What does Alec Baldwin’s interview mean legally?


LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — A criminal defense attorney to the stars says that Alec Baldwin’s first TV interview since the “Rust” set shooting doesn’t do “any good whatsoever” in either a criminal or civil determination.

“If you are famous, and you have people around you who are telling you whatever you want to hear and you’re in the midst of this storm, somebody needs to step up and just say, ‘Sit down, shut up and let me handle this,'” criminal defense lawyer Mark Geragos said on “Banfield.” “Because this move, while it might make you feel better … it may galvanize the very polarized positions. It doesn’t do you any good.”

Baldwin, in an ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos that aired Thursday night, said it is essential for investigators to find out who put the bullet in the gun he fired, that was supposed to be empty, that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

Baldwin said in a clip from the interview released a day earlier that “I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”

“From a criminal defense standpoint, the idea of I’m not pulling the trigger, but I didn’t check it. It’s somebody else’s fault. That doesn’t fly,” Geragos said. “We’re not talking about an intentional act, we’re talking about a negligent act.”

Baldwin said it was Hutchins herself who asked him to point the gun just off camera and toward her armpit before it went off.

“There’s a subtle amount of this that is victim blaming, meaning you’re saying, ‘I was doing what the cinematographer was telling me,'” Geragos said. “Well, the cinematographer certainly didn’t tell you not to check the gun. So that doesn’t help.”

Baldwin said at Hutchins’ direction, he pulled the hammer back.

“I let go of the hammer and ‘bang’ the gun goes off,” he said.

“Then, you’ve already admitted that you pulled it back or you cocked the un. And all that does is get, you have a hammer, all that does is get you into trouble with civil liability,” Geragos said.

“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but it’s not me,” Baldwin said. “Honest to God, if I felt I was responsible, I might have killed myself.”

Baldwin said he was doing the interview to counter public misconceptions about the shooting and to make it clear that “I would go to any lengths to undo what happened.”

But Baldwin said, “I want to make sure that I don’t come across like I’m the victim because we have two victims here.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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