Kevin Costner wins lawsuit brought by Stephen Baldwin

Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:58pm EDT
 
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By Leslie Snadowsky

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A jury ruled on Thursday in favor of actor Kevin Costner in a lawsuit in which fellow actor Stephen Baldwin accused him of cheating in a multimillion-dollar deal to sell oil cleanup devices to BP Plc after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The federal lawsuit brought against Costner by Baldwin and business partner Spyridon C. Contogouris claimed Costner cheated them by hiding details of a deal with BP before they sold their stake in the company marketing the oil-cleaning devices.

"My name means more to me than money," the 57-year-old actor told reporters after the ruling by the 8-person jury, wearing a tan striped blazer and sunglasses.

"That's why we wanted to get to the truth of this," said Costner, who starred in "Field of Dreams," "The Untouchables," "The Bodyguard" and "Dances With Wolves," which won him Oscars for best picture and best director.

Baldwin and Contogouris had sought about $17 million from Costner and his business partner, Patrick Smith. The jury, which deliberated for less than two hours, made no award of damages.

Costner's attorneys argued that Baldwin and Contogouris were not entitled to any payments because they sold their shares in the company before the deal with BP was sealed.

Plaintiffs' attorney James Cobb had repeatedly accused Costner and Smith of lying about the nature of his communication with BP executives before they sealed the deal.

"The bigger celebrity won," Cobb told reporters.   Continued...

 
A combination photo shows actor Stephen Baldwin (L) at the premiere of the film "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" in New York in a December 19, 2011 file photo and actor Kevin Costner at the premiere of television series "Hatfields and McCoys" at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, California, in a May 21, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (L) and Bret Hartman/Files