‘Reckless conduct and cost-cutting’: Baldwin named in husband’s lawsuit over film shooting
The husband of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Alec Baldwin and others on the set of the movie Rust.
Hutchins, 42, was shot dead in October last year while filming the western in New Mexico.
A family lawyer confirmed legal papers have now been filed in the state’s Santa Fe county.
The couple’s nine-year-old son is also named as one of the parties in the case, said lawyer Brian Panish.
He said Baldwin “and others responsible for safety on the set” were the target of the lawsuit.
The “reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures” of the actor and producers “led to the death of Halyna Hutchins”, said Mr Panish.
Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza injured when a gun being used by Baldwin during a rehearsal on 21 October fired a real bullet.
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- Alec Baldwin
- Halyna Hutchins
Hollywood star Baldwin, 63, has said he was told the gun was “cold” – meaning it was safe to handle, and that he was pointing it at Hutchins at her request.
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He said it went off without him pulling the trigger, but lawyers claim he turned down training for the kind of gun draw he was practising.
An animated video that recreates the shooting was also revealed on Tuesday.
In response, a lawyer for Baldwin and the other producers of Rust said they continue to cooperate with authorities and denied any suggestion the actor was negligent.
“Any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false,” said Aaron Dyer.
“He, Halyna and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a ‘cold gun’ – meaning there is no possibility of a discharge, blank or otherwise.”
Today’s lawsuit is the first directly related to one of the people shot, but others have already been filed.
The script supervisor and lead camera operator, who were near Hutchins when the incident happened, have each filed a lawsuit over the trauma they experienced.
The film’s armourer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, was named as a defendant in those cases and has been blamed by some for the shooting.
She has filed her own case against an ammo supplier, claiming it included live ammunition in a box supposed to include only dummy rounds.
‘Complacency’ over weapons on set
Baldwin last month turned over his phone to investigators, who have described “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on set.
However, no criminal charges have so far been brought.
The actor said in a tearful December interview: “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but it’s not me.”
“I didn’t pull the trigger,” Baldwin said. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”
He said Hutchins was “somebody who was loved by everybody and admired by everybody who worked with her”.
The 42-year-old grew up on an army base in the Russian Arctic, where her father served in the navy, before moving to Los Angeles to study film.
She was regarded as one of the industry’s most promising young cinematographers.