Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ Documentary Footage From Rory Kennedy Will Not Be Turned Over to Prosecutors

A judge on Monday ruled that filmmaker Rory Kennedy does not have to turn over footage from her upcoming Alec Baldwin documentary to prosecutors in his manslaughter case

Published Time: 03.06.2024 - 22:31:29 Modified Time: 03.06.2024 - 22:31:29

A judge on Monday ruled that filmmaker Rory Kennedy does not have to turn over footage from her upcoming Alec Baldwin documentary to prosecutors in his manslaughter case.

Kennedy is working on a film about Baldwin and the accidental shooting on the set of his film “Rust.” Baldwin is set to go on trial in July in Santa Fe, N.M., on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

In April, prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Erlinda Johnson filed a subpoena seeking interview footage of Baldwin and of witnesses, saying the footage includes “critical pieces of information concerning key elements of this criminal prosecution.”

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Kennedy’s company, Moxie Films, filed a motion to quash the subpoena, calling it “an impermissible fishing expedition.”

A Los Angeles judge granted the motion on Monday, after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office — which is tasked with enforcing the out-of-state subpoena — conceded the issue.

“The subpoena is ordered recalled, vacated and set aside,” the judge’s order states.

Moxie Films argued that the footage is covered under the California Shield Law, which protects journalists from having to turn over unpublished material to prosecutors.

Baldwin faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted in July. Prosecutors argue that he negligently pointed the gun at Hutchins and pulled the trigger while preparing for a scene in October 2021. His defense has maintained that he did not pull the trigger, and has also said that it was not his job to make sure the gun was not loaded.

The armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, is already serving an 18-month sentence after being -

convicted in March for mistakenly loading a live round into Baldwin’s gun, instead of an inert “dummy” round.

Prosecutors earlier obtained behind-the-scenes footage from a production company that was hired by the “Rust” producers to make promotional videos. The prosecutors also obtained raw footage from the “Rust” production itself.

Some of that footage was played for the jury in Gutierrez Reed’s trial. Prosecutors used it to make the point that a careless attitude to gun safety prevailed on set, and that Baldwin himself was responsible for reckless and bullying conduct.

In one clip in particular, Baldwin could be seen yelling “reload!” at the armorer, so that a take could be reshot quickly. In another, Baldwin was seen using a pistol as a pointer to direct the crew.

Kennedy began her documentary more than a year after the shooting. Baldwin has sat for multiple interviews and also agreed to turn over archival footage to the filmmakers.

The prosecutors last fall withdrew a misdemeanor plea deal, after learning that Baldwin was participating in the documentary. The prosecution alleged that Baldwin was pressuring witnesses to cooperate.

Baldwin’s lawyers and Moxie Films have each denied the prosecution’s claim that Baldwin “commissioned” the documentary, saying he has no ownership or editorial control over it.

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