“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me,” a tearful Baldwin told Stephanopoulos in an interview that was done less than two months after the fatal shooting.
Kelly’s guests, the hosts of the “Ruthless” podcast, agreed. One of the hosts, John Ashbrook, said: “The guy’s a professional actor.”
“It’s a little difficult to believe him in a serious interview setting,” Ashbrook said.
Kelly also offered Baldwin some public relations and legal advice: “Shut up. Keep your mouth shut.”
She then played a clip of Baldwin telling Stephanopoulos that he never pulled the trigger of the gun — a claim that was refuted by a forensic investigation conducted by the FBI. The agency determined that the weapon could not have been fired without pulling the trigger.
Kelly then played a clip of Baldwin telling investigators on the day of the shooting: “I’m the one that shot the gun today that had a live bullet go through that woman’s body and into [director Joel Souza’s] body.”
“That line’s going to matter,” Kelly said.
She believes that Baldwin will eventually be charged with a lesser offense — negligent use of a deadly weapon. Kelly noted that David Halls, the assistant director who handed the gun to Baldwin before the shooting, has pleaded guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon.
“I think it’s going to be fascinating to see how a jury — if it ever gets that far — reacts to a guy like Alec Baldwin in front of them,” Kelly said.
“They tend to love celebrity.”
Prosecutors in New Mexico announced that Baldwin, 64, and the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, will be charged “in the alternative” — meaning a jury will decide whether they will be charged with involuntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act.
The first charge carries a maximum sentence of 18 months, but because the second charge includes a firearm enhancement, both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed would face a mandatory five-year sentence if convicted.
“This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice,” the “30 Rock” actor’s lawyer Luke Nikas told The Post in a scathing rebuke of local New Mexico authorities.
Baldwin was “blindsided” by the charges, Nikas said, and learned the news through the media.