Alec Baldwin Turns in Phone in ‘Rust’ Investigation
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Update, Friday January 14, 5:02 p.m.: Alec Baldwin has finally turned his cell phone over to the authorities nearly a month after investigators in the Rust case issued a warrant to seize it. Variety reports that Baldwin handed in the phone to law enforcement in Suffolk County, New York, after the Santa Fe sheriff’s office put out a press release on Thursday stating that Baldwin had yet to turn over his phone. According to Variety, the New Mexico prosecutor’s office was “in negotiations” with Baldwin’s attorney to get him to comply with the warrant. The data on Baldwin’s phone could prove useful to the investigation as a log of his communications leading up to the October 21 event, when a prop gun Baldwin was using in a scene discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.
“Alec voluntarily provided his phone to the authorities this morning so they can finish their investigation,” said Baldwin’s attorney. “But this matter isn’t about his phone, and there are no answers on his phone. Alec did nothing wrong. It is clear that he was told it was a cold gun, and was following instructions when this tragic accident occurred. The real question that needs to be answered is how live rounds got on the set in the first place.”
Original story follows.
A new warrant has been approved in the investigation into the October shooting on the set of Rust for actor Alec Baldwin’s cell phone and the communications on it. The latest warrant comes nearly two months into the investigation of an incident in which a gun Baldwin was using in a scene discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. The new warrant, per the New York Post, cites a conversation between Baldwin and detectives in the hours after the shooting, during which Baldwin reportedly told detectives he had asked the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, for a bigger gun while planning for the film. Baldwin returned to his Twitter account Thursday to take issue with a Newsweek story that said he requested a bigger gun before the shooting. “This, in fact, is a lie,” Baldwin tweeted from his account, which is now private after he deactivated it December 6. The actor added that the prop discussions happened “weeks before production began” and that it “is false” to say the choice was made shortly before the shooting. The actor did not, however, deny requesting a larger gun. Per the warrant, detectives asked Baldwin for his phone, and his attorney requested they file a warrant.
In ABC interview earlier this month, Baldwin claimed he didn’t pull the trigger. “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me,” Baldwin told George Stephanopoulos. As a producer on the film as well as the actor holding the gun when it went off, Baldwin is facing multiple lawsuits related to the shooting.