“But for him shooting the gun, Halyna is still here today.”
A lawyer representing the family of late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins says Alec Baldwin is failing to take responsibility for her death despite holding the gun that fatally shot her.
On October 21, the 42-year-old filmmaker was killed on-set of the Western movie the pair were working on together, Rust, when a gun Baldwin was holding discharged. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also shot in the incident, though he survived his injuries.
Halyna’s husband Matthew Hutchins filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Baldwin, who was both an actor and a producer on the film, and others for “recklessly” causing his wife’s death.
The complaint, filed on behalf of himself and the couple’s 9-year-old son, alleges that Baldwin “recklessly shot and killed Halyna Hutchins” while he and “other Defendants in this case failed to perform industry standard safety checks and follow basic gun safety rules while using real guns to produce the movie Rust, with fatal consequences”.
Hutchins’ family lawyer Brian Panish claimed on NewsNation’s Dan Abrams Live that Baldwin “caused a death that was reckless and never needed to happen,” and that her loved ones are “looking for answers”.
“Alec Baldwin is continuing to do what he’s done throughout this — he’s blaming others. He’s not accepting any responsibility. He lays off fault on others when, in fact, but for him shooting the gun, Halyna is still here today,” the attorney said.
He added: “Baldwin, again, is in complete denial, accepting no responsibility, and we look forward to letting the folks, the community in Santa Fe County determine his responsibility.”
Responding to the comments, the actor’s attorney said in a statement that “any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false”.
“He, Halyna and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a ‘cold gun’ — meaning there is no possibility of a discharge, blank or otherwise,” the statement said, People reports.
“This protocol has worked on thousands of films, with millions of discharges, as there has never before been an incident on a set where an actual bullet harmed anyone. Actors should be able to rely on armorers and prop department professionals, as well as assistant directors, rather than deciding on their own when a gun is safe to use.”
Baldwin, 63, has consistently maintained that he did not pull the trigger of the gun or know contained live bullets.
“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me,” he told ABC News in an interview in December when asked if he had personal guilt over Hutchins’ death.
“Honest to God, if I felt that I was responsible, I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible. I don’t say that lightly.”