The actor and producer conducted an impromptu press conference roadside, during which he said he is cooperating with police and has been speaking to them every day regarding the fatal on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Baldwin claimed that he couldn’t speak about the ongoing investigation.
“It’s an active investigation in terms of a woman died. Baldwin stated that she was a friend of mine. Baldwin said that they were an extremely well-oiled team filming a movie together when the terrible event occurred. “
Fox News spoke to two experts, an attorney and a PR crisis manager, who weighed in on Baldwin’s presser and how it might affect his image.
“Obviously, it wasn’t pre-planned,” said Lara Yeretsian, a criminal defense attorney based on the West Coast, who is not involved in the case. It’s raw and very personal, it is very emotionally charged. This is not what a lawyer would expect a client to do. It just shows his frustration, the impact on his life and how it has affected him. This is harrowing and real. “
Yeretsian said from the video that “you could see his wife [Hilaria] is also upset, very upset to the point where she can’t control herself because clearly, her husband’s going through something very traumatic. “
Alec Baldwin with Hilaria, his wife stopped by Vermont photographers to speak to them. According to Baldwin, he was speaking with police daily about the ongoing investigation.
(Fox News Digital)
The attorney also maintained that “there’s nothing that [Alec] said here that could hurt him” in a potential criminal case if charges were to be brought against him. There have not been any charges against anybody as of yet.
Yeretsian also admitted that if she were to rep Baldwin, she wouldn’t have advised speaking to the press in this way.
“No lawyer is going to be happy with the fact that his/her client did that. However, it is clear that he/she did not inflict any injury to himself, both from a criminal and PR standpoint.
Meanwhile, Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, told Fox News that Baldwin’s using the phrase “well-oiled crew” is “going to come back to haunt him. “
Actor Alec Baldwin fired a gun – be believed was ‘cold’ or unloaded — on the set of ‘Rust,’ a Western being filmed at the ranch on Thursday, Oct. 21, killing the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and wounding director Joel Souza.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong | Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie)
“They’re going to use that against him, especially if they’ve got evidence otherwise. He said that if crew members were forced to leave because of safety concerns or problems, they would use the evidence against [the producers]. It’s possible that he believed he was having these issues, but it’s unlikely. It’s not clear what we really know. Maybe that is why he uses that term, or that phrase. But time will reveal. “
Schiffer also interpreted Baldwin’s roadside presser differently as well.
“It’s a bizarre and chaotic moment between him and his wife and the press along the road,” he explained.
“He is breaking one of the most important rules of managing a crisis, which is don’t do any further damage when you are blatantly telling an untruth to the public at a time where your own credibility [is an] issue,” Schiffer opined. You are causing yourself irreparable harm, particularly when people right now wonder why anyone would believe it is okay to fire a gun at someone. “
He advised Baldwin, “Keep yourself away from the media. You should make sure that you are doing everything behind closed doors to support the loved ones you have hurt. The investigation will reveal the results. I wouldn’t [advise] put [Baldwin] before cameras at this stage. He made one statement that was enough. “
Baldwin tweeted his initial statement on Oct. 22.
(Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican | Twitter)
Baldwin discharged a gun on the set of “Rust” in New Mexico on Oct. 21, fatally shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. After Hannah Gutierrez Reed, an armorer had put the gun on a cart at the set, Dave Halls, assistant director had informed Baldwin the gun was “cold,” which means “not hot” and unloaded.
Prop master Sarah Zachary also handled the gun before the fatal shooting, according to a search warrant executed by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the incident and said it was “too early” to comment on potential charges during a press conference Wednesday. However, Sheriff Adan Mendoza has since referred to the department’s efforts as a “criminal investigation. “
“I’d be careful using the word ‘accident,'” Mendoza said during an appearance Thursday on “Fox & Friends. “
“This is obviously a tragedy, and it was avoidable, so right now it’s a criminal investigation. “
Fox News’ Lauryn Overhultz contributed to this report.