Friday, October 5, 2012

Stephen Baldwin pleads guilty to driving without a license, calls experience a 'blessing in disguise'

"Bio-Dome" actor Stephen Baldwin pleaded guilty Monday to driving without a license in Harlem and paid $155 in fines and charges to wipe his slate clean.

The star was stopped at 5:15 p.m. on Aug. 24 on W. 125th St., near Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., after making an illegal U-turn, officials said.

He was driving his 15-year-old daughter, Hailey Rhode, home from ballet class at the time, and he called the experience a “blessing in disguise” because it gave him the chance to talk with her about how hard cops work.

"I was able to explain to my daughter, who was very upset, that the NYPD usually deal with bad people," Baldwin said Monday as he waited in line to pay a $75 fine and $80 surcharge.

"I have nothing but respect for the men and women in uniform and I got to share that with her."
He’d pulled the U-turn to grab coffee at a Starbucks, he said Monday.

Baldwin, the younger brother of "30 Rock" star Alec Baldwin, said he was handcuffed and taken to the Harlem precinct stationhouse, where he was given a ticket for driving on a suspended license. On Monday, he pleaded guilty to driving without a license, a less-serious infraction.

"He's cleared up his license," said his lawyer, Richard Southard. "It was all a misunderstanding. He has no criminal record."

Baldwin showed up at Manhattan Criminal Court Monday around 9:30 a.m. Wearing a San Jose Fire Department baseball cap and a dark, muscle-hugging T-shirt, Baldwin wheeled a business suit and a suitcase behind him.

"I got to go home and do what my wife tells me," he said when asked where he was headed next.
Baldwin, an evangelical Christian who has also appeared in “The Usual Suspects” and “The Flintstone's in Viva Rock Vegas,” threatened during 2008 to move to Canada if President Obama was elected Commander in Chief.

He hasn't had much luck in court lately.

He lost his lawsuit against actor Kevin Costner after claiming the “Waterworld” actor had tricked him into giving up shares in a high-tech company specializing in capping oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon.
The Massapequa, L.I., native was in court in Los Angeles in September, claiming it was Costner's lawyer who encouraged him to dump his shares as BP was signing a $52 million contract with the company.