Dueling 'Rust' Documentaries Get Tangled Into Alec Baldwin Trial

Seemingly unintentionally, both of the Rust doc filmmakers have become characters in the stories they’re trying to tell, Kennedy most dramatically. In October 2023, after New Mexico prosecutors extended a plea offer to Baldwin, special prosecutor Kari Morrissey learned of Kennedy’s film and got annoyed enough to kill the deal, according to an April 2024 court filing. “Undersigned counsel received information that Mr. Baldwin commissioned his own documentary about the death of the woman he killed and was actively pressuring material witnesses in the case against him to submit to interviews for his own documentary,” reads the filing, part of a 316-page prosecution response to Baldwins’ lawyers’ attempt to get his case dismissed. “It was at this point that the plea offer was rescinded,” the filing says.

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In April, prosecutors filed a subpoena seeking footage from the film, saying Kennedy’s interviews with Baldwin and other witnesses contain “critical pieces of information concerning key elements of this criminal prosecution.” In a motion to quash that subpoena filed in May, Kennedy signed an affidavit saying that Baldwin “did not commission, solicit, encourage, or otherwise seek out the Baldwin Project.” The motion goes on to say that Baldwin is not paying for, directing or producing the Moxie Films documentary, nor being paid for it, and that while he may be consulted on factual accuracy, he has no editorial or creative control over the film. In June, a Los Angeles judge ruled that Kennedy is not required to turn over the tapes, agreeing with her attorneys that the interviews are covered by the California Shield Law, which protects journalists from having to provide unpublished material to prosecutors.

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Ed Morrissey

They had enough without the footage to convict Gutierrez-Reed. I suspect they'll have plenty on tap for Baldwin's jury. 

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