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Alec Baldwin defends himself; show taken off air

Alec Baldwin defends himself; show taken off air

SHOW SUSPENDED: Alec Baldwin leaves criminal court in New York. Baldwin testified that he never had a sexual or romantic relationship with Canadian actress Genevieve Sabourin, who is accused of stalking him. MSNBC says it has suspended Alec Baldwin's new weekly talk show and didn't specify why. MSNBC's action followed an encounter Baldwin had with a photographer Thursday, Nov. 14, in New York in which the actor was heard on videotape using an anti-gay insult. Photo: Associated Press/Seth Wenig, File

Troubled actor Alec Baldwin has defended himself in a candid blog at the end of a nightmare week during which his talk show was taken off air following a controversial confrontation with a photographer.

The “30 Rock” star’s U.S. TV series Up Late was suspended by bosses at America’s MSNBC network for two weeks after Baldwin was accused of using homophobic language during a clash with a photographer in New York on Thursday.

Baldwin, who claimed the paparazzo got too close to his wife Hilaria and baby daughter Carmen, subsequently issued a public apology, and now he has explained himself in a lengthy blog for the Huffingtonpost.

The actor insists he did not use a homophobic slur during the incident with the photographer, and claims he has learned from previous mistakes after he was criticized for branding a reporter a “toxic little queen” over the summer during a dispute over allegations his wife Hilaria was using Twitter.com during James Gandolfini’s funeral.

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Baldwin writes, “I think it is important to note, in light of recent events, a couple of clarifications. One is that I never used the word (slur) in the tape recording being offered as evidence against me. What word is said right after the other choice word I use is unclear. But I can assure you, with complete confidence, that a direct homophobic slur (or indirect one for that matter) is not spoken. In the wake of referring to a tabloid ‘journalist’ as a toxic queen, I would never allow myself to make that mistake again, nor would I expose my wife and family to the attendant ridicule. My friends who happen to be gay are baffled by this. They see me as one who has recently fought for marriage equality and has been a supporter of gay rights for many years.”

The star goes on to reveal he feels “heartbroken” by the decision to suspend his TV show, and he fears the series may never make it back on air.

He adds, “Whether the show comes back at all is at issue right now. My producers and I had a very enlightening and well-researched program prepared to air on November 22nd itself, dealing with John Kennedy’s assassination. That show is off the air now… It’s heartbreaking to me that the show, meant to coincide with the actual anniversary, will not be aired that night… Don’t allow my problem to be MSNBC’s problem. They are good people who work hard at a job, just like many of you. And two, please respect the privacy of my wife and family. If you have an opinion of me, then express it. Think what you like. But I ask that my wife, who I care about more than words can say, and both my children, be left out of this.”

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Gaza fighting abates as diplomatic tension flares

Palestinian Abir Shamaleh, left, sits next to the grave of her son Saher, a civilian according to the family, who was killed in an Israeli strike during the war, as members of the family visit a cemetery in Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Monday, July 28, 2014. Monday marked the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims usually start the day by visiting cemeteries, to pay their respects to the dead, and then exchange family visits.

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