Alec Baldwin Says His Contract Shields Him From ‘Rust’ Filming Liability

LOS ANGELES, March 11 (Reuters) – Actor Alec Baldwin said in a legal filing on Friday that his contract with the movie “Rust” shielded him from financial liability in the cinematographer’s death.

Baldwin has been named as a defendant in several civil lawsuits, including that of Halyna Hutchins’ husband, who was killed in October when a gun the actor was using during a rehearsal fired live ammunition.

In addition to playing the lead role, Baldwin served as the film’s producer.

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In an arbitration claim filed against other producers, Baldwin is seeking to enforce an “extensive indemnification clause” in his contract that his lawyers say protects him from financial claims over the production.

Baldwin said he was heartbroken by the incident, but does not believe he bears any responsibility as he was told the Colt .45 revolver given to him was “cold”, a term of the industry meaning it is safe to use. He said he pulled the hammer out of the gun but did not pull the trigger.

“Rust”, a western, was filmed at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico. Santa Fe authorities are investigating the incident and say they have not ruled out criminal charges. A key question is how the live bullets ended up on the board.

In the new filing, lawyers said he provided creative input in his role as a producer and did not hire any crew members, who were responsible for ensuring compliance with gun safety procedures.

“This is a rare case where the system went down, and someone should be held legally responsible for the tragic consequences,” the filing said. “That person is not Alec Baldwin.”

Matthew Hutchins, the cinematographer’s husband, argued in his lawsuit that Baldwin was responsible because he fired the gun and should have checked it for live ammunition.

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Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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