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Rust script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who originally called 911 following the on-set shooting that took the life of the indie Western’s director of photography, is now suing star Alec Baldwin — who was holding the gun when it fired — and his fellow producers.
Represented by Gloria Allred, Mitchell alleges being injured from a gun firing four feet away from her and is claiming assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and deliberate infliction of harm.
Perhaps most notably, Mitchell’s new complaint, filed in L.A. Superior Court, says the script didn’t call for any gun to be discharged.
“It was discussed that there would be [three] tight camera shots when filming resumed [after a lunch break],” states her complaint. “One camera shot would be focused on DEFENDANT BALDWIN’s eyes, one would be focused on a bloodstain on DEFENDANT BALDWIN’s shoulder, and the third would focus on DEFENDANT BALDWIN’s torso as he reached his hand down to the holster and removed the gun. There was nothing in the script about the gun being discharged by DEFENDANT BALDWIN or by any other person.”
The complaint adds that, against basic safety protocols, at no time was she advised that a gun would be discharged, that there was limited plexiglass in the church setting and that crewmembers weren’t told to look on monitors outside of the church so as not to be in close proximity to the action.
“Prior to, and at the time of DEFENDANT BALDWIN’s discharge of the loaded gun, no rehearsal was called and the crew had not commenced filming,” states the complaint.
Mitchell blames Baldwin for not checking whether the gun was loaded, and after the shot was fired, she says she heard a loud ringing in her ears and feared for her life. The incident took the life of Halyna Hutchins and also severely injured director Joel Souza.
“Alec Baldwin should have assumed that the gun in question was loaded unless and until it was demonstrated to him or checked by him that it was not loaded,” continues the complaint. “He had no right to rely upon some alleged statement by the Assistant Director that it was a ‘cold gun.’ Mr. Baldwin cannot hide behind the Assistant Director to attempt to excuse the fact that he did not check the gun himself.”
Continuing, Mitchell alleges that Baldwin is familiar enough with safety protocols in the movie business that he should have known the armorer is supposed to demonstrate to an actor that gun chambers are empty.
Her suit further alleges that cost-cutting measures, including the lack of an experienced armorer, intentionally endangered the lives of crewmembers. The producers, she says, “intended to cut through what was considered derisively as red tape common in Hollywood-based productions by running some of Rust’s filmmaking apparatus out of Georgia and New Mexico.” She also alleges that the filmmakers should have known about the unsafe conditions from “at least [two] instances of weapons misfiring during the filming of Rust prior to [the Baldwin incident].”
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is the Rust armorer and a co-defendant along with more than a dozen individuals (including many crewmembers and executive producers) and a half-dozen production companies including El Dorado Pictures, Thomasville Pictures, Short Porch Pictures, Brittany House Pictures, 3rd Shift Media and Streamline Global.
Mitchell demands an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages plus past and future loss of earnings and earning capacity. After filing, she and Allred held a press conference. Said Allred, “Mamie is not in any condition to be a script supervisor on a set anywhere in the near future, maybe ever, because of what she experienced.”
THR has reached out to Baldwin’s rep for a comment and will also add any response from the defendants listed in the story.
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