SANTA FE, NM – Alec Baldwin and the family of Halyna Hutchins – a cinematographer who was tragically killed on the set of the movie “Rust” in 2021 after the Hollywood actor fired a gun that was incorrectly believed to contain blanks – have reached a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against the actor and others associated with the troubled film production.
However, the Santa Fe District Attorney said that the settlement will have no bearing on the criminal probe currently being conducted into the incident.
On October 21, 2021, Baldwin, 63, was filming on the set of the western movie at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when he discharged a gun being used as a prop, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, and injuring director Joel Souza, 48.
In February, Hutchins’ family – she left behind a husband and one child – filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Santa Fe against Baldwin and others involved in the production of the movie, including production companies, producers and key members of the crew.
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According to a statement released by Matthew Hutchins, husband of the late Halyna Hutchins, as part of the settlement, he will be named as an executive producer on “Rust” – whose production is now set to continue after having previously been cancelled – and he has labeled his wife’s death a “terrible accident.”
“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 statement said. “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.”
Alec Baldwin’s attorney also released a statement on the actor’s behalf, saying that the settlement was in the best interests of Hutchins’s now-motherless child.
“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” the statement said. “We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”
However, when reached for comment, a spokesperson for the office of New Mexico’s First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said that the fact that the civil lawsuit against Baldwin and company has been settled has nothing whatsoever to do with their investigation into any potential criminality surrounding the shooting.
“The proposed settlement announced today in Matthew Hutchins’ wrongful death case against Rust movie producers, including Alec Baldwin, in the death of Halyna Hutchins will have no impact on District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies’ ongoing investigation or her ultimate decision whether to file criminal charges in the case,” DA spokesperson Heather Brewer said. “While civil suits are settled privately and often involve financial awards, criminal cases deal only in facts. If the facts and evidence warrant criminal charges under New Mexico law then charges will be brought. No one is above the law.”