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Kim Basinger at 70: her two divorces, being sued by Hollywood and her agoraphobia battle

Many Happy Returns to Kim Basinger! We look back on her incredible life and career 

Kim Basinger arrives at the Los Angeles premiere "Fifty Shades Darker" in 2017
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
8 December 2023
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Many happy returns to Kim Basinger! The iconic actress and former fashion model, who rose to fame with her roles in films including Batman, L.A. Confidential and 9 1/2 Weeks. The Oscar-winning star has had an illustrious career as well as a fascinating personal life, so we’re taking a walk down memory lane to find out more about the star’s life and achievements as she turns 70… 

A young Kim Basinger modelling© Getty

Modelling beginning

Kim was a ballet dancer and a cheerleader as a teenager, and won Athens Junior Miss in a Miss Scholarship Pageant. Following that, she became a model with Ford Modelling Agency, and was on the album cover for the band Survivor, as well as appearing in many adverts. Despite her success, she admitted that she wasn’t a fan of the job. She said: "It was very hard to go from one booking to another and always have to deal with the way I looked. I couldn't stand it. I felt myself choking."

She eventually quit modelling to go into acting, and had her breakthrough role in the James Bond movies Never Say Never Again, where she played Domino Petachi. 

Kim Basinger and husband Ron Snyder attend the 42nd Annual Golden Globe Awards  on January 26, 1985 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills© Getty

Kim's two marriages

Kim has been married twice, once to makeup artist Ron Snyder-Britton in 1980, who she met while filming Hard Country, and a second time in 1990 to Alec Baldwin. 

Kim and Ron were together for nine years, and divorced in 1989. According to Ron’s memoir, Ron discovered that Kim was having an affair with Pretty Woman actor Richard Gere in 1986 after finding love letters, and followed her to a restaurant where he allegedly saw them kissing. The pair worked out their issues before splitting a few years later. Kim paid $9,000 monthly in alimony for eight years. 

Richard Gere sneaks up on Kim Basinger in a scene from the film 'No Mercy', 1986© Getty

Kim's relationships after first marriage

During that time, Batman producer Jon Peters claimed to have had an affair with Kim, explaining to The Hollywood Reporter: "Kim had a husband who was abusive. And one day I grabbed him, and she connected with me because I protected her, and we became friends and ended up having a big affair.

"Michael Keaton had the eye for Kim Basinger. I remember he got mad at me when she and I hooked up. He felt rejected ’cause he was the star. He’s Batman. Yeah. I was a hairdresser who could talk to women. We lived together on the set. She helped me write the third act." 

Kim Basinger with singer Prince, circa 1988© Getty

Relationship with Prince

After her relationship with Jon Peters, Kim dated Prince as well as fashion designer Alexio Gandara and trainer Phil Walsh. Following Prince’s death in 2016, she told the Daily Beast: "I don't really have boundaries, so I enjoyed that time of my life. It was a really special moment in time, and I have great memories. I don't put a lot of restrictions on myself, let's just put it that way." 

Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger during 63rd Annual Academy Awards © Getty

Marriage to Alec Baldwin

Kim met her second husband, actor Alec Baldwin, in 1990 where the met on the set of The Marrying Man and also co-starred in The Getaway and The Simpsons. They also welcomed their daughter, Ireland, in 1995. The couple split in 2000, with the divorce finalised in 2002.

Alec has since spoken at length about their acrimonious split, writing that he had been "through some of the worst of contentious divorce litigation," in his memoir, A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce, which details the difficulties he faced in his divorce and custody battle with the star. 

Kim Basinger pictured with her daughter Ireland© Instagram

Kim with her daughter Ireland

Kim joined her daughter Ireland on The Red Table Talk back in April 2022 to discuss their split, explaining: "Eye to eye? No, that was not – Alec’s a funny one. We’re all fine and we all get along, whatever. But he’s been — but he’s a challenge. We’ve had our challenges. And I don’t think Alec was emotionally or mentally available for that kind of talk. Alec, you know, operates in a very different way in his life." 

MORE: Alec Baldwin's daughter Ireland, 26, reveals alarming health condition

Ireland added: "He deals with anxiety greatly, but he's someone who grew up in a family that would suppress that as well, or tell him he's weak for feeling that way. There's things I would go to my father for, but if I ever even tried to have this conversation in any way with him, I don't think he would be able to really absorb any of it. He can't really sympathise as much with it, but it's not his fault, and he's gotten way better."

Kim Basinger with her boyfriend Mitch Stone© Instagram

Kim's dating life now

Kim is now in a relationship with hairstylist Mitch Stone, who she has been linked to since 2014. The pair have remained private about their relationship, but have reportedly been spotting wearing gold bands.  

Actresses Priscilla Presley and Kim Basinger attend a protest in Los Angeles Tuesday against the South Korea dog meat trade© Getty

Kim's incredible activism

Kim has always been a passionate activist for animal rights, posing for anti-fur adverts for PETA as well as Farm Sanctuary. She helped to create a bill championing protection to farm animals, and has also spoken out against dog meat trade in parts of Asia. 

Celebrating the news that Jakarta, Indonisia had banned dog meat trade back in March 2023, Kim said: "Thank you Governor Heru for your leadership in taking this brave and tremendously powerful step to ban the cruel, dangerous and illegal dog meat trade in Jakarta. 

"Your actions send a very clear message - dogs are not food. These laws to prohibit dog meat, will have far reaching impacts, protecting both animals and people. Dogs are a true gift to all of us on this planet. They are our companions who serve mankind loyally. They must be protected from the abusive and unimaginably cruel dog meat trade." 

Kim Basinger testifying in civil court for a breach-of-contract lawsuit brought against her© Getty

Sued by Hollywood

Kim was successfully sued by a production company after reneging on an agreement to star in the movie Boxing Helena. It was decided by a jury that Kim had acted with fraud and malice after withdrawing from the 1991 movie. She was ordered to pay $8.9 million in total, $7.4 million in damages for breach of contract and another $1.5 million for bad faith denial of the contract. 

At the time, the president of Main Line, Carl Mazzocone, told the press that he was "vindicated beyond [his] wildest imaginations," adding: "I think it will alert actors and actresses that when they commit, they commit. If you are going to read the script, meet the director, and say ‘I’m doing your movie,’ then you have to show up for work when that movie’s ready to shoot. Hundreds of people lost their jobs because Kim Basinger breached her agreement." 

Kim’s lawyer claimed that the jury "took a disliking" to the actress, saying: "I think it was the star versus the little guy and the jury didn’t like the star. She makes too much. She’s too pretty. Her boyfriend is too handsome." 

Kim Basinger attends the premiere of "The Nice Guys" in 2016 © Getty

Struggles with agoraphobia

In 1999, Kim appeared in the HBO documentary Panic, where she discussed her panic disorder, and how she developed agoraphobia and was unable to leave her house for six months after having a panic attack while in a store. Speaking about how it began when she was at school, she explained a situation where a teacher asked her to speak in class, explaining: "I stood up and I was shaking, and my mouth wouldn't move, and everybody stared at me, and I thought I was going to faint. I ran out of the classroom. It was horrible."

Speaking about her experiences with panic disorder, she continued: "I remember how lonely I felt, and how in need of help I was. And for a length of time, I couldn't find it."

She was helped by a clinical psychologist, Dr Ronald Doctor, but it had a profound effect on her life. She said: "Dr. Doctor - he gave me a new start in this life. I even had to learn how to drive again. It was quite a process, I'll tell you that… It will never be an easy task for me to get up in front of the public. I think I'm getting better, but it's an inch-by-inch process." 

MORE: Kim Basinger looks so different in head-turning new photos

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