Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin has filed in court to protect himself against the legal actions and any responsibility for killing `Rust` cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, whose family had filed a wrongful death lawsuit less than a month ago. According to Deadline, a filing on Friday by the `Rust` star and producer`s lawyer Luke Nikas stated, “This is a rare instance when the system broke down, and someone should be held legally culpable for the tragic consequences. That person is not Alec Baldwin.”
In the arbitration seeking move against his fellow producers on the film, Baldwin wants to invoke a provision in his contract that could indemnify him in all current and future lawsuits. The filing also reveals an effort by Baldwin to resume filming on `Rust` and finish the USD 7 million budgeted movie, to in part contribute to a settlement for the Hutchins family. “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. Baldwin is an actor,” reads the JAMS paperwork from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP`s Nikas.
It 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 actor`s filing went on to read: “As he had done throughout his career, Baldwin trusted the other professionals on the set to do their jobs.” Baldwin and his fellow producers and crew members have been hit with several lawsuits, most damningly by the estates of late DP Hutchins, as the investigation by the Santa Fe Sheriff`s office into what went horribly wrong on the `Rust` set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch last year continues.
As per Deadline, back on February 15, soon after the Hutchins estate had filed their wrongful death suit, Baldwin and other Rust producers put out a statement exclaiming that “any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false.” On October 21, 2021, Hutchins was killed by a live bullet in a prop gun discharged by Baldwin on the set of `Rust` at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Sante Fe, New Mexico. “I didn`t pull the trigger,” Baldwin told during an interview on December 2.
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