Rust Filming to Resume After Alec Baldwin, Producers Reach Settlement With Halyna Hutchins' Estate

The family of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer killed on the Rust movie set, and Alec Baldwin have reached an undisclosed settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against the actor.

By Tamantha Gunn Oct 05, 2022 6:33 PMTags
Watch: Rust Filming to Resume, Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settled

Nearly one year after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the set of Rust, her family shared that the movie will soon resume production.

The announcement comes after Hutchins' husband Matthew Hutchins—with whom she shared 9-year-old son Andros—reached a settlement against the film's producers and its star, Alec Baldwin, who discharged the loaded gun that killed the cinematographer in Oct. 2021.

"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," Matthew said in a statement in a press release obtained by E! News Oct. 5. "As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed. The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023."

He added, "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."    

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Luke Nikas, an attorney for the 30 Rock alum, also released a statement in that press release, saying, "Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna's son. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation." 

In February, Matthew filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and others who were involved with the film. While on set in New Mexico, the actor discharged a prop gun, accidentally shooting Hutchins and director Joel Souza.

After the shooting, Hutchins was airlifted to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, while Souza, who was shot in the shoulder, was taken by ambulance to another medical center for treatment and was later released.

The wrongful death complaint, which was obtained by E! News, stated that Baldwin "recklessly shot and killed" Hutchins and claims he and other defendants named in the case "failed to perform industry standard safety checks and follow basic gun safety rules while using real guns to produce the movie Rust, with fatal consequences."

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Universal Pictures, Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

In response to the suit, Baldwin's lawyers said in a statement to E! News Feb. 15, "Any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false. He, Halyna and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a ‘cold gun' – meaning there is no possibility of a discharge, blank or otherwise." 

Weapons expert Seth Kenney, who was listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, also released a statement on Feb. 15 through his lawyer, denying that he provided live ammunition to the Rust production.
"Mr. Kenney was not on set on the day of the shooting and, in fact, was never on set until many days after the shooting," the statement read. "Mr. Kenney never handled any of the weapons or ammunition on set, never provided any direction or guidance to the actors, and was not responsible for the on-set handling of firearms or ammunition."

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The attorney said he is confident Kenney will be "absolved of any responsibility for the tragedy."

Though a civil settlement was reached, that will not exclude prosecutors from pursuing charges against anyone who is deemed criminally responsible for Hutchins' death.

"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-Altweis' ongoing investigation or her ultimate decision whether to file criminal charges in the case," said Heather Brewer, spokesperson for the Office of the First Judicial District Attorney in New Mexico. "While civil suits are settled privately and often involve financial awards, criminal cases deal only in facts.

Brewer added, "If the facts and evidence warrant criminal charges under New Mexico law then charges will be brought. No one is above the law." 

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