New Rust Lawsuit Contains Scathing Criticism Of Alec Baldwin

Tragedy struck the set of the movie "Rust" when Alec Baldwin discharged a weapon that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza on October 21. According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, there were several complaints from crew members concerning alleged lack of gun safety even before the fatal incident. Several have weighed in over who was at fault for the incident, including George Clooney. "I've been on sets for 40 years and the person that hands you the gun, the person that is responsible for the gun, is either the prop or the armorer, period," Clooney said while appearing on the "WTF with Marc Maron" podcast. 

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer for "Rust," claimed to have no knowledge of "live rounds" being in the gun Baldwin fired, as she shared in a November statement via her lawyers, per Deadline. A week later, Gutierrez-Reed's lawyer Jason Bowles went as far to claim, per Variety, "We are convinced that this was sabotage and Hannah is being framed. We believe that the scene was tampered with as well before the police arrived."

Although it is standard practice for the armorer to inspect on-set fire weapons, a lawsuit took aim at Baldwin for being the impetus for the incident. 

The lawsuit claims the gun should never have been fired

Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor for "Rust," filed a lawsuit on November 17 that shed new light on the tragic incident. In the suit, Mitchell alleged how three cameras were to be focused on Baldwin for the scene. "The third [camera] would focus on DEFENDANT BALDWIN's torso as he reached his hand down to the holster and removed the gun. There was nothing in the script about the gun being discharged by DEFENDANT BALDWIN or by any other person," the complaint reads, per The Hollywood Reporter.

According to Mitchell, the onus was not solely on armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, but on the actor to ensure the gun was safe. "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 reads, per THR. Even though Baldwin heard it was a "cold gun" (carrying blanks), the actor apparently should have still inspected it. "Mr. Baldwin cannot hide behind the Assistant Director to attempt to excuse the fact that he did not check the gun himself," read one particularly scathing excerpt from the lawsuit.

But not everyone has criticized Baldwin. "Alec has no blame in this at all," his brother, fellow actor Daniel Baldwin, said on "The Domenick Nati Show" a day before the new lawsuit. Meanwhile, Baldwin has defended himself on Instagram with screenshots from "Rust" crew member Terese Magpale Davis who claimed on-set conditions were fine, plus a screenshot of his own tweet arguing a police officer should be on-set whenever firearms are used.