Alec Baldwin has recently filed legal papers, wherein the disgraced actor claims that he is not “legally culpable” of killing Halyna Hutchins and injuring Rust director Joel Souza.
Further, the document also discloses that Baldwin attempted to contact the cast of Rust to finish the filming of the movie, allegedly “with the intent of honoring Halyna’s legacy.”
“Halyna Hutchins’s death is an unthinkable tragedy. Perhaps billions of rounds have been fired from guns on film and television sets over the past 75 years, without incident,” reads the legal document filed by attorney Luke Nikas on behalf of Baldwin and El Dorado Pictures, Inc. on Friday the 11th of March.
It continues, “Only a few—in the single digts—have resulted in fatal injury. That’s because crew members generally do their job to ensure that live rounds don’t end up in guns being fired by actors on movie sets.”
“This is a rare instance when the system broke down, and someone should be held legally culpable for the tragic consequences,” the document elaborates, claiming, “That person is not Alec Baldwin.”
Amongst the claims found within the legal document filed by Nikas, one reads that “Baldwin had never been involved in a breach of safety on the set of any movie or film, and has safely handled firearms and other weapons without incident in at least a dozen films and television projects.”
“The Hunt for the Red October, Miami Blues, The Getaway, The Shadow, Heaven’s Prisoners, The Juror, The Edge, Thick as Thieves, and Mission Impossible: Fallout” are some of the movies the document lists as evidence of the claim above.
The lawsuit also claims that the actor has “found himself on set with a gun pointed at him,” before specifying that Baldwin “has therefore been trained for decades about gun safety on movie sets, and he received similar training from [armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed] on the set of Rust.
“He followed the training when this tragedy occurred on October 21,” the lawsuit filed by Baldwin reassures.
Baldwin’s lawsuit claims that Halyna Hutchins’ death has been “obscured by false allegations—finger pointing by various parties that diverts attention from the most important questions in this case: how did live ammunition get on the set of Rust, who put the live bullet in the gun, and why did the experts who were hired to check the gun fail to detect the bullet?”
It then asserts, “The facts make clear that Baldwin is not culpable for these events or failures.”
The lawsuit also claims that — in spite of the on-set shooting that killed Halyna Hutchins and injured Joel Souza — Baldwin reached out to the film’s cast in an attempt to garner support to finish working on the movie.
“Baldwin made an exhaustive effort to contact the Rust cast in the hope of acquiring their support to finish the film,” the filing continued. “He did so both with the intent of honoring Halyna’s legacy by completing her last work and of compensating Hutchins and his son from the film’s profits.”
It further stipulates that “Depending on the success of Rust upon its completion and release, this additional component of the settlement would likely have equaled millions of dollars.”
Baldwin’s suit also recounted the events leading up to the shooting and killing of the cinematographer. It stated, “[Halyna Hutchins] was trying to determine how best to angle the camera and what movements Baldwin should make for her to capture the cocked gun that the script called for.”
“Baldwin asked Hutchins what she would like to see to prepare her camera angle for the scene,” the document elaborates. “Baldwin did not perform a ‘cross-draw’ of the gun. He pulled the gun out slowly, without issue, and held it still before Hutchins began giving any directions to him.”
It continues, “Hutchins described what she would like Baldwin to do with the placement of the gun which contained only ‘dummy rounds,’ as far as everyone was told,” further claiming that Hutchins, “directed Baldwin to hold the gun higher to a point where it was directed toward her.”
“Baldwin asked Hutchins whether she wanted to see him cock the gun, as the script required. She responded yes,” writes Nikas in the legal complaint, adding, “Baldwin tipped the gun down somewhat so that the lens of the camera would be able to focus on his hand’s action of the top of the gun.”
“While performing this action, Baldwin asked Hutchins, ‘Am I holding it too far down?’ and ‘Do you see that?’ Hutchins responded that she could see Baldwin’s action from her angle. Baldwin then pulled back the hammer, but not far enough to actually cock the gun.”
“When Baldwin let go of the hammer, the gun went off,” the document alleges. “As later became known, a live bullet discharged from the gun and struck Hutchins, traveling through her body and striking Souza in the shoulder. Both Hutchins and Souza fell to the ground.”
In a now-infamous interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin had already claimed that he did not cocked the gun before shooting and killing Hutchins, but not after contradicting his own recollection of the event, wherein he previously claimed to have cocked the gun’s hammer.
“So I take the gun and I start to cock the gun. I’m not going to pull the trigger. I said, ‘Do you see this?’ She says, ‘Well, just cheat it down and tilt it down a little bit like that.’ And I cock the gun and I go, ‘Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?’ And she says…and I let go of the hammer of the gun and the gun goes off. I let go of the hammer of the gun and the gun goes off,” Baldwin told Stephanopoulos.
As the interview went on, the actor then reassured that he did not in fact cock the gun, disclosing that he pulled “the hammer as far back as I could without cocking the actual…”
Attorney Krystina Martinez on behalf of Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, and the couple’s son Andros, filed a lawsuit against the actor on the 14th of February, alleging that “Defendant Alec Baldwin recklessly shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust.”
The legal complaint further notes that the other defendants’ negligence regarding safety rules are also to blame for the death of the cinematographer. “Defendant Baldwin and the other Defendants in this case failed to perform industry standard safety checks and follow basic gun safety rules while using real guns to produce the movie Rust, with fatal consequences,” the suit accuses.
Further, all defendants, including Baldwin, are accused of engaging in “negligent, intentional, willful, or reckless misconduct resulting in wrongful death” and causing a “loss of consortium” – or emotional losses – to Matthew Hutchins, who had been married to Halyna for 16 years at the time of her death.
Rust script supervisor Mamie Mitchell had previously sued the actor for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress on the grounds that he “intentionally, without just cause or excuse, cocked and fired the loaded gun even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for the cocking and firing of the firearm.”
Prior to Mitchell’s filing, Rust gaffer Serge Svetnoy also filed a legal complaint against Baldwin, claiming, “This incident was caused by the negligent acts and omission of Defendants, and each of them, as well as their agents, principals, and employers.”
“Simply put,” Svetnoy’s lawsuit added, “there was no reason for a live bullet to be placed in that .45 Colt revolver to be present anywhere on the Rust set, and the presence of a bullet in a revolver posed a lethal threat to everyone in its vicinity.”
Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, herself named as a defendant in both the Svetnoy and the Hutchins family’s respective lawsuits, last month filed suit against armourer supplier Seth Kenney and PDQ Arm and Prop, LLC, alleging that “Baldwin did not respond to Hannah’s request on October 15 to schedule cross draw training.”
Interestingly, Baldwin’s recently filed lawsuit does claim that he did not perform a cross-draw of the gun, even when he disclosed to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he was practicing his cross-draw when the gun went off.
Unrelated to the shooting on the set of Rust, Baldwin has also been hit with a $25 million defamation lawsuit for allegedly insinuating that Roice McCollum, the sister of fallen U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, had participated in the Capitol Hill riots of January 6th, 2021.
What do you make of Baldwin blaming Halyna Hutchins for fatal on-set shooting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below or on social media.