Alec Baldwin sued several Rust crew members for negligence after handing him a loaded gun on set that went off, resulting in the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
According to The Washington Post, the 64-year-old actor named four people in the counter lawsuit – armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, first assistant director Dave Halls, prop master Sarah Zachry, and guns and ammunition provider Seth Kenney – for failing to safeguard the set. His attorney Luke Nikas wrote in the suit:
“This tragedy happened because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun. Gutierrez-Reed failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully, Halls failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin, and Zachry failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her.”
Per The New York Times, the 30 Rock alum pointed fingers at Seth, who supplied the weapons for the film, for keeping his company in “disarray” and “haphazardly” storing all the ammunition. He then cited an FBI report stating that Sarah and Hannah failed to keep an eye on the live bullets on the set as they found the ammunition all over the place – including in a bandoleer Alec was wearing on the day of the shooting. And as a result of their actions, Deadline reported Alec said in the lawsuit he has experienced “immense grief” and faced an “emotional, physical and financial toll,” explaining:
“The negligence of Gutierrez-Reed, Halls, Kenney, PDQ, and Zachry has caused Baldwin substantial harm. Over the last year, Baldwin has suffered substantial damage as a result of the events on October 21. He has suffered physically and emotionally from the grief caused by these events. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about, and suffer from, the events that happened that day.”
The complaint also added he has lost out on several projects following the fatal shooting:
“Baldwin has also lost numerous job opportunities and associated income. For example, he’s been fired from multiple jobs expressly because of the incident on Rust and has been passed over for other opportunities, which is a direct result of the negligence of Cross-Defendants Gutierrez-Reed, Halls, Kenney, PDQ, and Zachary.”
The lawyer then noted that Alex “seeks to clear his name” after being “wrongfully viewed as the perpetrator of this tragedy” and wants to hold the crew members “accountable for their misconduct.” In response to the lawsuit, Hannah’s lawyer, Jason Bowles, told The Washington Post that the only one to blame for the accidental shooting is Alec, saying:
“Baldwin is solely responsible for this tragedy. He declined training on the cross draw, and pointed a weapon, and had his finger on the trigger.”
As you may recall, the tragedy happened in October 2021 when Alec was rehearsing a scene in Sante Fe, New Mexico, for the movie when the gun – which he believed was “cold” at the time – suddenly went off. The bullet ended up striking Halyna in the chest, killing her, before hitting director Joel Souza in the clavicle.
Almost four months after the accidental shooting, Hutchins’ husband Matthew Hutchins filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Alec, claiming the production companies and producers “cut corners” and “chose to hire the cheapest crew available,” which led to the cinematographer’s death. The suit also accused them of “knowingly” hiring “a wholly unqualified armorer,” and made her divide time in another role as an assistant prop master. While Alec has vehemently denied responsibility for Halyna’s death, he reached a settlement with the family and Matthew, who will now be an executive producer on the film and receive some of the profits.
Even though the Beetlejuice star has settled with the family, he still faces other lawsuits surrounding the accidental shooting – including one with the film’s script supervisor Mamie Mitchell. She sued Alec and others for their alleged parts in the incident, claiming it caused her severe emotional distress.
Clearly, this legal battle between the cast and crew members of Rust won’t be ending anytime soon. Reactions to the latest lawsuit, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments below.