Actress Halyna Hutchins’ husband will make the legal decisions for her when she is ready to die, Oscar de la Renta, her personal manager, said yesterday.
Hutchins is being cared for at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore following the shooting she received in her head during an altercation with her private secretary, Polly Nicoles.
After Mrs de la Renta met with Dr David Evans, chairman of the neurological surgery department, Hutchins’ husband, Stanislaw Pabula, “has agreed to take charge of the acting in his wife’s care and to make decisions when he is ready”.
Mr de la Renta told reporters that the couple, who are married since 1983, were expecting their third child in early October.
Hutchins, who made her name in the new wave drama Aperitif, was shot in the forehead and brainstem after a fight broke out between the actress and Nicoles in a dressing room at Mr de la Renta’s Fifth Avenue store on Friday night.
Hutchins spent three days under anaesthetic in an induced coma before being moved to a ward last night.
Maggie Gorman, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said Hutchins, who is almost twice the size of normal women, was expected to remain there for “quite some time”.
She was moved from intensive care after stable blood circulation was restored to her skull. Her recovery is “pretty slow”, but she can stand and walk.
Hutchins is understood to have suffered damage to the head and brainstem but no loss of consciousness, and is expected to make a full recovery.
The television sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, which starred Conrad Bain and Todd Bridges as an African-American boy and his white grandmother who adopted him, introduced Hutchins to American television audiences.
Aperitif, the film in which she starred in 1985, was nominated for five Academy Awards, and some assumed she was a new member of the Hollywood elite.
Her involvement in Aperitif was her second big-screen film. She was the lead actress in the 1980 film Iris.
A force of nature, Hutchins started out as a model but started acting when she was a teenager in Poland, and eventually gained a US green card, obtaining a US passport when she was 28.
Born in Otwock, Poland, and raised in US-controlled Gdansk, she is the granddaughter of the Polish poet Wladyslaw Szymborska and the granddaughter of the Polish writer and critic Isaac Babel.
Her parents, who ran a butcher’s shop, left her when she was 14 and she moved to the US. She has a brother, Zbigniew, who works for a government contractor in Washington.
Her parents had two daughters – Emma, now 25, and Anakarita, 23. Emma said: “The war and pollution in Poland destroyed her parents. The [non-war] environmental problems in Poland mean that she cannot live in the country. That is why she comes to America.”
Her brothers met her in 1975, at a Catholic retreat in Cernnow, California, her father said.
“She’s a very interested and well-informed person and she became an agent, but that also meant she had to leave the family,” said Zbigniew.
“Her mother wanted to die at one point when she was hit by a car, but she was not prepared to end her life and so she went to an institution. Then she moved to America and didn’t leave. She doesn’t leave the country much.”