Alec Baldwin speaks out, denies hitting photog

Alec Baldwin on "Charlie Rose."
Alec Baldwin on "Charlie Rose."
Charlie Rose

(CBS News) Alec Baldwin said he was just defending himself and "pushed the guy away," amid accusations he punched a photographer in an angry public incident Tuesday in lower Manhattan.

The "30 Rock" actor told "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose on his PBS program Tuesday night that he didn't hit anyone and the photographer was actually the aggressor. Baldwin says he was simply defending himself.

Pictures: Alec Baldwin

A few hours after the incident, Baldwin recalled, "The guy - there was a person in front of me and he was blocking him. And the guy lunged and almost hit me in the teeth with the lens of the camera. So I just pushed the guy away. But of course they all make it like I - my favorite line was from (the movie) 'John Malkovich' - '(The paparazzi) all screamed like they're political prisoners,' he said."

Baldwin said public figures make appointments with the press. "We make ourselves available as an obligation per our contract to our employers to represent the product and help to sell the product. And then when I walk out the door, that's over," he said. "When the guy jumps out of the bushes with a camera and tries to take a picture of my kid, they want to say to you, 'Well, here's another appointment you have with the press.'"

According to the New York Daily News, Baldwin got enraged when the cameraman and others took photos of the star and his fiancee after they picked up a marriage license.

Baldwin tweeted Tuesday, "a photographer almost hit me in the face with his camera this morning" with the hashtag, "all paparazzi should be waterboarded."

(Rose also discussed the downside of being famous with Baldwin's "To Rome with Love" star, Penelope Cruz. For that discussion watch the video in the player below.)

Baldwin's behavior has been scrutinized before. Last year, Baldwin was thrown off an American Airlines flight for not turning off his iPad. And in 2007, a voicemail surfaced in which he called his daughter "a rude, thoughtless little pig."

Watch an excerpt from Rose's interview with Baldwin in the player above.