Alec Baldwin settled a lawsuit filed by loved ones of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed on the set of his movie “Rust” last year, representatives from both sides of the civil action said Wednesday.
Hutchins, 42, was fatally shot and director Joel Souza, then 48, was wounded in the incident Oct. 21 in New Mexico when a live round was discharged from a gun held by Baldwin, who shares screen and producer credits on the suspended movie.
Hutchins’ family sued in February accusing Baldwin and others involved in the film of reckless behavior and cost-cutting measures that led to the tragedy nearly one year ago at Bonanza Creek Ranch, in Santa Fe County.
“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said in a statement. “We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”
Victim’s widower now a ‘Rust’ producer
Financial terms of the settlement were not released Wednesday — although Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, has been named as an executive producer of “Rust,” which is expected to resume filming in January.
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” he said in statement.
“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.”
Souza said he has agreed to resume his role as director.
“Those of us who were lucky enough to have spent time with Halyna knew her to be exceedingly talented, kind, creative, and a source of incredible positive energy,” Souza said in a statement.
“I only wish the world had gotten to know her under different circumstances, as it surely would have through her amazing work.”
Souza said he is returning to the “Rust” set only with Matthew Hutchins’ blessing.
“In my own attempts to heal, any decision to return to finish directing the film could only make sense for me if it was done with the involvement of Matt and the Hutchins family,” he said.
“Though certainly bittersweet, I am pleased that together, we will now complete what Halyna and I started. My every effort on this film will be devoted to honoring Halyna’s legacy and making her proud. It is a privilege to see this through on her behalf.”
DA: Civil case won’t affect any prosecution
Any civil settlement, however, wouldn’t preclude prosecutors from pursuing a case against anyone who might be criminally responsible for Hutchins’ death.
The New Mexico Board of Finance approved a special $317,000 budget allocation this month to the office of First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies for a possible “Rust” prosecution.
Carmack-Altwies said her office was prepared to press criminal charges against as many as four people, according to a letter she sent to the state on Aug. 30 requesting extra funding.
Heather Brewer, a spokeswoman for Carmack-Altwies, said the civil settlement “will have no impact on” the DA’s “ultimate decision whether to file criminal charges in the case.”
“While civil suits are settled privately and often involve financial awards, criminal cases deal only in facts,” Brewer said in a statement Wednesday.
“If the facts and evidence warrant criminal charges under New Mexico law then charges will be brought. No one is above the law.”
A representative for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, the agency investigating the shooting, wouldn’t comment.
Other parties still face civil, criminal penalties
The movie set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was also named as a defendant in the estate’s lawsuit.
While a settlement hasn’t been reached with her, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles said his client hopes the out-of-court civil resolutions might point to a decision against prosecution.
“Hannah is grateful that this settlement will benefit the Hutchins family and that the parties were able to constructively resolve the civil lawsuit,” Bowles said in a statement.
“We are hopeful that the district attorney’s office will also recognize that a measure of Justice has been achieved in regards to this tragic accident, and that they will opt not to pursue criminal charges.”
Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor who witnessed the fatal shooting, won’t return to “Rust” as she pursues her own civil suit against producers.
“She is too traumatized to return to that set, because Mamie was standing next to Halyna Hutchins when Halyna was shot and killed,” Mitchell’s lawyer Gloria Allred said in a statement.
“Mamie is committed to seeking justice in her case. She is very happy that Halyna’s son and family have reached a settlement that they believe is fair to them. However, Mamie will continue her pursuit of justice in her civil case, and she will also be willing to testify in a criminal case if one is filed.”
Baldwin has said he didn’t shoot anyone
Baldwin has maintained that he “didn’t pull the trigger” in the fatal shooting, which rocked Hollywood and raised concerns about weapons on movie sets.
“Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” he told ABC News last year. “No, no, no, I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”
The investigation continues.