It was an especially serious week in entertainment news, with Hollywood focused on three stories that all centered on current and potential court cases involving stars.
Alec Baldwin’s First Interview About “Rust” Set Shooting
Alec Baldwin sat down for his first interview since 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of his western, “Rust.”
As The Daily Wire reported, on Thursday night, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked the 63-year-old if he feels any guilt over the fact that he was the one holding the firearm when it fired the bullet that struck Hutchins. Baldwin responded, “No. No. I feel that there is, I feel that someone is responsible for what happened and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.” He added, “I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don’t say that lightly.”
Baldwin also claimed that he did not pull the trigger on the revolver while rehearsing for a scene at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
When Stephanopoulos asked Baldwin, who became teary over the course of the broadcast, why he pulled the trigger when that action wasn’t in the script, the actor replied, “Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger.” Baldwin went on, “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”
Baldwin also seemed to have sharp words for fellow star, George Clooney.
“How do you respond to actors like George Clooney who say that every time they were handed a gun, they checked it themselves?” the Good Morning America anchor asked. Baldwin answered, “Well, there were a lot of people who felt it necessary to contribute some comment to the situation, which really didn’t help the situation at all.”
Most legal experts are saying Baldwin’s decision to give an interview before police have completed their investigation was a mistake. Several told Fox News that his statements could be harmful in a civil suit.
“Any statements made on television during an investigation could result in unintended admissions that could be used against him later at trial or could prejudice the prosecutor against him,” said Rachel Fiset, managing partner of Los Angeles-based Zweiback, Fiset & Coleman. She added, “If statements relating to facts turn out to be disproved, it will hurt his credibility with law enforcement or at trial. His admissions that someone is to be blamed – but not him – could also potentially be used against him later in either a civil or criminal case if it is determined that he had some responsibility for set safety as a major producer of the film.”
The State Rests In Jussie Smollett Trial
After three brief days of presenting evidence, the state rested Thursday in the trial of actor Jussie Smollett, who stands accused of six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports to police. Smollett claimed he was attacked in Chicago in the middle of the night in January, 2019, by two white men wearing ski masks who called him racist and homophobic names, put a noose around his neck, and shouted, “This is MAGA country.” This week, prosecutors presented evidence that the actor staged the hate crime himself in a bid to drum up sympathy and increase his paycheck on the hit Fox show, “Empire.”
The state’s star witnesses were Nigerian brothers Olabingo and Abimbola Osundairo, who both testified that Smollett paid them to perpetrate the hoax, even to the point of having them run through a rehearsal of the attack.
The proceedings took an odd turn when Smollett’s defense attorneys began presenting their case. One member of his team claimed Judge James Linn “lunged” at her after she asked for a mistrial because he called some of their evidence “irrelevant” in front of the jury. The judge refused. She also accused Linn of “snarling at her.”
The jury is expected to begin deliberating next Tuesday.
Famous Figures Named in Gislaine Maxwell Trial
The pilot of late sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein took the stand in the trial of his former girlfriend and associate, Ghislaine Maxwell on Tuesday. Maxwell is facing charges for sex-trafficking underage girls during her relationship with Epstein.
Lawrence Paul Visoski, who flew the financier’s private jets from 1991 to 2019, told the jury that among the stars who accompanied his boss on some flights were disgraced actor Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”) and comedian/action star Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour,” “Friday”).
Visoski also named Bill Clinton among Epstein’s friends saying, “I certainly remember the president.” He also recalled astronaut John Glenn being Epstein’s guest.
The Daily Wire’s earlier coverage of the trial highlighted that the pilot claimed to have believed Epstein’s underage victims were adults:
Visoski testified that he met “Jane” but believed she was at least 20, calling her a “mature woman.” He vehemently denied being aware of any sexual activity on Epstein’s planes or sexual abuse of minors by Epstein or Maxwell.
His former boss gifted him 40 acres of land on which Visoski built a house for himself, he said. Epstein also paid for the high school and college education of his longtime pilot’s two daughters, Visoski testified. Maxwell used to take his daughters horseback riding, the pilot recalled.
Spacey, too, has been named in several lawsuits for sexually assaulting minors. Actor Anthony Rapp claims the Oscar-winner molested him when he was 14.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.