Prep-Segue

“RUST” PRODUCTION HIT WITH BIG FINE BY NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico workplace safety regulators have slapped a massive fine on producers of the movie “Rust.” While the nearly $137,000 in penalties is the highest the state can hand out on the movie — the words in a report describing serious safety issues on the set are having a bigger impact. The state’s version of OSHA calls out numerous safety failures involving the use of firearms. For example, the report says before the incident that saw cinematographer Halyna Hutchins shot to death by Alec Baldwin, there were at least two other accidental weapons discharges — and little or nothing was done about them. It also says basic safety standards were ignored in the incident which led directly to Hutchins’ death.

BALDWIN, “RUST” PRODUCERS REACT TO REPORT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The report by state workplace authorities in New Mexico doesn’t come right out and say it — but an attorney for Alec Baldwin says the report “exonerates Mr. Baldwin.” The actor has said he didn’t know the weapon he was given to rehearse a scene was loaded with live ammo — and says he didn’t pull the trigger. The report says the biggest issue with the weapon is that the person who handed it to Baldwin never made sure the weapon was “cold,” meaning it contained no live rounds. One thing the report criticizes the “Rust” production crew for — is the presence of live rounds on set, despite industry standards that say that should never happen. Meanwhile, Rust Movie Productions says it will dispute the report’s findings — and the fine.

JOHNNY DEPP SAYS HE’D NEVER HIT A WOMAN

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — “Violence isn’t necessary. Why would you hit someone to make them agree with you?” Those are the words Johnny Depp used on the witness stand yesterday as he pressed his libel case forward. In a second day on the stand, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star repeatedly denied laying a hand on his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Depp is suing Heard over an op-ed she wrote for “The Washington Post” in which she called herself a survivor of domestic abuse. Depp blames Heard for the discord in the marriage, saying she’d engage in verbal and physical abuse — then destroyed his reputation by accusing him of physical and sexual assault when they were together.

BLAC CHYNA RECOUNTS INCIDENT THAT ENDED PLANS TO MARRY ROB KARDASHIAN

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blac Chyna says she did wrap a phone cord around the neck of her ex-finance Rob Kardashian — and grabbed an unloaded gun from a nightstand. But the rapper says it was all a big joke between the two of them, not an assault. She gave her explanation of a 2016 disturbance at their home to a jury in Los Angeles yesterday. Chyna is suing the Kardashian women for $100 million, saying they exaggerated the incident to E! Network officials, prompting them to cancel the second season of the reality show “Rob & Chyna.’” Chyna also told the jury that during the incident that night, she did smash a gingerbread house — on purpose. But she said that was because Rob Kardashian had a jealous streak and she got tired of him questioning her fidelity.

“RHOA” STAR NENE LEAKES CHARGES PRODUCTION WITH RACISM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” says she had to endure a racially hostile work environment — and when she complained about it, she was let go. The claims are in a lawsuit filed by NeNe Leakes in Atlanta. Leakes, who is Black, says she was tormented by white co-star Kim Zolciak Biermann. She says Biermann used racist language and disparaged Black members of the cast. But Leakes says when she told higher-ups, they did nothing. Worse, Leakes says Biermann got her own spinoff show — and Leakes was dropped in 2020.

RAPPER A$AP ARRESTED IN GUN CASE AT LAX

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It wasn’t quite the “Welcome to Los Angeles International Airport” greeting he was expecting. A$AP Rocky was greeted on his arrival at LAX yesterday by the LAPD by being arrested in connection with a shooting in Hollywood last year. The rapper had just gotten off a flight from Barbados, where he spent time with Rihanna, who is expecting the arrival of their child.

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