Actor Stephen Baldwin leaves Rockland County Court in New City, N.Y., on… (Jim Fitzgerald / Associated…)
Stephen Baldwin on Friday admitted in court he hadn't paid New York state income taxes for a period of three years, and then walked away a free man — albeit one who still owes $300,000 in back taxes, and has to repay them fast.
Under the term of Baldwin's deal, the "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant will stay out of jail so he can earn money to pay his debt. If he pays the money back within a year, his record will be wiped clean; otherwise he's looking at a five-year probation sentence, during which he has to repay the cash.
"Unfortunately, I got some really bad suggestions and advice ... from lawyers and accountants," he told reporters outside court in New City, N.Y. He said he never intended to avoid paying taxes.
The whole bill for 2008, 2009 and 2010, including interest and penalties, had hit $400,000, but the judge noted that $100,000 had been taken care of already.
"Ok prayer partners ... Pls lift me up ... Now thanks!," Baldwin tweeted around the time he was headed into court. The youngest of the four acting Baldwin brothers has never been shy about his strong Christian faith.
Indeed, he said that "faith-based opportunities" were opening up for him, in addition to his plans to direct a movie starring brother William Baldwin. As an actor he's in pre- or post-production currently on three films, according to IMDb.
He said the only help he's getting from his family was "just support as family support. ... The responsibility lies ultimately with myself."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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