Cuomo: Settlement may signal end to Baldwin’s legal jeopardy


(NewsNation) — We have new information about the killing on the set of “Rust” — Alec Baldwin’s new movie — that means legal jeopardy is likely over for Baldwin.

The family of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer killed on the movie set last year, and Baldwin have reached a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against the actor and others.

Statements were put out by attorneys for both sides, and I doubt you will hear anything more from anyone involved anytime soon, because that’s one of the conditions on which these settlements are usually based.

So, let’s answer some of the questions floating around about this. What about criminal charges?

While the authorities are taking their time on that end, a key phrase in the settlement makes charges even less likely now. Specifically, when Hutchins’ family calls this situation “a terrible accident,” the settlement indicates they are less likely to want to participate in anything more.

And even though a criminal charge is technically because of behavior that was an offense against the state and not just the victim, it makes it a harder sell for a prosecutor. Not to mention there has never been any mention of any facts that connect Baldwin to loading the gun, to knowing it was loaded, or having any intent necessary to fuel a crime.

What does it mean that they are going to continue to shoot the movie? Isn’t that insensitive? It would seem that they’re finishing this movie not only with the blessing of Hutchins’ family, but the involvement.

In the statement, attorneys said Hutchins’ husband is now an executive producer. Does that mean he’s making a movie? Doubtful. My understanding is that this is about the settlement and financial arrangement and the ability of Hutchins’ family to make sure cash flows to the movie come to them as promised as per the settlement. That interest is another reason charges are probably less likely here.

If Baldwin were to get dragged into any other legal situation, the chance of this movie getting finished is very small, and that would obviously hinder the amount of money the family is able to recover.

One missing piece: Do we really need movies to still use real weapons that have real firing pins and could fire real rounds on movie sets? Isn’t everything CGI and done digitally now? It’s interesting if that wasn’t part of what Hutchins’ family wanted, at least for “Rust’s” production, let alone something Hollywood would make happen.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.

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