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Alec Baldwin Says ‘Rust’ Lawsuits Are Motivated by Money, Not Negligence

Actor did not name specific lawsuits, including one filed against him by Halyna Hutchins’ family

Alec Baldwin has once again spoken publicly on the ongoing investigation and lawsuits surrounding the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust,” claiming the lawsuits are being filed against the wrong people in an interview at the Boulder International Film Festival on Saturday.

“What you have is a certain group of people, litigants and whatever, on whatever side, who their attitude is, ‘Well, the people who likely seem negligent have no money and the people who have money are not negligent,'” said Baldwin, as reported by CNN.

Baldwin did not specify which of the lawsuits related to Hutchins’ death he was referring to in his statement. On February 15, Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and multiple other defendants, including the producers and production companies of “Rust”; assistant director Dave Halls, who handed Baldwin the firearm that shot Hutchins; firearm supplier Seth Kenney and the production’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and prop master Sarah Zachry. 

Other “Rust” lawsuits filed include one by the production’s main medic Cheryln Schaefer filed suit last month against the film’s producers as well as Halls, Zachry, Gutierrez-Reed and Kenney claiming lost wages and emotional trauma. Gutierrez-Reed also has filed her own lawsuit against Kenney.

During the Boulder Q&A, Baldwin reiterated many of the arguments for his innocence that he made during his first public post-shooting interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, saying he was told by crew members that the gun was safe.

“When someone, whose job is to ensure the safety of a weapon, hands someone else, whose job is to be the secondary layer of protection for safety of a weapon, and they hand you that weapon, you declare that that weapon is safe,” he said.

“That’s how I’ve done it my whole life because you’re not allowed as an actor to declare the weapon … I mean, the joke is, you don’t want the actors doing the safety check. They can’t even make coffee, they’re so stupid,” he added.

When the wrongful death lawsuit was announced, Brian Panish, lead counsel for Hutchins’ family, argued that as a producer for “Rust,” Baldwin was among those culpable for Hutchins’ death as the law firm’s internal investigation found multiple instances of the shoot cutting corners on industry-standard safety measures. An official investigation by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department is still ongoing.

“Halyna Hutchins deserved to live, and the Defendants had the power to prevent her death if they had only held sacrosanct their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a set where firearms were present instead of cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, rushing to stay on schedule and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations,” the lawsuit read.

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