‘Rust’ Shooting: Alec Baldwin Files Cross-Complaint to ‘Clear His Name’

Alec Baldwin
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

More than a year after a shooting on the New Mexico set of the film Rust killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza, star and producer Alec Baldwin wants to clear his name in the matter.

The actor filed a cross-complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday, November 11, following a suit from script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Mitchell had sued Baldwin, the production company, and others for assault and negligence. In his cross-complaint, Baldwin seeks a share of any damages Mitchell wins from the people he names — as well as compensation from them for any damages assessed against him.

The legal actions stem from that incident on set on Oct. 21, 2021, near Santa Fe, NM. Baldwin says in his cross-complaint that as he collaborated with Hutchins on camera angles during a rehearsal for a Rust scene that day, he pointed a gun in Hutchins’ direction and pulled back and released the hammer of the gun, which then discharged. He also said that both he and Hutchins were unaware the gun was loaded with a live round.

“More than anyone else on that set, Baldwin has been wrongfully viewed as the perpetrator of this tragedy,” the cross-complaint reads. “By these cross-claims, Baldwin seeks to clear his name.”

The former 30 Rock star’s complaint also claimed that he has lost career opportunities, been fired from jobs, and “suffered physically and emotionally” because of the shooting.

Baldwin previously claimed that he didn’t pull the trigger on the gun that day on the Rust set. FBI investigators, however, determined that the gun couldn’t have fired without the trigger being pulled.

New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Investigator declared the shooting an accident, but prosecutors are investigating the incident and may still file criminal charges, per THR.

Meanwhile, the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission has determined that the Rust production violated industry firearm rules and showed indifference to safety on set, per Variety. The commission also fined the production $136,793. The Rust production is disputing both the determination and the fine.

In October, Rust producers announced their intentions to resume production on the Western film in January 2023, having settled a wrongful death lawsuit from Hutchins’ widower, according to Variety. Even so, several crew members have deemed the production unsafe and vowed not to return to set, the publication reports. “I absolutely would want nothing to do with it,” one crew member told Variety. “It was traumatizing across the board.”