Actor Alec Baldwin wants no part of the wrongful death lawsuit filed on February 15 by the Hutchins family.
In October 2021, the “30 Rock” actor was holding a gun that was holding a live round. The gun discharged while he was holding it and the bullet struck and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. It also injured director Joel Souza. It is still unclear at this time how a loaded gun made its way onto a movie set, but that is what an independent investigation by the Santa Fe police department is attempting to find out.
Baldwin, however, is seeking to separate himself from the “Rust” lawsuit filed against him and the other producers.
Attorney Slams Alec Baldwin As ‘Shameful’, Claims He Is Trying To ‘Avoid Accountability For His Reckless Actions’
At Tuesday’s Press Conference, @panish31 explains about the accidental shooting of Cinematographer #HalynaHutchins, “This doesn’t happen unless people cut costs and engage in reckless behavior leading to a senseless, tragic death.” #Rust pic.twitter.com/0eXC9FHXPC
— Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP (@PSBRlaw) February 18, 2022
Attorney Brian Panish released a statement condemning the “Beetlejuice” actor after he tried to separate himself from the “Rust” lawsuit.
“Alec Baldwin once again is trying to avoid liability and accountability for his reckless actions before and on Oct 21st that resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins, as demonstrated by today’s arbitration demand for indemnification from the Rust production company,” Panish said.
“Baldwin’s disclosure of personal texts with Matt Hutchins is irrelevant to his demand for arbitration and fails to demonstrate anything other than Hutchins’ dignity in his engagement with Baldwin,” he continued. “It is shameful that Baldwin claims Hutchins’ actions in filing a wrongful death lawsuit derailed the completion of Rust. The only action that ended the film’s production was Baldwin’s killing of Halyna Hutchins.”
Alec Baldwin Seeks To Evade This Lawsuit & All Future ‘Rust’ Lawsuits
Panish is referring to Baldwin’s motion to invoke a provision in his contract that would indemnify him from this wrongful death lawsuit and all future lawsuits that could arise from the film. He is also seeking to have his legal expenses covered in full.
As The Blast previously reported, the filing included information that Baldwin had actually tried to resume filming “Rust” after Hutchins was killed. It was his desire to finish the movie and have a portion of its proceeds go towards a settlement to the Hutchins family.
In the paperwork provided, Baldwin’s legal team argued that Baldwin could not be held at fault for this incident because “Baldwin is an actor” who was not responsible for checking the gun he was holding.
“At this point, two things are clear: someone is culpable for chambering the live round that led to this horrific tragedy, and it is someone other than Baldwin,” the statement began.
“Baldwin is an actor,” they continued. “He didn’t announce that the gun was ‘cold’ when it really contained a live round; he didn’t load the gun; he didn’t check the bullets in the gun; he didn’t purchase the bullets; he didn’t make the bullets and represent that they were dummies; he wasn’t in charge of firearm safety on the set; he didn’t hire the people who supplied the bullets or checked the gun; and he played no role in managing the movie’s props. Each of those jobs was performed by someone else.”
The filing also stated that “As he had done throughout his career, Baldwin trusted the other professionals on the set to do their jobs.”
The filing noted that “Until October 21, Baldwin had never been involved in a breach of safety on the set of any movie or film, and he has safely handled firearms and other weapons without incident in at least a dozen films and television projects, including The Hunt For Red October, Miami Blues, The Getaway, The Shadow, Heaven’s Prisoners, The Juror, The Edge, Thick as Thieves, and Mission Impossible: Fallout.”
Alec Baldwin Reveals Text Messages Between Him And Halyna Hutchins’ Husband
“The idea that the person holding the gun and causing it to discharge is not responsible is absurd to me.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 24, 2022
The court filing also included text messages exchanged between Alec Baldwin and Hutchins’ husband, Matt Hutchins, who previously did an interview with Today’s Hoda Kotb to express that he felt “so angry” that Baldwin was not taking any responsibility for what he had done.
“I was just so angry to see him talk about her death so publicly in such a detailed way and then to not accept any responsibility after having just described killing her,” he said in the interview.
The filing states that the text messages are proof that, prior to the interview, “before Hutchins’s appearance on the Today show, his interactions with Baldwin had only been polite, collaborative, and, at times, even warm.”
The filing alleges that several phone calls took place in January 2022. “During the first phone call, Hutchins told Baldwin that the proposed settlement sounded ‘interesting,’” the filing reads. “He did not accept or reject the settlement but told Baldwin that he would need to think it over after reviewing additional details. On the second phone call, Baldwin recalls, Hutchins sounded less open-minded.”
Baldwin expressed regret through his lawyers that the “Rust” movie will be unable to be completed, saying, “plans to complete ‘Rust’ and to channel its proceeds into a fund for Hutchins’s and his son’s benefit have unfortunately broken down as a result of the lawsuit and these public statements.”