Alec Baldwin filed legal papers Friday blaming cinematographer Halyna Hutchins for her own death, despite the fact that Baldwin fired the gun that killed her.
The anti-Trump actor insisted that all the mistakes that led to the fatal shooting last October was “performed by someone else.”
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His filing Friday also revealed that Baldwin made a desperate attempt to force the crew to finish the movie shortly after the incident.
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“This is a rare instance when the system broke down, and someone should be held legally culpable for the tragic consequences,” the star’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, wrote in an arbitration filing Friday.
“That person is not Alec Baldwin,” said the filing.
Nypost.com reports: The arbitration demand against Baldwin’s fellow producers claims the star’s contract protects him from any financial responsibility in a slew of lawsuits filed against him, including the wrongful death complaint filed by Hutchins’ widow.
Even without that clause, Baldwin was completely innocent in the “unthinkable tragedy,” according to the filing, which revealed he was paid $250,000 to star in and produce the low-budget western.
“As he had done throughout his career, Baldwin trusted the other professionals on the set to do their jobs,” Nikas wrote.
“The facts make clear that Baldwin is not culpable for these events or failures.”
Those whose directions Baldwin followed included Hutchins herself, the filing stated, calling it “the worst day in Alec Baldwin’s life” that “will continue to haunt” him.
Hutchins “directed Baldwin” in the rehearsal scene to “determine how best to angle the camera and what movements Baldwin should make for her to capture the cocked gun that the script had called for,” it said.
“Hutchins described what she would like Baldwin to do with the placement of the gun … She directed Baldwin to hold the gun higher, to a point where it was directed toward her,” the filing detailed.
“In giving and following these instructions, Hutchins and Baldwin shared a core, vital belief: that the gun was ‘cold’ and contained no live rounds.
“Baldwin asked Hutchins whether she wanted to see him cock the gun, as the script required. She responded yes,” the filing stated.
On her instructions, “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 noted.
“As later became known, a live bullet discharged from the gun and struck Hutchins, traveling through her body and striking [director Joel] Souza in the shoulder. Both Hutchins and Souza fell to the ground,” it said.
“No one understood what had happened,” the filing stated of the “panic and confusion” immediately after.
It was only when Baldwin was interviewed by Santa Fe sheriff’s deputies that he saw “a photograph of the object that had just been removed from Souza’s shoulder at the hospital — a .45 caliber slug.
“Baldwin recognized the object as a live bullet, and he finally began to comprehend what had transpired on the set of ‘Rust’ that day,” the filing stated, saying the actor was “shocked.”
But the star took no responsibility for failing to double-check that the gun had no live bullets in it — claiming rookie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed ordered him not to, saying “it was her job to check the gun — not his.”
“An actor cannot rule that a gun is safe,” the filing said. “That is the responsibility of other people on the set.”
The filing also detailed Baldwin’s initial communications with Hutchins’ widow, Matthew, who allegedly hugged the star and told him, “I guess we’re going to go through this together.”
It included screenshots of text messages showing the pair’s “warm” relationship, with Matthew telling Baldwin he was “very gracious” helping him and his 9-year-old son, Andros.
Baldwin repeatedly said he understood if Matthew wanted to cut ties, but the widower “continuously assured” him he “wished to keep in touch and maintain their … positive and mutually supportive” relationship.
As well as that friendship, Baldwin made an exhaustive effort to contact the Rust cast in the hope of acquiring their support to finish the film,” the filing revealed, admitting no one wanted to.
“He did so both with the intent of honoring Halyna’s legacy by completing her last work and of compensating Hutchins and his son from the film’s profits.”
Baldwin insisted his warm messages continued weeks after his now-notorious TV interview in which he claimed he had not fired the fatal shot, the filing said.
The actor was completely taken aback when the widower gave his own TV interview saying he was “just so angry” at Baldwin’s “absurd” claims.
“The Matthew Hutchins that showed up on the Today show is someone Baldwin had never met before,” Friday’s filing claimed.
Matthew is one of many who have sued Baldwin over the fatal incident, saying he “recklessly shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on the set.”
But his “lawsuit contains numerous false allegations against Baldwin,” the “30 Rock” actor’s lawyer stated.
“Plans to complete Rust and to channel its proceeds into a fund for Hutchins’s and his son’s benefit have unfortunately broken down as a result of the lawsuit and these public statements,” the filing said.
Some of the others suing him were also initially supportive, according to the filing.
That included script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who now blames Baldwin for not checking the gun — but immediately after the shooting told him, “You realize you’re not responsible for any of what happened in there, don’t you?,” the filing alleged.
The filing listed a series of mishaps possibly to blame for the fatal accident, none of which were Baldwin’s responsibility, according to his lawyer.
“He didn’t announce that the gun was ‘cold’ when it really contained a live round; he didn’t load the gun; he didn’t check the bullets in the gun; he didn’t purchase the bullets; he didn’t make the bullets and represent that they were dummies; he wasn’t in charge of firearm safety on the set; he didn’t hire the people who supplied the bullets or checked the gun; and he played no role in managing the movie’s props,” the filing said.
“At this point, two things are clear: someone is culpable for cambering the live round that led to this horrific tragedy, and it is someone other than Baldwin,” the filing said. “Baldwin is an actor.”
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