Hollywood actor Alex Baldwin did not have any reason to fire the gun that led to the fatal on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” last month, a new lawsuit filed on Wednesday claims.
Script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who called emergency services after Baldwin shot Hutchins, filed the lawsuit (pdf) in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accusing the actor of having fired the gun without any valid reason to do so.
“Alec Baldwin intentionally, without just cause or excuse, cocked and fired the loaded gun even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for the cocking and firing of the firearm,” Mitchell said in the lawsuit. “Mr. Baldwin chose to play Russian Roulette with a loaded gun without checking it and without having the armorer do so.”
“There was nothing in the script about the gun being discharged by defendant Baldwin or by any other person,” the lawsuit adds.
Hutchins, 42, was fatally shot on Oct. 21 when actor Baldwin, 63, pointed a .45 Long Colt revolver in the direction of the cinematographer and director Joel Souza while rehearsing a gunfight scene. The revolver discharged a suspected live round, killing Hutchins and wounding Souza, 48.
The latest legal action marks the second lawsuit against Baldwin and the producers of “Rust.” The film’s head of lighting, Serge Svetnoy, is also suing the actor and producers of the movie, accusing them of “general negligence,” in a suit (pdf), filed earlier this month in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Svetnoy’s lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and general damages against each of the defendants.
Mitchell, who claims she was standing in the line of fire when the gun went off, alleges assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and deliberate infliction of harm, and is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit.
The script supervisor said she was sitting less than four feet away from the actor when the gun was unexpectedly fired, creating a “shocking and deafening sound,” which was “unlike anything she had ever heard in her life.”
The lawsuit claims that the incident left Mitchell terrified and fearing for her life.
“Alec Baldwin should have assumed that the gun in question was loaded unless and until it was demonstrated to him or checked by him that it was not loaded,” Mitchell claimed. “He had no right to rely upon some alleged statement by the assistant director that it was a ‘cold gun.’ Mr. Baldwin cannot hide behind the assistant director to attempt to excuse the fact that he did not check the gun himself.”
“Alec Baldwin, without just cause, failed to check to see if the firearm was loaded,” the lawsuit says, while also accusing Baldwin of ignoring gun safety protocols on set.
“The fact that live ammunition was allowed on a movie set, that guns and ammunition were left unattended, that the gun in question was handed to Mr. Baldwin by the assistant director, who had no business doing so, the fact that safety bulletins were not promulgated or ignored, coupled with the fact that the scene in question did not call for a gun to be fired at all, makes this a case where injury or death was much more than just a possibility,” the lawsuit said. “It was a likely result.”
Baldwin has said he is heartbroken and is cooperating with law enforcement. Production company Rust Movie Productions is conducting its own probe.
Attorneys representing the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed on Nov. 3 alleged that a “disgruntled and unhappy” individual may have intended to “sabotage” the set by replacing dummy rounds of ammunition with live rounds.
Officials investigating the fatal shooting haven’t ruled out charges for anyone involved.
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.