Ireland Baldwin and mom Kim Basinger sat down for a rare and exclusive interview at the Pinkett-Smith residence earlier this week for an episode of Red Table Talk, and the two got pretty candid about their mental health and their past family life with ex-husband and father, Alec Baldwin.
The Facebook Watch Show began with Willow Smith and Ireland chatting one on one, delving into their journey with anxiety and panic attacks.
Ireland shared that she felt her first substantial onset of anxiety surfaced when her parents Kim and Alex divorced in 2002. She explained the immense pressure she felt to be “her own person,” and to create a separate identity from her famous parents, which deeply affected her mental health.
She also discussed her modeling career, saying she “would have never been scouted as a model if it weren’t for who [her] parents are.” She admitted that becoming a model “ruined [her] brain” and exacerbated her struggle with anorexia and bulimia.
Ireland then recalled having a severe panic attack at a Harper’s Bazaar Dinner, and how she was diagnosed with cardiophobia, the fear of dying from a heart attack. She goes on to say, “I have a fear of my own heartbeat, so even when I’m nervous, even slightly nervous, or I exercise or anything, I panic.”
Due to cardiophobia, she’s been to the hospital over 20 times — she said that the fear was originally triggered when she once saw a stranger have a heart attack in the middle of a restaurant when she was younger.
The pair then sat down at the red table with their mothers, Kim Basinger, Jada Pinkett-Smith, as well as Pinkett-Smith’s mother, Adrienne Banfield Jones.
Basinger shared her own phobia, going into detail about her struggles with agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder that causes you to fear leaving the house or going certain places. The phobia prevented her from driving for six months. “I didn’t leave the house, I would no longer to go dinner, I could not even have people for dinner.”
She explained that it wasn’t until she sought out treatment and completed a six-month program that was she able to “relearn” how to drive and function independently day to day without inducing a panic attack.
She also commended her daughter as being a critical part of her recovery, saying “Ireland has been a great teacher and a great healer for me. She has no idea what she’s done in my life to battle this.”
Jada transitioned to the topic of parenting and asked if she and Alec Baldwin ever saw eye to eye when it came to managing Ireland’s anxiety and mental health. The Oscar-winning actress immediately responded, saying, “Eye to eye? uh, no.”
Basinger said that while they are civil, she didn’t feel that Alec was “emotionally or mentally available for that kind of talk.” Both Ireland and Kim admit that Alec has struggled with anxiety himself, having grown up in a family dynamic that caused him to suppress it.
“There’s things I would go to my father for, but if I ever even tried to have this kind of conversation in any way with him, I don’t think he would be able to really absorb any of it,” Ireland said.
However, the pair agreed that they understand why he was that way and that he’s gotten much better.
Referring to “things that have recently been thrown at him,” Ireland says “he’s been forced to finally deal with these things.”
Alec Baldwin announced earlier this month that he is expecting his seventh child with his wife Hilaria Baldwin. The couple has been married since 2012.
Regarding her healing wins and where she’s at now, Ireland beamed as she shared, “It just brings me tremendous comfort to regulate my blood pressure. I know it’s ridiculous, but it helps.”
She also shared how supportive her boyfriend, Andre Allen Anjos, is and how much that’s positively impacted her life.
The group of women wrapped up the interview with heartfelt gratitude.
“This was a huge thing for me,” Basinger says about the interview, “and I knew I was going to enjoy it immensely.”