By Donna Freydkin, USA TODAY
Update, 7 p.m.: Et voila - the apology, via a statement to GLAAD:
"My ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mailhad absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone's sexualorientation. My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying anddisseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at ourfriend's funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, Iapologize.
I have worked, periodically, with numerous marriageequality organizations, especially over the past couple of years, toachieve the very rights that gay couples are earning by recent courtdecisions. I would not advocate violence against someone for being gayand I hope that my friends at GLAAD and the gay community understandthat my attack on Mr. Stark in no way was the result of homophobia.
Many Thanks, Alec Baldwin."
GLAAD's VP of communications, Rich Ferraro, seems satisfied:
"AlecBaldwin is making it clear that the intent behind his tweets does notexcuse his language, especially at a time when there were 11 incidentsof violence against gay men in New York City just last month. As we allwork to end such senseless acts of violence, allies like Baldwin areright to use these moments to reinforce support for the community andLGBT equality."
Update: The feverish analysis of the case of Baldwin vs. the Daily Mail continues. Apparently, there's an issue of time zones. Could the reporter have been reading the Tweets incorrectly?
Earlier, his wife, whose account remains active, Tweeted that she "would like a real apology."
To recap: Last night, a war of words took place on Twitter, thanks to Alec Baldwin's attack against the Daily Mail, which ran a story alleging that Baldwin's pregnant spouse, Hilaria, was Tweeting during James Gandolfini's funeral Thursday.
Thereporter posted the time stamps on her Tweets, which were promotional,and not exactly appropriate when Gandolfini's nearest and dearest werepaying their respects to him.
Baldwin, not known for his calm andcool demeanor, or his restraint, unleashed a torrent of verbal abuseagainst the reporter of the story, whose byline was no longer on theonline piece.
The least nasty one: "My wife and I attend a funeralto pay our respects to an old friend, and some toxic Brit writes this(expletive) trash."
And then he Tweeted: "My wife DID NOT use her phone, in any capacity, at our friends funeral."
He added: "Good luck to all of you who know the truth."
Hispregnant wife posted the following: "I don't know what hurts more:people randomly and maliciously writing lies about you, or the peoplewho actually believe them."
Of course, as we all know, you can pre-schedule Tweets to post automatically. So there's absolutely no proof that Mrs. Baldwin was doing anything untoward at the funeral. But hey, that didn't stop a salacious story.
Itwas all clearly upsetting for Baldwin, who also posted the following:"How much of this (expletive) are people supposed to take? With these(expletive) blatant lies EVERY DAY."
George Stark, the reporter whose byline was removed from the story, hadn't replied via Twitter as of Thursday night.
Andit now appears that Baldwin shut down his own Twitter account,@ABFalecbaldwin, after announcing that he'd fired his publicist.