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Alec Baldwin wasn't simply "saddened" and "sorry" after his April 2007 voice-mail tirade against his daughter leaked onto the Internet—he was suicidal.
"[I was] very serious…I spoke to a lot of professionals, who helped me," the actor says in the upcoming issue of Playboy. "If I committed suicide, they [Kim Basinger's team] would have considered that a victory. Destroying me was their avowed goal."
The actor also explains why he chose to trust The View with his public show of remorse, and why he'll never set foot on the Today show's soundstage.
"When that voice-mail tape thing happened, Matt Lauer interviewed [TMZ's Harvey] Levin before he even called me," Baldwin says. "Lauer put Levin on Today, and they never phoned me…I saw that and said, 'My relationship with the Today show is over.' I'll never do Today again ever. Life's too short."
While Lauer and Levin have yet to make peace with the Emmy winner, both Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters share a warm place in his heart.
"I trusted Whoopi and Barbara Walters. Whoopi is an impeccably decent person, and I'm grateful she gave me a forum."
The star then talks about Twitter and various other boldfaced names from Tom Cruise to Lindsay Lohan, as well as his thoughts on how to become a celebrity.
"Don't pay your federal income taxes, get drunk and try to bolt through airport security with a gun in your suitcase, and, last but not least, get a DUI and be arrested in Malibu."
Someday in the far-off, unlikely future—perhaps after he's retired from 30 Rock, which, he says, will happen in March 2012—he'd like to live as if his version of that fame never happened.
"I have this silly fantasy. I get married again, I have a kid. I'd love another shot at that, with everything I've learned," he admits. "My kid's like eight, comes home and says, 'Dad, Jimmy's mom says you were a famous actor on TV and in the movies. Is that true?' And I go, 'Yes, Johnny, Dad was famous.' "