Baldwin said George Stark, a Daily Mail reporter who accused his wife of tweeting during James Gandolfini's funeral, was a "toxic little queen." He threatened him with physical violence, and wrote, "I want all of my followers and beyond to straighten out this f---ing little bitch." He also wrote that he would "put my foot up your f---ing ass, George Stark, but I'm sure you'd dig it too much."
Baldwin subsequently wrote to GLAAD: "My ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mail had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone's sexual orientation. My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend's funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize."
Baldwin also told Gothamist that he didn't mean "queen" as an anti-gay slur.
"A queen to me has a different meaning," he said. "It's somebody who's just above. It doesn't have any necessarily sexual connotations. To me a queen... I know women that act queeny, I know men that are straight that act queeny, and I know gay men that act queeny. It doesn't have to be a definite sexual connotation, or a homophobic connotation."
He added: "If homosexuality was an issue for me, I would have moved out of New York years ago. I find that laughable."
In his letter to GLAAD, Baldwin also pointed out that he has been an ardent supporter of gay rights, writing "I have worked, periodically, with numerous marriage equality organizations, especially over the past couple of years, to achieve the very rights that gay couples are earning by recent court decisions."
GLAAD vice president of communications Rich Ferraro replied: "Alec Baldwin is making it clear that the intent behind his tweets does not excuse his language, especially at a time when there were 11 incidents of violence against gay men in New York City just last month. As we all work to end such senseless acts of violence, allies like Baldwin are right to use these moments to reinforce support for the community and LGBT equality."
Though Baldwin has revived his Twitter account after previous flounces, he told Gothamist that this time he's going to stay off: "No, good God no. There are so many aspects of this that I'm so done with now, and only because I don't want to provide," he said, adding that his decision was influenced by Gandolfini's lack of of Twitter account. "One thing about Jimmy Gandolfini was that he wasn't on Twitter," he said, "I thought, 'you know something? I'm gonna take a lesson from Jimmy Gandolfini.'"
It was unclear whether Baldwin might suffer any Paula Deen-like backlash for his remarks. Calls to Capital One, for which Baldwin is a spokesman, were not returned.