Alec Baldwin filed a countersuit on Friday to “clear” his name for the death of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, saying the tragedy was blamed on three crew members and the man who loaded the set with ammunition have taken care of .
Baldwin named all four as counter-defendants in a lawsuit originally filed against him last year by Mamie Mitchell, the film’s executive writer. Baldwin said he relied on all four of them to get their jobs done and Hutchins died as a result of their neglect.
As a result, Baldwin says he experienced “immense heartache” and suffered an “emotional, physical and financial toll.”
“More than anyone else on set, Baldwin was misconstrued as the perpetrator of this tragedy,” wrote Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas. “Through these counterclaims, Baldwin is attempting to clear his name and hold the counterdefendants accountable for their wrongdoing.”
Baldwin was holding a Colt .45 revolver as he went off on October 21, 2021 while preparing for a scene near Santa Fe, NM. He has said he pulled the hammer back, albeit not far enough to cock it, and then let go – causing the gun to fire. He said he didn’t pull the trigger.
the colt 45 should have contained only dummy cartridges that do not contain a projectile and charge. But it was loaded with a live shell that went through Hutchin’s body and lodged in director Joel Souza’s shoulder.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office recently concluded its criminal investigation, and local prosecutors are now considering whether to press charges against Baldwin or any of the crew members.
The counterclaim amounts to a lengthy and detailed exoneration of Baldwin, prepared by his civil attorneys, complete with text messages and photos from the sheriff’s investigation.
The document accuses gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez Reed of “not carrying out her job carefully and as a result loading a live cartridge into the gun which she negligently failed to identify”.
Baldwin also accuses David Halls, the first assistant director, of not carefully checking the gun and accuses him of declaring the gun “cold” when he handed it to Baldwin – meaning the rounds contained no charges.
The countersuit also accuses Sarah Zachry, the props master, of failing to adequately supervise Gutierrez Reed and maintain a safe set. In addition, Baldwin accuses Seth Kenney, the supplier, of showing “a reckless disregard for proper separation between live and dummy ammunition.”
All four have previously denied any guilt. Gutierrez Reed has sued Kenney for supplying her with live ammunition very similar to dummy cartridges, while Kenney has denied including live cartridges in the box of dummies he supplied to the set.
Mitchell, represented by Gloria Allred, alleges in her lawsuit that she was four feet away when the gun went off. She has claimed that on top of emotional trauma, she suffered painful ringing in her ears. Their lawsuit alleges that Baldwin intentionally “cocked and fired the loaded gun, even though the scene about to be filmed did not require a firearm to be cocked and fired.”
Baldwin has sought to have the lawsuit dropped, arguing that on-set accidents are the exclusive domain of the New Mexico Workers Compensation System. A Los Angeles judge denied his request on November 1.
https://variety.com/2022/film/news/alec-baldwin-rust-halyna-hutchins-cross-complaint-1235430884/ Alec Baldwin looks to ‘clear his name’ in ‘Rust’ shoot.