Alec Baldwin is heading to court
The script supervisor on the set of “Rust,” Mamie Mitchell, has filed a lawsuit against actor and producer Alec Baldwin and other production figures over the on-set shooting that killed the film’s cinematographer.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles, accuses Baldwin of choosing “to play Russian roulette when he fired a gun without checking it and without having the armorer checking it in his presence,” Mitchell’s attorney, Gloria Allred, said Wednesday during a news conference announcing the lawsuit.
The lawsuit comes weeks after Baldwin fired a weapon on set on October 21 that contained what investigators called a suspected live round, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, and injuring director Joel Souza, 48. Baldwin has said he believed the gun did not have live rounds in it, according to court documents.
“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,” the lawsuit states.
In addition to Baldwin, the lawsuit names the film’s production company, Rust Movie Productions, LLC, armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, assistant director David Halls and other production members. Allred said the film’s production team failed to follow industry procedures, creating an environment where “injury and death was more than a possibility, it was a likely result.”
Gutierrez Reed is accused in Mitchell’s lawsuit of allowing the gun to be left unattended during a lunch break on a rolling cart outside the building where the shooting occurred on the film set in New Mexico.Attorneys for Gutierrez Reed have claimed that live rounds made it into a box of dummy rounds through “sabotage,” but did not provide evidence to support the allegation. They also said she is devastated and heartbroken by the tragedy and cooperating with the investigation.
Mitchell is seeking financial compensation because she “was shocked, traumatized and … suffered physical and emotional harm because of what she saw, heard and experienced when she was in the line of fire,” Allred said during the news conference. The script supervisor, a 40-year industry veteran, has not worked since the shooting.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting and hasn’t yet released any findings.Mitchell’s lawsuit follows a similar one filed last week by Rust’s chief lighting technician Serge Svetnoy, who sued Baldwin, Halls, Gutierrez Reed and other defendants for negligence that caused him “severe emotional distress.”
CNN has reached out to the production company, representatives for Baldwin, Halls and Gutierrez Reed for comment.Baldwin previously said he’s cooperating with investigators, adding that he’s eager to learn about the results of the investigation. He said authorities have instructed him not to speak about the ongoing investigation. And Rust Movie Productions, LLC has said that the safety of the cast is “the top priority.”
“Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down,” the company said.
Mitchell describes moment of shooting in lawsuit
Mitchell said she was standing close to Hutchins and Souza when the shot was fired and was the first to call 911 for help on October 21, telling them, “We need help immediately.”She described the moment the shooting happened as she read from a prepared statement during the Wednesday news conference.”Deafening loud gunshot. I was stunned. I heard someone moaning, and I turned around and my director was falling backwards and holding his upper body and I turned around toward Alec and saw Halyna going down to the left of me,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell’s lawsuit said Halls handed the gun to Baldwin before it was fired. A search warrant affidavit filed last month said Halls yelled, “cold gun,” which means the firearms didn’t have live rounds, before handing the gun to Baldwin.But earlier this month, Halls’ attorney, Lisa Torraco, told Fox News that it wasn’t Halls’ job to check the weapon.
“He’s not responsible for checking it. … That’s not the assistant director’s job. If he chooses to check the firearm because he wants to make sure that everyone’s safe, he can do that, but that’s not his responsibility,” Torraco said.Mitchell’s lawsuit points to Baldwin for not checking the weapon before using it. “He had no right to rely upon some alleged statement by the Assistant Director that it was a ‘cold gun,'” the lawsuit claims, referring to Baldwin.
Allred, Mitchell’s attorney, added that Baldwin unexpectedly discharged the weapon, even though no rehearsal was scheduled at that time — noting that even if they were filming the scene, it did not include firing a weapon. The lawsuit also claims that Mitchell believes that there were two prior misfiring incidents — one by Baldwin’s stunt double and “a prop master who accidentally shot herself in the foot.”