Alec Baldwin settles lawsuit with Halyna Hutchins husband while facing criminal charges
Is he making a bigger deal for a more lenient prosecution?
Alec Baldwin has suddenly settled the wrongful death lawsuit filed against him by the husband of Halyna Hutchins, the woman he shot and killed on a movie set one year ago.
This comes just a week after news that the Santa Fe District Attorney asked for funding for a jury trial for possibly prosecuting Baldwin with criminal charges. The timing of these two events is unlikely to be a coincidence.
I received this statement from Matthew Hutchins, released by his attorney Brian Panish of Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP:
We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC.
As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed.
The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board, in January 2023.
I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin). All of us believe Halyna's death was a terrible accident.
I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna's final work.
Change of heart
The suit, which was filed last Feb., turned ugly when Baldwin’s legal team claimed he can’t be sued because had no fault in the shooting. Read my story from March on all the reasons Baldwin’s lawyers claimed he was not responsible.
In response, at that time, Parnish, Hutchins’s lawyer told me:
Alec Baldwin once again is trying to avoid liability and accountability for his reckless actions before and on Oct 21st that resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins, as demonstrated by today’s arbitration demand for indemnification from the Rust production company.
I asked a lawyer who handles large civil lawsuits to analyze the timing of this surprise settlement.
“A substantial civil settlement can be viewed by the prosecutor as making the victim’s family whole, this happens all the time,” he explained. “This may have been part of a bigger deal.”
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies “may go more lenient on him, maybe charge him with negligence instead of murder.” He added, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the D.A. announced tomorrow that Baldwin has made a deal.”
Baldwin’s cash flow
Hutchins’s spokesperson did not say what financial settlement was reached. However…