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Home / News / The Industry / Baldwin sued by family of cinematographer killed in ‘Rust’ shooting

Baldwin sued by family of cinematographer killed in ‘Rust’ shooting

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The parents and sister of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was fatally shot when a prop gun wielded by Alec Baldwin discharged on the set of the film “Rust,” sued the actor and the film’s production company Thursday.

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit comes months after a separate legal action filed by Hutchins’ husband was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, with a stipulation that the filming of “Rust” would continue with Matthew Hutchins serving as a producer.

“It’s clear to us that the relationships of all of our clients have been damaged and that they will not be able to enjoy life in the same way as they did when their precious Halyna was alive,” attorney Gloria Allred said at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. “Halyna was the light in their lives.”

Baldwin has repeatedly denied culpability in Hutchins’ death, which occurred Oct. 21, 2021, inside a church building on the Western set of “Rust” outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. Baldwin was wielding a prop gun, helping set up camera angles for an upcoming scene, when the weapon discharged, killing Hutchins, 42, and wounding director Joel Souza.

Baldwin has insisted that he was told the gun wasn’t loaded when it was handed to him. He also contends that while he pulled back the hammer of the weapon, he never pulled the trigger.

Regardless, the actor was charged last month with involuntary manslaughter, as was the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.

Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, previously called the charges “a terrible miscarriage of justice.”

“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set,” Nikas said. “He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”

The new lawsuit was filed Thursday on behalf of Hutchins’ mother, Olga Solovey; father, Anatolii Androsovych; and younger sister, Svetlana Zemko. All three are Ukrainian citizens, living near Kiev.

“The events that led to the shooting by Alec Baldwin of a loaded gun constituted intentional acts and/or omissions, without any just cause or excuse, by him and the producers of ‘Rust,'” the lawsuit states. “Mr. Baldwin chose to play Russian Roulette with a loaded gun without checking it and without having the armorer do so. His behavior and that of the producers on ‘Rust’ were intentional acts and/or omissions, without any just cause or excuse and with utter disregard of the consequences of said acts and/or omissions.

“The fact that live ammunition was allowed on a movie set, that guns and ammunition were left unattended, that the gun in question was handed to Alec Baldwin by the assistant director who had no business doing so, and that safety bulletins were not promulgated or ignored, coupled with the fact that the scene in question did not call for a gun to be fired at all, makes this a case where injury or death was much more than just a possibility — it was a likely result.”

The suit alleges battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and loss of consortium. It seeks unspecified damages.

Gutierrez-Reed, who is also among the defendants in the lawsuit, has denied wrongdoing in Hutchins’ death, saying through her attorneys that she repeatedly pushed for additional firearms training on the set, and that producers forced her to focus more on props than on her duties as armorer. She also said film producers failed to notify her that Baldwin was using a gun while helping to set up camera angles, so she was never called into the church set to oversee the weapon, which was handed to him by assistant director David Halls.

While Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are both facing involuntary manslaughter charges in New Mexico, Halls was given a plea deal — pleading no contest to a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. The deal, which still needs judicial approval, calls for him to receive a suspended sentence and six months probation.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed could both face up to five years in jail if convicted.

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