East Texas Judge, Psychologist React To Alec Baldwin's Outburst Against Daughter - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/27/07-East Texas

East Texas Judge, Psychologist React To Alec Baldwin's Outburst Against Daughter

Today, Alec Baldwin got emotional on ABC's The View, declaring he's sorry for mistreating his daughter.  As you may recall, Baldwin verbally attacked his 11-year old daughter, Ireland, on her voicemail.

In the message Baldwin called his daughter "a thoughtless little pig.  You don't have the brains or the decency as a human being".  Right now, Baldwin and his ex-wife Kim Basinger are in a bitter custody dispute over Ireland.

On The View, he explained his latest tirade.  "There's nothing wrong with being angry, or uh being frustrated.  It's the way you do it.... I took it out on the wrong person.  And because of the current dynamic, I needed to address the other person," said Baldwin.  

Baldwin has sought counseling for his comments from TV psychologist Dr. Phil.

An East Texas judge told us the voice mail Baldwin left his daughter is nothing compared to what he has seen.  He says divorced parents often put their children in the middle of their fights without realizing it.

"It's a shame that two people who obviously care about each other, can't put aside their petty difference for the benefit of their kid," said Cherokee County court at law Judge Craig Fletcher.

Fletcher says he has at least 30 cases of contested child custody that he knows of in the coming month.  "Unfortunately, what I see commonly in the area of family law is one parent using children as a weapon to get back at the other spouse," said Fletcher.

The Baldwin's bitter custody battle has been going on for years.  Clinical Associates Of East Texas psychologist Wilson Renfroe says that's why he was not surprised at Baldwin's behavior.  "That phone call may illustrate some of the general problems that people have in these kinds of situations," said Renfroe.

Renfroe says most of the time, people involved in custody battles are so concerned about being right, they do not realize what it's doing to their child.  "In most cases that I see, I don't see the parents have a great deal of understanding about how their behavior is affecting other people.  They basically want to win.  They truly believe that what they're doing is in the best interest of their child," said Renfroe.

Renfroe says, the best thing to do is to put the child's feelings first.  "The best thing that they can do is lay aside the issues that caused them to get the divorce in the first place, but for their children to lay those aside and to focus on getting along with the parent of their children," said Renfroe.

He says it's something that's not easy to do, but in the end, it'll pay off.  Judge Fletcher says the time to seek counseling is when both parents cannot sit down with their child and calmly talk.  He says that's when parents should get help, so they don't put their child in the middle of a bad situation.      

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com


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