Baldwin V. Basinger: from Bad to Worse

updated 12/05/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/05/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

When it comes to throwing mud, Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin—and their lawyers—seem to be out to set a record in their ongoing custody fight over their 10-year-old daughter Ireland. On Nov. 14 Baldwin, 47, fired off the latest salvo: a blistering 27-page filing in L.A. superior court that accuses Basinger, 51, of being a master manipulator, with drinking and emotional problems. "She comes across as demure and shy," the actor says in a court statement. "However, she is responsible for every single incident in which this case has been driven into open court." Baldwin, who claims to have racked up more than $1 million in legal fees, asserts that Ireland is "taught fear from her mother" and encouraged to "function as a spy" while she visits him, during which time he claims she phones her mother eight to 10 times a day. He also predicts that without court-mandated parenting classes, Basinger "will succeed in completely destroying my relationship with my daughter," one of many charges she denies. "Kim Basinger does not believe there is any merit to Alec Baldwin's pending motions before the court," says a rep for the actress. "These motions are just a further attempt to attack Kim Basinger."

The strife between the couple, who wed in August 1993, has gotten worse since their 2001 divorce. Despite receiving joint custody in March 2004, the actor has filed a series of complaints accusing Basinger of violating the judgment. On the surface, Ireland seems to have weathered the storm. "She's a very nice girl, well adjusted," says a source. "When they're in the same room, Kim and Alec don't talk, but I see no drama." That almost certainly won't be the case at a Dec. 13 custody hearing. "At the rate they're going, this battle may not end until Ireland turns 18," says Lynn Soodik, an L.A. family law specialist. "The court always asks what's in the child's best interest. Unfortunately, parents often lose sight of that."

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