Alec Baldwin is speaking out in more detail about Tuesday's incident involving a Daily News photographer in New York, reiterating earlier statements that no punches were thrown and asserting that he was just trying to defend himself after nearly being hit in the face by a camera.
The 30 Rock actor told CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose on his PBS program Tuesday night that the photographer was actually the aggressor. "Well the guy, there was a person in front of me, and he was blocking him and he lunged, and he almost hit me in the teeth with the lens of the camera. So I just pushed the guy away."
Baldwin added that it would not have been a smart move to assault someone outside the marriage licensing bureau where the incident took place. "If I'm slugging a photographer out in front of the courthouse... I mean I'm dumb but I'm not that dumb. There must have been ten cops out there on the block. But they do, this is a guy that baited me before -- he camped out in front of my house, they've done this before."
Photographer Marcus Santos told the Daily News on Tuesday that he was snapping images of the Baldwin and his fiancée Hilaria Thomas on the street in Manhattan when Baldwin allegedly grabbed another news photographer, then starting shoving Santos and hit him in the chin.
Baldwin told Rose he wishes that he didn't have to deal with photographers 24/7 despite doing extensive press engagements. "In this business, the modern era, all of us, we make appointments with the press," he said. "This is an appointment with the press. We make ourselves available as an obligation per our contract to our employers to represent the product and help to sell the product. And then when I walk out the door, that's over. When the guy jumps out of the bushes with a camera to take a picture of my kid, they want to say to you here's another appointment you have with the press."
The star also said some photographers are even trying to provoke celebrities into retaliating. "Oh they try to bait you. That's the Sean Penn Syndrome. Where they come after you and they know you're going to take the bait and they come after you. And then eventually you do... I mean I didn't. This guy said I hit him with my fist -- I said absolutely untrue."