New Rust Arbitration Filing Reveals Alec Baldwin Didn't Understand He'd Shot A Live Round Until He Was Shown The Bullet

Alec Baldwin in Mission: Impossible: Fallout
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

In the aftermath of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ death on the set of Rust, Alec Baldwin has been embroiled in a number of lawsuits. The 63-year-old actor was reportedly holding the prop gun that ultimately fired a live round and killed Hutchins but has since denied pulling the trigger. As time has passed, more alleged details on the situation have been divulged via legal documents. Now, new arbitration has revealed that the star did not comprehend that he’d shot a live round until he was shown the bullet. 

The veteran performer apparently found it “unthinkable” that the prop gun he was wielding contained a live bullet, per arbitration paperwork obtained by Insider. By the time Baldwin had received the gun, a crew member had allegedly declared it “cold.” Within the documents, it’s suggested that he didn’t understand the nature of the situation until an interview hours later. In the filing, the 30 Rock alum’s legal representation offered additional thoughts on his mindset:

He was shocked. In his mind, it was outside the realm of all possibility that a live bullet could have been present on the ranch property or on the prop truck, let alone in the gun itself.

In the arbitration, the actor also asserted that he is not “culpable” for shooting Halyna Hutchins. His legal representation also argues that the contract he signed shields him from financial responsibility in the situation. Per the documents, the incident was the result of a failure within the safety system:

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.

The shooting occurred on the New Mexico-based set of Rust in October 2021. When the prop gun went off, the live bullet not only killed Halyna Hutchins but also injured director Joel Souza. Alec Baldwin broke his silence on the matter weeks later, saying that the production team had been a “very, very well-oiled crew” before the incident. Since the investigation began, Baldwin has been accused of not complying but has since deemed those reports “bullshit.”

Amid the investigation, the movie’s chief of lighting, Serge Svetnoa, sued the lead actor and producer along with the film’s production company. Svetnoa accused them of being “consciously aware of the wrongfulness and harmfulness of their conduct.” Script supervisor Mamie Mitchell sued shortly after as well and claimed the star was playing “Russian Roulette with a loaded gun.” And in February, Halyna Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death suit against him along with the film’s armorer and assistant director. 

The Hutchins’ argue that safety on set would not have been an issue if the crew hadn’t been “cutting corners on safety procedures,” among other things. Upon hearing the star’s latest arguments, the family’s lawyer recently stated that he was “trying to avoid liability and accountability for his reckless actions.”

Alec Baldwin has not responded to the sentiments shared by the family, as of this writing. Because this case is ongoing, it’s likely that updates will continue to arrive for the foreseeable future.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.