Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin has settled with the family of Halyna Hutchins after the cinematographer died in a shooting incident on the set of Rust.
Baldwin and the production company of the film were sued by Hutchins’ husband Matthew and their son Andros after she was fatally shot on the set of the Western film in October 2021. All parties have now settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.
Filming has been paused since the incident. It is due to resume in January 2023.
What did Alec Baldwin say about settling with Halyna Hutchins estate?
In a statement posted on instagram, the actor confirmed that both sides have settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount. He said: “We are pleased to announce today the settlement of the civil case filed on behalf of the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son.
“We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”
Rust Movie Productions, which was also involved in the lawsuit, added through lawyer Melina Spadone: “We are pleased the parties came together to resolve this matter, which, subject to court approval, marks an important step forward in celebrating Halyna’s life and honouring her work.”
Director Joel Souza, who was injured in the incident, said: “Those of us who were lucky enough to have spent time with Halyna knew her to be exceedingly talented, kind, creative, and a source of incredible positive energy.
“I only wish the world had gotten to know her under different circumstances, as it surely would have through her amazing work. In my own attempts to heal, any decision to return to finish directing the film could only make sense for me if it was done with the involvement of Matt and the Hutchins family.
“Though certainly bittersweet, I am pleased that together, we will now complete what Halyna and I started. My every effort on this film will be devoted to honouring Halyna’s legacy and making her proud. It is a privilege to see this through on her behalf.”
What has Halyna Hutchins’ family response?
Filming is set to resume on the movie in January 2023, with Hutchins’ husband Matthew serving as an executive producer. In a statement, Mr Hutchins said: “We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust, including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC.
“As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed. The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023.
“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. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”
What happened on the set of Rust?
The shooting occured on 21 October 2021 on the set of Joel Souza’s Western film Rust. Filming was taking place on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The prop gun which killed Hutchins, 42, and also wounded Souza was loaded with live rounds, rather than blanks normally used on film sets. At the time of the incident, Baldwin was holding the gun as he rehearsed a scene with Souza and Hutchins in close vicinity.
The gun discharged a live bullet, hitting Hutchins in the chest and Souza in the shoulder. Hutchins was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Following the shooting and a six-month long investigation by New Mexico’s enivornment department, Rust Movie Productions was fined 136,793 US dollars (£104,810). This amount is the highest fine permitted by New Meixco state law. The report also stated that the production company “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set” and “demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety”.
While the lawsuit with the family of Hutchins has been settled, Baldwin and the Rust producers still face a lawsuit from script supervisor Mamie Mitchell. Mitchell, who called emergency services after the shooting, alleges that the scenes being shot that day did not call for the use of the gun on set. However, a Loz Angeles judge has ruled that Baldwin and the producers would not have to face the lawsuit’s central claims of assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.