Nolte: Alec Baldwin Loses Bid to Dismiss Civil Suit as Criminal Charges Loom

alec baldwin

Alec Baldwin lost his request to have a civil suit dismissed as the actor faces the possibility of criminal charges.

In October of 2021, while doing a camera rehearsal on the Western feature Rust, Baldwin accidentally shot and killed 41-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Ever since, Baldwin has found himself in an unending legal and public relations morass.

The public relations problems are largely of his own making. Baldwin’s public statements, including a disastrous, wide-ranging interview with ABC News where he claimed the gun went off without him pulling the trigger, have done real damage to his reputation and career.

On the legal front, prosecutors in New Mexico initially filed criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter against the actor. Those were then dropped in April, pending new evidence. This new evidence presumably came through last week when forensic testing proved the only way the gun in question could have fired was by Baldwin pulling the trigger. This seemed obvious all along, but now the prosecutors have definitive proof. This means those criminal charges could be refiled. Some news outlets believe that’s the likely outcome.

Additionally, Baldwin faces a civil lawsuit filed by Hutchins’ mother, father, and sister.

Then there’s the lawsuit in question, which was filed by three Rust crewmembers more than a year after the fatal shooting. Ross Addiego, Doran Curtin, and Reese Price are suing Baldwin and the producers for injuries “including, but not limited to, hearing loss, temporary deafness, and vibrational shock” due to “negligent and reckless behavior on set that led to the fatal shooting.”

Baldwin’s attorneys argued (correctly) that the civil suit would violate the actor’s Fifth Amendment rights. With the possibility of criminal charges hanging over his head, anything he says during a civil trial or deposition could incriminate him. You have no Fifth Amendment protections in a civil suit. You must answer all questions under oath. The conflict is obvious. Questions Baldwin is forced to answer in the civil suit will be used to incriminate him in a criminal trial. Nevertheless, the judge still denied the motion to dismiss but did say it could be looked at again if criminal charges are filed.

What happened to Halyna Hutchins was awful, but I don’t see how destroying Alec Baldwin delivers any kind of justice. This was a mistake. Baldwin had every reason to believe he was holding a safe gun. To destroy a man over a mistake is equal parts opportunistic and grotesque. Alec Baldwin obviously is not a nice person, but that shouldn’t make any difference.

The criminal charges filed against the armorer do make sense. Her primary job was to ensure that gun was safe, and her apparent negligence resulted in the death of a wife and mother. With Baldwin, I just don’t see it. I can’t stand the guy, and he’s no fan of mine, but I just don’t see it.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.