Home / News / World /  Alec Baldwin settles with slain 'Rust' cinematographer's family, lawsuit against actor to be dropped

Alec Baldwin settles with slain 'Rust' cinematographer's family, lawsuit against actor to be dropped

Actor Alec Baldwin and the producers of the Western ‘Rust’ have reached a settlement with the family of the movie's cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. (AFP)Premium
Actor Alec Baldwin and the producers of the Western ‘Rust’ have reached a settlement with the family of the movie's cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. (AFP)

Actor Alec Baldwin and the producers of the Western ‘Rust’ have reached a settlement with the family of the movie's cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who Baldwin shot dead during filming last year

Actor Alec Baldwin and producers of the Western "Rust" can finally take a sigh of relief as they have reached a settlement with the family of the movie's cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. Alec Baldwin had shot her dead last year during the filming of the movie, Rust.

According to the deal, the family's civil lawsuit against Baldwin and others will be dropped, and the movie will resume production in January with all of the original lead actors, said Matthew Hutchins, Halyna's husband, in a statement.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, passed away in October 2021, while the low-budget movie was being filmed at Bonanza Creek Ranch outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Joel Souza, the film director, and Ukrainian cinematographer were both struck by live ammunition while Baldwin was "practising with a revolver". Joel Souza survived but Halyna Hutchins succumbed to the shot.

"I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin)… All of us believe Halyna's death was a terrible accident." said Hutchins, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer who under the deal will become executive producer of the movie. 

According to a New Mexico prosecutor, Baldwin and others may be charged with a crime in connection with Hutchins' passing. Investigative efforts have been directed at identifying the owner of the gun that Baldwin fired.

The "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live" actor has denied responsibility for Hutchins' death and said live rounds should never have been allowed on the set.

"We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation," his lawyer Luke Nikas said in a statement on the settlement.

At the February lawsuit presentation, Hutchins family attorney Brian Panish stated that Baldwin bore significant responsibility for the killing because he should not have pointed the gun at a person, should not have pulled the trigger, and should have made sure the weapon was empty of live rounds.

Baldwin has said he was told the gun was "cold," an industry term meaning it was safe to use, and he did not pull the trigger. Although a FBI forensic test of the single-action revolver found it "functioned normally" proving that the gun could not have fired without the trigger being pulled.

The shooting was ruled an accident by New Mexico's Office of the Medical Investigator in August because it didn't appear that the gun had been loaded with live rounds on purpose.

The film's production company was assessed the maximum fine by the state's worker safety agency for what it called "willful" safety violations that resulted in Hutchin's death.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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