Some legal experts said Alec Baldwin’s Thursday interview with ABC News could be used against him and “was a mistake.”
During the interview with George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin spoke about the October shooting incident that left the “Rust” photo director, Halyna Hutchins, dead. Authorities in Santa Fe, New Mexico, said that Baldwin accidentally discharged the firearm, although charges have not been ruled out in the case.
The 63-year-old actor then alleged that he didn’t pull the trigger, suggesting that the gun was accidentally discharged, although firearms experts have said such a scenario is exceedingly rare.
“The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” Baldwin said. When asked about whether he pulled the trigger, Baldwin said, “No, no, no, no, no ... I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them.”
But Rachel Fiset, a partner at the Los Angeles-based Zweiback, Fiset & Coleman, said that Baldwin’s comments during the interview could be used against him by prosecutors if he’s charged or in a civil lawsuit.
With the ABC News interview, Baldwin, she added, is now “trying to direct the narrative in a way that shifts blame for this tragedy away from him. [However], it is never a good idea to speak publicly during an active investigation and this case is no different.”
“Any statements made on television during an investigation could result in unintended admissions that could be used against him later at trial or could prejudice the prosecutor against him,” Fiset continued.
Former assistant U.S. attorney Neama Rahmani, the head of Los Angeles-based West Coast Trial Lawyers, said Baldwin make “a mistake.”
“From a legal perspective, Baldwin’s interview was a mistake,” Rahmani noted. “His statements can and will be used against him in the civil lawsuits and any potential criminal prosecution. And Baldwin’s attorneys can’t use the interview to help him because his answers are hearsay. At best, the interview was a calculated public relations move that may backfire.”
A representative for Baldwin hasn’t returned a request for comment.