Alec Baldwin Says Someone’s ‘Culpable’ In Cinematographer’s Death But It’s Not Him

"Someone is culpable for chambering the live round that led to this horrific tragedy..."
US actor Alec Baldwin attends DreamWorks Animation's "The Boss Baby: Family Business" premiere at SVA Theatre on June 22, 2021 in New York City.
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Alec Baldwin took legal action Friday to fight against pending lawsuits in the death of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and stated that someone is “culpable” in her death but it’s not him.

“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 63-year-old actor’s attorney Luke Nikas wrote in the claim, reported The New York Times.

“Baldwin is an actor,” it added. “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 document continued, calling the cinematographer’s death an “unthinkable tragedy.”

“This is a rare instance when the system broke down, and someone should be held legally culpable for the tragic consequences,” the document read. “That person is not Alec Baldwin.”

In the court documents, Baldwin’s attorney said a clause in the “Saturday Night Live” star’s contract he and his company signed with the Rust Movie Productions L.L.C. made it clear he bears no financial responsibility to cover claims or legal fees following Hutchins’s death.

The claim also contained text messages between Hutchins’s widower, Matthew Hutchins, and Baldwin after her death. The messages between the two slowly degraded from supportive and sharing condolences after the fatal shooting to Hutchins filing the wrongful death suit against the actor and other producers of the film.

The court filing included detailed information about exactly what happened on the New Mexico film set in October when the cinematographer was shot and later died. It highlighted things like the direction Baldwin was given from the cinematographer before she was shot which included how and where to position the gun.

“She directed Baldwin to hold the gun higher, to a point where it was directed toward her,” the document read. “She was looking carefully at the monitor and then at Baldwin, and then back again, as she gave these instructions. In giving and following these instructions, Hutchins and Baldwin shared a core, vital belief: that the gun was ‘cold’ and contained no live rounds.”

The court document shared instruction the actor said he got from Hutchins as to pulling back the hammer. And it touched on the fact that an actor “cannot rule that a gun is safe,” the filing read. “That is the responsibility of other people on the set.”

“Baldwin then pulled back the hammer, but not far enough to actually cock the gun,” the filing read. “When Baldwin let go of the hammer, the gun went off.”

Hutchins was shot and killed on the movie set October 21 after a firearm Baldwin was holding discharged a bullet, as previously reported.

This is a developing story; Please refresh for updates.

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