Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Alec Baldwin, In Legal Filing, Says He's 'Not Culpable' For Fatally Shooting Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

A tight shot of actor Alec Baldwin's face. His hair is graying and slicked back.
Alec Baldwin photographed in June 2021.
(Angela Weiss
/
AFP via Getty Images)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

There are multiple theories about — and several civil lawsuits alleging — who’s to blame for Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the Rust movie set.

The actor and producer now claims the cinematographer herself ordered Baldwin to aim the gun at her and to pull back its hammer before the gun went off. His new account, the most complete he's offered to date, comes a month after the Hutchins family sued Baldwin last month, saying his and the production’s violation of gun safety rules caused her death.

To date, no criminal charges have been filed in connection to the killing of Hutchins in New Mexico last October. At the same time, a series of civil lawsuits have offered different accounts of how live ammunition made its way into Baldwin’s gun, and whether or not the production was negligent.

In a new legal filing, Baldwin says he was “not culpable” in Hutchins’ shooting and that he “trusted the other professionals on the set to do their jobs.”

Support for LAist comes from

In arguing why he shouldn’t be financially responsible for her death and that production insurance policies should pay for his defense, Baldwin offered his most detailed account of the shooting, including saying how Hutchins told him to handle the gun.

“Hutchins described what she would like Baldwin to do with the placement of the gun, which contained only ‘dummy rounds,’ as far as everyone was told. She directed Baldwin to hold the gun higher, to a point where it was directed toward her,” the filing recounts.

A memorial table during a candlelight vigil in Halyna Hutchins' memory  displays candles, photos of her, flowers and messages.
A memorial in Burbank on Oct. 23 remembered cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
(David McNew
/
AFP via Getty Images)

“Baldwin asked Hutchins whether she wanted to see him cock the gun, as the script required. She responded yes…. Baldwin then pulled back the hammer, but not far enough to actually cock the gun. When Baldwin let go of the hammer, the gun went off,” the filing says.

Support for LAist comes from

Baldwin also revealed that weeks after he killed Hutchins, he attempted to offer her husband, Matthew, and young son a financial settlement, in part so production of “Rust” could resume. The filing includes images of text messages between Matthew Hutchins and Baldwin.

“Hutchins never once said to Baldwin that he doubted the veracity of Baldwin’s telling of the events of October 21, 2021, which remained consistent from the first day the two of them spoke,” the filing says. “Hutchins also never once said to Baldwin that he viewed Baldwin as responsible or culpable for his wife’s death.

What questions do you have about film, TV, music, or arts and entertainment?
John Horn covers the business of entertainment, examining what's next for Hollywood post pandemic.