Halyna Hutchins' distraught family demands answers after cinematographer is shot dead by Alec Baldwin on set
THE distraught family of Halyna Hutchins were yesterday demanding answers about her death as they frantically tried to beat red tape to fly to the US.
Friends said dad Antoly and mum Olga were “beside themselves with grief” after being told of the tragedy by her husband, Matthew.
A pal in Kiev, Ukraine, where Halyna grew up said: “The family is grieving but at the same time they are asking and they will want answers. If someone made a mistake then they will have to pay.
“They just don’t understand how something dreadful like this could have happened when safety measures are supposed to be in place.
“They are also frantically trying to secure documents to get to the United States. Her mother does not have the correct paperwork.”
Film studio bosses fear a mega lawsuit from the family if it turns out that Halyna’s death could have been avoided.
Husband Matthew was last night comforting their eight-year-old son Andros at their home in California.
The lad is named after her maiden name Androsovych, in a nod to her east European roots.
Halyna had written that she grew up on a Russian military base “surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines” and her father was reported to be a former member of the Soviet navy.
She spoke English and Russian, graduated from Kiev University in journalism and often found work as a BBC documentary producer.
Last night her sister Svetlana, who lives in Indonesia, said: “I cannot comprehend [her passing]. I loved her very much. I was very proud of her, and she was my role model. We were always close.
“This loss is a great grief for our family, and I see how hard it is for our parents. Hopefully, time will ease our heartache.”
University friend Yana Nestoliy said: “She was a wonderful woman and a dear friend and mother.
“Her parents are devastated and are trying to get to the US to see her but it is very difficult for them. I heard from another friend that it was Matthew who called them to break the news.
Read our Alec Baldwin shooting live blog for the very latest news and updates…
“She was fantastic at her work and after she left Kiev University she moved to the United States but she would often come back to Europe to work.
“Her mum wants to go to the US to see her and find out what exactly happened but is having trouble with her documents.
“It was her dream to live in America and make films and now she has died for her dream.”
Cousin Ivan Androsovych, a lecturer at Kiev University, told The Sun: “I’ve been trying to contact her parents but I haven’t been able to get through. They have split up so it’s difficult to reach them.
“Halyna always wanted something bigger and so she studied English and applied for a US Green Card, which she got.
“It meant that she could live and work in the United States and she left Ukraine more than ten years ago. She graduated in journalism and was a very strong and purposeful woman.”
The Sun’s Moscow correspondent, Will Stewart, gave Halyna a job at his news agency in Kiev after she graduated.
He said: “This is devastating and incomprehensible news.
“Halyna was involved in many stories for British newspapers and magazines but she showed a special talent for documentaries.
“She later went to the US with her husband and accomplished great things through her huge talent and creativity but also her relentless determination to study and learn. It is tragic she died in such a cruel and inexplicable way while doing the job she so loved.”
British film producer Richard Denton worked with Halyna in 2005 in Ukraine on a documentary called The World's Tallest Man about the late Leonid Stadnyk.
He said: “Halyna was a wonderful, wonderful woman. She was a lovely human being and enormously fun to work with.
“It’s so desperately sad. She had carved out a fantastic career for herself in Los Angeles as a cinematographer and had a fantastic life. The accident sounds so absurd. It’s devastating news.”
Two days before she died Halyna wrote about the joys of her job, posting a video of herself horse- riding on a break from filming Rust near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In the clip, she smiles while her horse trots behind fellow riders, with the wind blowing her hair beneath a black cowboy hat.
Ukraine's foreign ministry has asked diplomats in San Francisco to urgently investigate the circumstances of her death.
A spokesman said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine confirms that Ms Halyna Hutchins, who was killed during the process of filming on the territory of the USA, has Ukrainian citizenship.
“The Consulate General of Ukraine in San Francisco has been asked to clarify the circumstances and is co-operating with American law enforcement representatives.
“The Consulate also establishes contacts with relatives in order to provide the necessary assistance.”
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