Throughout the entire ordeal of the investigation into the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie Rust, at least one thing has been consistent. Baldwin has denied any and all responsibility for the accident, insisting that it was the mistakes of others that led to the shooting. But in a court filing entered on Friday, Baldwin upped the ante considerably. Now he’s even blaming Hutchins for the fact that he shot and killed her. But his attorneys may have allowed a couple of new and important details to slip in this filing, potentially answering some of the questions that have remained hovering over how the shooting took place. (NY Post)
Alec Baldwin filed legal papers Friday denying any responsibility for shooting dead Halyna Hutchins — even blaming the late cinematographer for giving him the directions that led to the deadly accident.
The 63-year-old actor insisted that every single mistake leading to the Oct. 21 shooting on the New Mexico set of “Rust” was “performed by someone else.”
His filing Friday also revealed that Baldwin made an “exhaustive effort” to get the crew back together to finish the doomed movie even after a flurry of lawsuits blamed him for mom-of-one Hutchins’ death.
As I’ve been saying since the first details of this tragedy came to light, there is plenty of blame to go around in terms of how the shooting unfolded. But it takes a special sort of self-obsession to blame the dead woman you shot, even if the camera crew also could have done more to ensure their own safety. Baldwin’s attorney also sought to once again clear him of any responsibility, saying that he is “just an actor” and can not be held accountable, though “someone” should be.
First of all, Baldwin wasn’t “just an actor” on that set. He was also the producer and he bears some responsibility for everything that happens. He also wasn’t some rookie extra who was brought in with no experience. Baldwin has been on more film sets than he can probably recall and should have been more familiar with the safety requirements than the average layman.
With that said, the allegation being made against Hutchins is a new wrinkle in the story. The filing claims that Hutchins instructed Baldwin as to how she wanted him to handle the “placement” of the revolver while practicing the cross-draw, as well as where to aim it. (Presumably at the camera crew.) Baldwin claims that he asked Hutchins if she wanted to see him cock the gun as described in the script. She reportedly said yes. That’s when the filing claims that Baldwin pulled back the hammer on the Colt revolver, but not far enough to be fully cocked. When he released it, the hammer fell and the rest is history.
This probably explains the careful language that Baldwin used during previous interviews and statements. He repeatedly said that he “never pulled the trigger” and would never do so while pointing the gun at a human being. That may be technically true, but given all of his experience shooting scenes involving guns, surely Baldwin was aware that you can fire a revolver without touching the trigger if you manually manipulate the hammer. (Also known as “fanning the hammer.”)
Yet again, that doesn’t make the shooting intentional, but it was obviously Alec Baldwin who caused the firearm to discharge. His previous explanations boil down to little beyond semantics with no real meaning in this debate.
The other fact from this filing to make note of relates to Baldwin’s previous claims that he was so distraught over the shooting that he had to flee the area and go into seclusion with his wife. According to these new documents, Baldwin was making “an exhaustive effort” to reassemble the crew and finish shooting the movie during that period. That should raise at least some questions as to how truly distraught he was on what he still describes as “the worst day of his life.” It’s a fairly safe bet that it was definitely the worst (and last) day of Halyna Hutchins’ life.