Matt Hutchins is speaking publicly about his wife's tragic death for the first time, saying it's "absurd" Alec Baldwin doesn't feel responsible.
Halyna Hutchins was killed on Oct. 21 on the set of Rust when a gun Baldwin was holding discharged. The actor maintained he didn't pull the trigger, telling ABC News in December he felt no guilt for the shooting. Halyna's husband went to rival network NBC to call out Baldwin's interview.
"Watching him, I just felt so angry... to see him talk about her death so publicly, in such a detailed way and then not accept any responsibility after having just described killing her," Matt tells Today show co-anchor Hoda Kotb in an interview airing in full on Thursday.
"The idea that the person holding the gun and causing it to discharge is not responsible is absurd to me," Matt, who has a 9-year-old with his late wife, adds. "But gun safety was not the only problem on that set. There were a number of industry standards that were not practiced and there's multiple responsible parties."
The Hutchins estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Feb. 15 against Baldwin, Rust producers and crew members. An attorney representing Halyna's family alleged the crew's "reckless behavior and cost-cutting" led to her "senseless and tragic death." They claim there were numerous violations of industry safety standards on the set of the western film — like Baldwin allegedly turning down an armorer's request to attend "cross draw training" just days before the shooting. That is the type of gun draw Baldwin performed when the gun discharged, killing the rising cinematographer.
"We don't think the weapon is what caused this," Hutchins family attorney Brian Panish said during a press conference last week. "The weapon was made to fire — it fired."
Panish added, "Mr. Baldwin was the person holding the weapon that, but for him shooting it, she would not have died. So clearly, he has significant portion of liability but there are others and that's what this case is gonna be about."
Baldwin's attorney told Yahoo Entertainment last week that "any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false."
"Everyone's hearts and thoughts remain with Halyna's family as they continue to process this unspeakable tragedy," Aaron Dyer, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, said in a statement. "We continue to cooperate with the authorities to determine how live ammunition arrived on the Rust set in the first place."
"[Baldwin], Halyna and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a 'cold gun' — meaning there is no possibility of a discharge, blank or otherwise," Dyer, who represents Baldwin and other Rust producers, continued. "This protocol has worked on thousands of films, with millions of discharges, as there has never before been an incident on a set where an actual bullet harmed anyone. Actors should be able to rely on armorers and prop department professionals, as well as assistant directors, rather than deciding on their own when a gun is safe to use."
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