Alec Baldwin filed a complaint Friday to “clear his name” in the shooting of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, saying blame for the tragedy lies with three crew members and the man who supplied ammunition to the set.
Baldwin originally named all four as cross suspects in a lawsuit filed against him last year by Mamie Mitchell, the film’s script supervisor. Baldwin said he relied on all four to do their job, and Hutchins died as a result of their negligence.
As a result, Baldwin says he experienced “immense grief” and suffered an “emotional, physical and financial toll”.
“More than anyone else on that set, Baldwin has been wrongly seen as the perpetrator of this tragedy,” wrote Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas. “With these Cross-Claims, Baldwin is trying to clear his name and hold Cross-Defendants accountable for their misconduct.”
Baldwin was holding a Colt .45 revolver as it went off while preparing for a scene near Santa Fe, NM, on Oct. 21, 2021. He has said he pulled the hammer back, though not far enough to hit it. cocked, and then it let go – causing the gun to fire. He said he didn’t pull the trigger.
The Colt. 45 should have only contained dummy rounds, which contained no projectile and no charge. But it was loaded with one live round, going through Hutchins’ body and getting stuck in director Joel Souza’s shoulder.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office recently completed its criminal investigation and local prosecutors are now considering whether to press charges against Baldwin or one of the crew members.
The complaint amounts to a lengthy and detailed acquittal of Baldwin, drafted by his civil attorneys, complete with text messages and photos of the sheriff’s investigation.
The document accuses gunmaster Hannah Gutierrez Reed of “not carefully performing her job and as a result, a bullet was loaded into the gun that she had negligently failed to identify.”
Baldwin also accuses David Halls, the first deputy director, of not checking the gun carefully, accusing him of declaring the gun “cold” when he handed it over to Baldwin – meaning the rounds contained no charges.
The cross-complaint also accuses Sarah Zachry, the propmaster, of failing to adequately supervise Gutierrez Reed and fail to maintain a safe set. Furthermore, Baldwin accuses Seth Kenney, the supplier, of showing a “cavalier disregard for proper separation between live and fake ammunition.”
All four have previously denied their guilt. Gutierrez Reed has sued Kenney for supplying live ammunition that closely resembles dummy cartridges, while Kenney has denied including live ammunition in the box of dummies he supplied to the set.
In a statement Thursday, Gloria Allred, who represents Mitchell, said Baldwin must take responsibility for his actions.
“Baldwin’s complaint is an embarrassing attempt to shift blame onto others, just as he has since fired the fatal shot that killed Mrs Hutchins and injured our client, Mamie Mitchell,” Allred said. . “Mr. Baldwin seems to be claiming that he is the only one who is truly innocent.”
Mitchell claims in her lawsuit that she was five feet away when the gun went off. She claimed that in addition to emotional trauma, she also had painful tinnitus. Her lawsuit alleges that Baldwin intentionally “cocked and fired the loaded gun, even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for cocking and firing a firearm.”
Baldwin has tried to dismiss the lawsuit, on the grounds that on-set accidents are the exclusive domain of New Mexico’s employee compensation system. A judge in Los Angeles refused his motion on November 1
Diana Dasrath contributed.