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Halyna Hutchins' family settles with Alec Baldwin over cinematographer's death

This 2021 aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe where <em>Rust</em> was being filmed.
Jae C. Hong
This 2021 aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe where Rust was being filmed.

The family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has reached a settlement with Alec Baldwin and other Rust producers over her shooting death on the film set last year.

Under the settlement, which is subject to court approval, the filming of Rust will continue with the "original principal players on board" and Hutchins' husband Matthew will serve as executive producer.

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

The family's wrongful death suit against Baldwin and other Rust producers would also be dismissed.

"Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna's son," Baldwin said in an Instagram post Wednesday morning. "We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation."

Last October, Hutchins was killed after the Colt .45 revolver Baldwin was holding unexpectedly went off and fired a live round, striking the cinematographer.

Baldwin, who said he was following Hutchins' instructions as they were working on a scene for the Western, has maintained that he didn't pull the trigger.

"I cock the gun. I go, 'Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?'" Baldwin said in a December interview with ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos. "And then I let go of the hammer of the gun, and the gun goes off."

Earlier this year, Baldwin filed an arbitration demand against Rust producers, arguing that it wasn't his responsibility to check the gun for live ammunition and that he should be protected from any legal claims.

The film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, has also gone to court over the shooting, laying blame for iton the production's ammunition supplier.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office has been investigating the shooting, but so far no one has been criminally charged in Hutchins' death.

Rust director Joel Souza, who was wounded in the shooting, praised the "exceedingly talented, kind, creative" Hutchins and said he was pleased to be able to finish the film with the support of her family.

"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," Souza said.

"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," he added.

Melina Spadone, an attorney for Rust Movie Productions, LLC, said the proposed settlement was "an important step forward in celebrating Halyna's life and honoring her work."

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Joe Hernandez
[Copyright 2024 NPR]