Alec Baldwin has no financial liability for the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the film set of Rust, according to new court papers released in America.
The Hollywood star, 63, was holding the prop gun that killed the 42-year-old cinematographer in October last year while filming the western in New Mexico.
Image: The chapel on set where the shooting took place
The legal filing which was submitted on Friday says that the contract signed by Baldwin with Rust Movie Productions indemnified the actor from financial responsibility for the tragedy.
Baldwin was both the star of the film, and one of its producers.
He has been named as a defendant in several civil lawsuits including one for wrongful death from Ms Hutchins husband Matt.
Ms Hutchins also had a nine-year-old son, Andros.
According to an arbitration demand filed against fellow producers, Baldwin is seeking to enforce a “broad indemnification clause”, which his lawyer Luke Nikas says shields him from any financial claims resulting from the production.
The papers have also revealed that Baldwin was keen to complete the film following Ms Hutchins’ death, both as a tribute to her and as a way to raise money for her husband and son.
The actor was keen to persuade cast and crew to get back to work on the project, according to the New York Times. The project is now understood to have been shelved.
Baldwin – who was holding the Colt .45 gun when it went off during a rehearsal – says he didn’t pull the trigger.
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0:33 Reconstruction of Rust shooting
He has said he was told the gun was “cold” – meaning it was safe to handle – by the film’s armourer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, and that he was pointing it at Hutchins at her request.
It is not known how live ammunition ended up on the set in Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico.
The new filing says Baldwin’s producing role revolved around creative input, and he had no involvement with the hiring of crew members, who it says were responsible for ensuring gun safety on set.
The paper says: “This is a rare instance when the system broke down, and someone should be held legally culpable for the tragic consequences. That person is not Alec Baldwin.”
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The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the incident. No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the shooting. Criminal charges have not been ruled out.
Hutchins grew up on an army base in the Russian Arctic, where her father served in the navy, before moving to Los Angeles to study film.
She was regarded as one of the industry’s most promising young cinematographers.