Stephen Baldwin was arrested on Thursday for alleged repeated failures to file his New York state personal income tax. Mr. Baldwin, an actor, conservative Christian and younger brother to 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin, allegedly failed to file taxes for three years–2008 through 2010–and he may owe the state over $350,000.
CBS New York quoted a statement from Rockland County, N.Y., D.A. Thomas Zugibe, who said Mr. Baldwin’s “repetitive failure to file returns and pay taxes over a period of several years” was just another element contributing to “the sweeping cutbacks and closures in local government and schools.”
Alec Baldwin’s 30 Rock character, Jack Donaghy, was revealed in a 2010 episode to have recorded every word of the English language onto a university linguistics department website in order to preserve American diction for future generations.
And, though he hasn’t yet been named a General Electric executive, Mr. Baldwin’s putting the show’s surrealist plots into action.
Tony Bennett’s wasn’t the only gala dinner in Manhattan last Thursday, but that’s where Shindigger was, arriving at Cipriani 42nd Street for cocktail hour, just in time to catch a glimpse of Alec Baldwin. “Oh my God, he’s lost so much weight—I didn’t even recognize him!” we heard one guest whisper to another, eyeing the star who would kick off 30 Rock’s final season later that night. Mr. Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria Thomas, flaunted her Hebrew for the night’s honoree, entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman, before the couple headed off to the Norman Mailer Center benefit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Mr. Bennett, whose nonprofit Exploring the Arts operates in New York public schools, apparently lacked Ms. Thomas’s linguistic talent. Or so we learned when we asked the 86-year-old crooner, whose third Duets album pairs him with the likes of Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan, about his Spanish. “No habla Español,” answered his 46-year-old wife, co-host and translator, Susan Benedetto. We changed the subject to Mr. Bennett’s next album, a recently announced full-length collaboration with Lady Gaga. “I know that she’s one of the great singers of all time, but people don’t know that,” Mr. Bennett explained. “They just see another, you know, big new star coming up, but she is one hell of a singer. She can improvise as great as Ella Fitzgerald.”
We stopped at the bar to take in the student artwork, alongside photographs of Mr. Bennett (himself a talented painter) with young dancers and musicians. A disembodied voice urged us to our table, where pink paintbrushes matched the flower arrangement.
A veteran press agent assesses the week in ballyhoo.
FAKE FEUD: Desperate for attention after ratings for last year’s duo of big butt (JLo) and big lips (Steven Tyler) began dropping faster than Justin Bieber’s voice, American Idol took a page from the WWE playbook and decided to stage what appeared to be a Read More
Big Apple Idolatry
And in a shocking upset, Edward Norton beat out Kristen Bell, Sophia Bush, Jonah Hill and Eva Longoria in Zynga’s first-ever celebrity competition of Words with Friends, a game that we had all previously assumed Alec Baldwin was the hands-down champion of. As it turned out, Mr. Baldwin didn’t even enter the ring, basically throwing the fight to the Fight Club actor, who won $132,500 for his charity, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.
Mr. Norton did give a shout-out to the WWF master in his acceptance speech:
The Month In...
- Fresh off his Broadway run in Chicago, Usher will be kicking his feet up in one of those swivel pods on the third season of The Voice. He and Shakira will be taking over for Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo Green, who are vacating their judges’ chairs on NBC’s hit music contest. Of coorse, Usher has an ace card up his sleeve to win over any waffling young talent. It’s two words, and rhymes with Bustin Tweezer.
With Labor Day, we said goodbye to August, the Sunday of months, the last chance to relax until easing back into normal life. But if you’re Alec Baldwin, you never slowed down—not for a minute. Tracking the actor’s every move via Twitter, gossip columns and party photos (because how can you not?), we found that even in his leisure time the man is unstoppable, mixing work, play and philanthropy in a way that would exhaust mere mortals.
Click through our slideshow for an illustrated tour through Alec’s August, or click here for a large image.
Celebrities and religion
The Observer put down our book last Saturday and ventured out to Gardiner Farm for the eighth annual Authors Night at the East Hampton Library. By the time we arrived, a plethora of library patrons—evidently undeterred by the cloudy skies—swarmed the tent in hopes of chatting up their favorite writers.
Hosted by library benefactors Alec Baldwin and Barbara Goldsmith, the reception boasted a guest list of more than 100 authors—everyone from the former Real Housewife of New York Kelly Killoren Bensimon, author of the “supermodel diet” book I Can Make You Hot, to the esteemed Lyndon Johnson biographer Robert Caro. Literary aficionados of all breeds meandered between tables with plastic cups of wine, accumulating stacks of personally inscribed hardcovers.
Sitting beside a large pile of copies of his second autobiography, Dick Cavett appeared to be thoroughly enjoying the attention of a throng of admirers and photographers. As we approached, he spontaneously grabbed both sides of our head and pulled us in for a dramatic kiss on the cheek. “I just wanted to give the photographer a thrill,” he whispered, a gleam in his eye.
Poor Alec Baldwin! Not only is the recent Vanity Fair cover guy better known for his hot head than for his new, cool marriage to Hilaria Thomas or his role on 30 Rock, but it turns out most of the country refuses to accept Mr. Baldwin as the last word on their lord and savior as well!
The Emmy nominations are set to be announced tomorrow, and all eyes in coffee shops and traffic-thirsty blogs will be on the fate of Girls. Let’s predict what other shows were widely regarded as good this past year!