Alec Baldwin filed a lawsuit against those responsible for handling and providing the loaded gun he was holding when it accidentally discharged, killing cameraperson Halyna Hutchins during a 2021 New Mexico filming accident, saying he wants to clear his identity.
Baldwin filed a cross-complaint in Superior Court in Los Angeles against several of the defendants who were being sued by a script supervisor named Mamie Mitchell, alleging negligence. It demands, among other things, that the individuals Baldwin names pay Mitchell’s share of any damages he might recover as well as any damages that are levied against him.
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On October 21, 2021, Mitchell was standing behind Hutchins, who passed away immediately after suffering a wound while setting up for a scene in the western movie Rust at a set ranch outside of Santa Fe.
Mitchell filed a lawsuit for assault and negligence against Baldwin, who served as a producer on the movie, the production firm, and numerous other parties.
In his cross-complaint, Baldwin claims that when he and Hutchins were practising camera angles for a scene, he pointed the gun in her direction, pulled back, and let go of the gun’s hammer, which caused the rifle to fire.
Hutchins was mortally hit by the bullet, while director Joel Souza was injured in the shoulder.
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The actor said neither he nor Hutchins were aware the gun was loaded with live ammunition.
“This tragedy occurred on a movie set — not a gun range, not a battlefield, not a location where even a remote possibility should exist that a gun would contain live ammunition,” the lawsuit read.
Baldwin has insisted he did not pull the trigger and that he was informed the gun was secure. However, a recent FBI forensic investigation discovered that the trigger had to be pushed in order for the weapon to fire.
“More than anyone else on that set, Baldwin has been wrongfully viewed as the perpetrator of this tragedy. By these cross-claims, Baldwin seeks to clear his name,” the lawsuit added.
In his cross-complaint, Baldwin claims that the shooting has cost him opportunities, led him to lose his career, and caused him to “suffered physically and emotionally from the grief caused by these events.”
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The shooting was ruled an accident by the Office of the Medical Investigator in New Mexico. Prosecutors are investigating the shooting, though, to decide whether to press charges.
The Occupational Health and Safety Bureau of New Mexico levied the maximum fine of $137,000 against Rust Movie Productions in April and released a damning report detailing numerous safety violations, including testimony that the production managers did little or nothing to address two instances of blank ammunition misfiring on the set before the fatal shooting.
The firm is contesting the fine.
In Baldwin’s case, it is claimed that prop weapons and ammo supplier Seth Kenney’s business, PDQ Arm & Prop, as well as armourer Hannah Guttierez-Reed, prop master Sarah Zachry, first assistant director, and safety coordinator David Halls, who gave Baldwin the pistol, were negligent.
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All of them had previously disputed ownership of the fatal shooting.
When Hutchins’ family revealed in October that they had reached a settlement in a separate legal dispute with the actor and the film’s creators, the latter stated they intended to resume production on the film in January.
Jason Bowles, an attorney for Gutierrez-Reed, stated he was examining Baldwin’s claim. The New York Times reported that attorneys for further defendants did not immediately reply to calls for comment.