Slain Cinematographer's Ukrainian relatives sue Alec Baldwin
The Ukraine-based relatives of a slain cinematographer are seeking damages in her death from actor Alec Baldwin in connection with a fatal shooting on the set of a Western movie, under a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles.
The new lawsuit against Amityville-born, Massapequa-raised Baldwin was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Hutchins' parents and younger sister, who works as a nurse in Ukraine on the outskirts of the capital city of Kyiv and is married to a Ukrainian combatant in the war with Russia.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died shortly after being wounded during a rehearsal in the movie "Rust" in October 2021 at a film-set ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when it discharged, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.
The lawsuit alleges negligence and the depravation of benefits, based on the emotional or financial support that Hutchins previously provided to younger sister Svetlana Zemko and parents Olga Solovey and Anatolii Androsovych. The lawsuit also names as defendants a long list of "Rust" crew members, an ammunition supplier, producers of the film and affiliated businesses.
Separately, Baldwin and weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are confronting felony criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter in New Mexico District Court, with a remote first appearance scheduled later this month in which pleas may be entered. Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed have vowed to dispute the charges, while an assistant director has agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.
Santa Monica, California-based attorney Gloria Allred described Zemko as a working emergency-room nurse who is raising an infant and 4-year-old child while her husband fights on behalf of Ukraine in the war with Russia.
At a news conference, Allred said that Zemko "had a very close and loving relationship with her big sister, Halyna, and she feels strongly that anyone who is responsible for her loss must be held accountable."
Attorneys for Baldwin, 64, could not be reached immediately for comment.
Matthew Hutchins, widower to Halyna Hutchins, reached an undisclosed settlement with Baldwin and other producers of Rust late last year. Part of the settlement calls for Matthew to be a producer on "Rust" as it potentially resumes filming.
Emmy Award winner Baldwin has sought to clear his name by suing people involved in handling and supplying the loaded gun. Baldwin, also a co-producer on "Rust," said he was told the gun was safe.
In his lawsuit, Baldwin said that while working on camera angles with Hutchins, he pointed the gun in her direction and pulled back and released the hammer of the weapon, which discharged.
The new lawsuit against Baldwin, though filed in California, relies on provisions of New Mexico state law regarding the depravation of benefits, also known as "loss of consortium."