Halyna Hutchins’ husband Matt Hutchins, in his first sit-down TV interview, pointed the blame at Alec Baldwin in regards to his wife’s death on the set of “Rust” and said he was “angry” to see Baldwin speak about her death so publicly and “not accept any responsibility.”
“Watching him, I just felt so angry,” Matt Hutchins told Hoda Kotb of “Today” in a preview clip for an interview that will air on Thursday morning, referring to Baldwin’s own sit-down about the incident on ABC last year. “I was just so angry to see him talk about her death so publicly, in such a detailed way, and then to not accept any responsibility after having just described killing her.”
Matt Hutchins also recently filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Baldwin and others associated with “Rust” as the criminal investigation into Hutchins’ death by authorities remains ongoing. And Matt Hutchins also laid the blame not just on Baldwin but pointed to other problems on set.
“The idea that the person holding the gun causing it to discharge is not responsible, is absurd to me,” Matt Hutchins said. “But gun safety was not the only problem on that set. There were a number of industry standards that were not practiced and there’s multiple responsible parties.”
Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of “Rust” on Oct. 21 when a gun held by Baldwin discharged and fired what authorities have said was a live lead projectile, which also injured the film’s director, Joel Souza. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation and has not filed any charges to date.
Baldwin gave an interview to ABC News on Dec. 2 saying that he “didn’t believe Halyna was shot” and never presumed that there could be a live bullet in the gun. He added that he did not pull the trigger of the gun when it misfired and described how Hutchins had instructed him to handle the weapon in the rehearsal.
“She’s next to the camera. The camera is here. She’s guiding me through how she wants me to hold the angle. I draw the gun out – the gun wasn’t meant to be fired in that angle,” Baldwin explained. “I’m not shooting to camera lens. I’m holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which turned out to be below her armpit. But we kept doing this …. I start to cock the gun. She said, just ‘cheat it down, could you see that, could you see that?’ I let go of the hammer of the gun, the gun goes off.”
Matt Hutchins’ lawsuit, filed in Santa Fe County, New Mexico by lead attorney Brian Panish on February 15, also named as defendants the production’s 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. The family is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with a trial expected to begin in 18-24 months.
The lawsuit alleges that Baldwin, Halls and Gutierrez-Reed did not verify that the gun was loaded or that the ammunition was safe, and that Baldwin refused training for “cross-arm” firing, which he was rehearsing when the gun discharged.
Matt Hutchins’ lawsuit is also one of several filed over the “Rust” incident, including one by the production’s main medic, a script supervisor and a gaffer. And Gutierrez-Reed has filed her own lawsuit against the film’s supplier Kenney.
The full interview with Matt Hutchins will air Thursday, Feb. 24 on “Today” and will stream later that evening in a special primetime simulcast on “TODAY All Day,” the show’s streaming channel, and NBC News Now at 10:30 p.m. The interview will also run as a bonus episode of Kotb’s “Making Space” podcast. A preview of the interview will air Wednesday, February 23, on “NBC Nightly News” with Lester Holt.