Alec Baldwin

The former '30 Rock' star has issued a formal apology for his "ill advised attack" on a journalist, who wrongly accused him and his wife Hilaria Thomas, 29, of tweeting messages from James Gandolfini's funeral on Thursday, and says he is a huge supporter of gay rights.

The Emmy-winning actor told CNN: "It's disgraceful that a reporter would manufacture and publish a story and not call for comment or explanation -- especially when it's intended to take away attention from honouring the memory of a beloved figure like James Gandolfini."

The 55-year-old star, who decided to quit Twitter following the incident, also issued an apology to the organisation GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), saying: "I have worked, periodically, with numerous marriage equality organisations, especially over the past couple of years, to achieve the very rights that gay couples are earning by recent court decisions."

Alec drew criticism after he tweeted a rant about the journalist, saying: "If put my foot up your f****** ass . . . but I'm sure you'd dig it too much.

"I'm gonna find you. You toxic little queen, and I'm gonna f***"

Hilaria is supporting Alec and told fans that she never would have married him if he were homophobic.

She tweeted: "Almost all of my best friends are gay... I would have NEVER married a homophobic man. Hear my husband out on his meaning of the word 'queen' "

The heavily pregnant 'Extra' correspondent and yoga instructor added: "He stands up for me, I stand up for him. That is how marriage works.

"Thank you for the support with this nonsense - it really has meant a lot. Lets remember our dear friend, Jimmy, by treasuring life."