartbreakingly told The Times that, “That was a very hurtful situation for me … We don’t talk about it now. It’s not worth the argument.” For the 2020 election, Bieber openly endorsed Joe Biden, while her father, yet again, backed Trump.
Alec Baldwin once suffered a drug overdose
While Daniel Baldwin’s drug addiction may have been the most publicized and chronicled, it turns out, he’s not the only Baldwin who has suffered from substance abuse. In 2017, during an interview with ABC News, Alec Baldwin revealed that he too had a drug addiction at the start of his career.
Elaborating on what he wrote in his memoir, Nevertheless, the Beetlejuice actor explained, “At that time … overdosing on drugs, which I’ve kept, you know, very private for years and years and years … I’m glad I got [sober] when I did ’cause not many people get sober when they’re young.” As he went on, “I got sober when I was just about to turn 27, and those two years that I lived in that white, hot period, as a daily drug abuser, as a daily drinker, to my misery — boy, that was a tough time. There was really, really a lot of pain in there.”
Thankfully, Alec has managed to stay sober since 1985, avoiding both drugs and alcohol. “I don’t miss drinking or taking drugs. It’s been forever,” The Hunt for Red October star revealed on The Howard Stern Show in 2018. “It just wasn’t for me.”
Hilaria Baldwin loves pregnancy, but it hasn't been easy for her
There’s no denying that Hilaria Baldwin loves being a mom. After all, she shares five children with hubby Alec Baldwin. “I didn’t know how much I’d like [motherhood],” the yoga instructor and influencer told People. “And I really, really like it.”
That being said, the road to motherhood hasn’t been without tragedy. On April 4, 2019, Hilaria took to Instagram to share that she was “most likely experiencing a miscarriage.” Speaking frankly to her followers, the starlet shared, “I want to be a part of the effort to normalize miscarriage … There is so much secrecy during the first trimester … I personally find it to be exhausting. I’m nauseous, tired, my body is changing. And I have to pretend that everything is just fine — and it truly isn’t.” A few days later, on April 9th, she posted again, this time confirming the worst. The A-list pair managed to get pregnant again later that year, but, unfortunately, Hilaria suffered her second miscarriage in November 2019. Taking to Instagram yet again, the mom shared, “We also want you to know that even though we are not ok right now, we will be.”
Even after giving birth to her 5th child in September 2020, it looks like Hilaria was still having a rough go at motherhood. A mere two months later, she managed to seriously injure herself, breaking her ankle. Her first concern? Not being able to “carry [her] babies” (via Instagram).
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