Alec Baldwin says his younger brother Stephen Baldwin, arrested today on tax-evasion charges, is "no different than millions of other people," in that he spent money he had that should have been put aside to pay taxes.
"I don't think he's going to jail," the "30 Rock" star said Thursday on "Piers Morgan Tonight." "I know that he's in a negotiated settlement...Things that were online, which were...that's what media today does, they try to tilt it the way that they need it to be to sell copies and what have you, and sell online hits to their sites."
Speaking of which, before being asked about Stephen, Baldwin had offered this opinion on modern-day paparazzi culture:
"My attitude is that the business would be infinitely better if all of them were gone," he said, not surprising us in the least. "If I could push a button tomorrow and flush them all down some swirling sewer vortex , I would do it. Where's the button? Hand it to me now."
As for his brother's money woes, Baldwin said his sibling is already in the process of taking care of business.
"We're talking about him being arrested and taken into custody and what have you, [but] this was all prearranged with the D.A. for him to go in and make an appearance," he explained of procedural rigmarole Stephen had to go through today that resulted in his Blue Steel mug shot. "And they've got to shake him down, and they've got to make him walk that gauntlet because that's their procedure, even though steps have been made to begin the process of remediating that money, and down payments have been made."
"But one of the things I find interesting in my lifetime, and I'm sure you will recognize this in yours with people that you've known," Baldwin told Morgan,"is that when you have far less money than you need and you have far more money than you need, they're both equal in terms of how easy it is to get into trouble with the tax man.
"Only people who really walk down the middle in a more realistic framework financially seem to keep that right," he noted. "I have so many friends of mine who annualize their income, they make a lot of money one year, two years, three years, then they just assume it's going to carry on for many, many years, and those people end up spending the money that they ordinarily would have to segregate into a tax account. And my brother in that sense is no different than millions of other people.
"His problem as of today is being cleared up," Baldwin concluded, "but they did drag him through that mud today."