The estate of late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins announced on Wednesday that it has reached a settlement in its wrongful death lawsuit against Rust Movie Productions and Alec Baldwin.
The suit, which was filed on behalf of Hutchins' family on Feb. 15, claims that Baldwin "recklessly shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust" when the actor discharged a prop gun while filming the western on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin, who serves as both an actor and producer on the film, has maintained that he did not pull the revolver's trigger. The Santa Fe sheriff's office has not charged anyone in the incident.
"We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust, including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC. As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed," Halyna's husband, Matthew Hutchins, said in a statement on Wednesday. "The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023."
Presley Ann/Getty Images; Mat Hayward/Getty Images Alec Baldwin and Halyna Hutchins
Matthew goes on to explain that he has "no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame" toward the producers of the film or Baldwin going forward. "All of us believe Halyna's death was a terrible accident," he concludes. "I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna's final work."
No further details about the extent of the settlement were given besides that Matthew will now serve as an executive producer on the film. In their lawsuit, the family previously sought compensatory and punitive damages.
Director Joel Souza, who was also wounded on set by the weapon, remembers Halyna as an "exceedingly talented, kind, creative, and a source of incredible positive energy" in a new statement. He adds, "I only wish the world had gotten to know her under different circumstances, as it surely would have through her amazing work."
Souza says that he sees completing the film — which was shuttered after the accident — as a way to honor Halyna.
Courtesy of Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office Alec Baldwin shown rehearsing a scene for the movie 'Rust' on the day of the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
"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 explains. "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."
In his own statement, Baldwin's attorney, Luke Nikas, shares that it's important for all parties involved that the couple's son, Andros, is looked after. "Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna's son," he says. "We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation."
Melina Spadone, an attorney for Rust Movie Productions, LLC, adds, "We are pleased the parties came together to resolve this matter, which, subject to court approval, marks an important step forward in celebrating Halyna's life and honoring her work."
Since the accident, Souza and fellow members of the cast and crew of Rust have expressed their desire to complete Hutchins' final work. The Western — which stars Baldwin, Jensen Ackles, Travis Fimmel, and Frances Fisher — has been described as a psychological thriller that features Baldwin as a psychologist tasked with helping the main character navigate his sleepwalking episodes that start to complicate his waking life.
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