Santa Fe, NM – The family of Halyna Hutchins has reached an undisclosed settlement with Alec Baldwin and the “Rust” production company in the wrongful death lawsuit that was filed after the cinematographer was fatally shot on the set of the film nearly one year ago.
Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, filed the lawsuit in Santa Fe in February, CNN reported.
The lawsuit accused Baldwin, the film’s producers, multiple crew members, and the movie’s production companies of violating a slew of industry standards that ultimately resulted in the 42-year-old cinematographer’s death.
Baldwin, co-producer and star of the film, insisted during an interview with ABC News late last year that he “didn’t pull the trigger” of the “prop” gun he was holding when it discharged and fatally shot Hutchins on Oct. 21, 2021.
The 64-year-old actor said he had “no idea” how the fatal incident occurred.
But according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) forensic report, the .45 Colt caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver Baldwin was holding at the time of the fatal shooting could not have fired without someone pulling the trigger, ABC News reported.
The investigation into the fatal shooting remains ongoing.
In addition to the undisclosed settlement, Matthew Hutchins will take over as an executive producer on the “Rust” film, CNN reported.
“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,” Matthew Hutchins said in a statement. “As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed.”
“The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023,” he continued. “I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin). 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.”
Director Joel Souza, who was also wounded during the shooting, is expected to return to the film, CNN reported.
“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 that as he tries to heal from this tragedy, “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.”
“Though certainly bittersweet, I am pleased that together, we will now complete what Halyna and I started,” he concluded. “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.”
Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, said in a statement that the process of reaching a settlement has been difficult, but that all parties wanted to ensure they were doing what was “best” for the Hutchins’ nine-year-old son, Andros, USA Today reported.
“We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation,” Nikas said.
Jason Bowles, the attorney representing the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, said his client is grateful that the settlement will benefit the Hutchins family, CNN reported.
“We are hopeful that the district attorneys 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,” Bowles added.
But New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement that the settlement has nothing to do with whether criminal charges will be filed in connection with the fatal shooting, Reuters reported.
“If the facts and evidence warrant criminal charges under New Mexico law then charges will be brought,” Carmack-Altwies said. “No one is above the law.”
The district attorney reportedly requested $635,000 from the New Mexico Board of Finance on Aug. 30 for the purpose of prosecuting as many as four defendants with homicide and criminal charges, according to Deadline.
“[One] of the possible defendants is well known movie actor Alec Baldwin,” Carmack-Altwies said in the letter, according to the news outlet.