• Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

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Alec Baldwin settles lawsuit with family of cinematographer killed on ‘Rust’ set

Alec Baldwin settled a lawsuit filed by loved ones of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins who was killed on the set of his movie “Rust,” reps from both sides of the civil action said Wednesday.

Hutchins, 42, was fatally shot and director Joel Souza, then 48, wounded in the Oct. 21, 2021, incident in New Mexico when a live round was discharged from a gun held by Baldwin, who shares screen and producer credits on the suspended movie.

The cinematographer’s family filed a lawsuit in February against  Baldwin and others involved in the film, accusing them of reckless behavior and cost-cutting measures led to the tragedy.

“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said in a statement. “We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”

Financial terms of the settlement were not released on Wednesday  — though Hutchins’ widower has been named as an executive producer of “Rust” which is expected to resume filming in January.

“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Matthew Hutchins said in statement.

“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.”   

Souza said he’s agreed to resume his role as director.

“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,” Souza said in a statement.

“I only wish the world had gotten to know her under different circumstances, as it surely would have through her amazing work.”

The director said he’s only returning to the “Rust” set with Matthew Hutchins’ blessing.

“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,” according to Souza. 

“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 honoring Halyna’s legacy and making her proud. It is a privilege to see this through on her behalf.”

Any civil settlement, however, wouldn’t preclude prosecutors from pursing a case against anyone who might be criminally responsible for Hutchins’ death.

Earlier this month, the state’s Board of Finance approved a special $317,000 budget allocation to the office of First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies for a possible “Rust” prosecution.

The prosecutor said her office was prepared to press criminal charges against as many as four people, according to an Aug. 30 letter she sent to the state requesting extra funding.

A rep for the prosecutor could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday. A rep for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, the law enforcement agency investigating the “Rust” shooting, declined comment.

The movie set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was also named as a defendant in the estate’s lawsuit.

While a settlement has not yet been reached with her, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles said his client is hopeful these out-of-court civil resolutions might point to a decision against prosecution.

“Hannah is grateful that this settlement will benefit the Hutchins family and that the parties were able to constructively resolve the civil lawsuit,” Bowles said in a statement.

“We are hopeful that the district attorney’s office will also recognize that a measure of Justice has been achieved in regards to this tragic accident, and that they will opt not to pursue criminal charges.”

Baldwin has maintained that he “didn’t pull the trigger” in the fatal shooting that rocked Hollywood and raised concerns about weapons on movie sets.

“Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” he told ABC News last year. “No, no, no, I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”

The investigation is still ongoing from the incident that took place nearly one year ago at Bonanza Creek Ranch, in Santa Fe County.