Daniel Baldwin wants everyone to know he had a very good excuse to skip a court date this week. The devil made him do it.
A Southern California judge issued a warrant for the Baldwin brother's arrest after he failed to turn up in a Newport Beach courtroom Wednesday for arraignment in a stolen car case. But in a voicemail left with the Detroit Free Press, Baldwin said he was in the Motor City shooting a horror flick, Little Red Devil, in which he plays the demonic title character.
In his message, the 46-year-old actor also denied stealing a friend's 2003 white GMC Yukon back in November and professed his innocence.
"[The allegation] is erroneous and a mistake...it isn't true," he said. "I'm sober today, and I'm working real hard on my career and becoming a productive member of society."
It's not known when Baldwin will finish shooting the independently financed film, produced by the Detroit horror outfit Skeleton Factory and costarring James Russo and E.T. mom Dee Wallace Stone.
However, back in the O.C., Baldwin faces a different kind of hell.
The actor was busted on Nov. 7 in Santa Monica after authorities received a report of a stolen vehicle. With the aid of a signal emitted by the Yukon's security system, police were able to track the SUV to a motel parking lot, where they collared a grubby-looking Baldwin as he climbed in.
The younger brother of Alec was subsequently charged in December with two felony counts of receiving stolen property and unlawfully taking a vehicle (while officers reportedly found narcotics and drug paraphernalia in his hotel room, no drug-related charges were filed). Baldwin was released on his own recognizance after posting a $20,000 bond.
Because an APB has been put out for his arrest, Baldwin's name was reportedly entered into a nationwide database, meaning that should a Detroit cop stumble upon the Little Red Devil set, the ex-Homicide detective could wind up in the back of a squad car.
Baldwin's manager, Daniel Spilo, could not be reached for comment Friday. But in a statement to ABC News, he said, "Daniel was told that everything was going to be taken care of."
"These charges are a big misunderstanding," Spilo added.
Meanwhile, Baldwin's buddy Kenneth Smith, who owned the SUV the actor is accused of stealing, has come to Baldwin's defense.
"I've been best of friends with Daniel for 20 years, and he had permission to borrow my car anytime he wanted it," he told ABC News. "This is just a big mistake."
Smith said he submitted a signed affidavit to prosecutors hoping to clear up the matter.
But a spokeswoman for the Orange County D.A. said the charges are still on file and Baldwin is expected to return to California early next week.
"His attorney has contacted our office and indicated that the two of them would be coming in on Tuesday for an arraignment, and we anticipate arraigning him at that time, but until then there will still be a warrant," Farrah Emami told E! Online.
This is not the first time Baldwin's run afoul of the authorities.
He had faced a misdemeanor cocaine-possession count stemming from an April arrest at another Santa Monica hotel when he allegedly threatened a woman and was under the influence of narcotics. But no charges were filed in that case due to insufficient evidence.
Baldwin also made headlines in July after driving a rented Ford Thunderbird 80 miles per hour through Los Angeles streets and smashing into two parked cars. He was detained for questioning and found to be driving with a suspended license, but prosecutors declined to file misdemeanor charges.
Despite his personal problems, Baldwin keeps finding employment.
"We're thrilled to be working with Daniel Baldwin and James Russo," Little Red Devil producer Todd Brunswick said in a statement. "It's been a complete delight. They're consummate professionals, have a great rapport with our cast and crew, and are enjoying their stay here."
Baldwin's big-screen credits include Mulholland Falls, Car 54, Where Are You?, John Carpenter's Vampires, Trees Lounge and Paparazzi; his TV roles include parts on NYPD Blue, Homicide and Touched by an Angel.