Kevin Costner and Stephen Baldwin duke it out in court over business deal

kevin-costner-stephen-baldwin-getty.jpgThe mess that was the 2010 BP oil spill has a Hollywood tie. Jury selection began Monday (June 4) in New Orleans for the trial pitting Kevin Costner against Stephen Baldwin.

Baldwin and his business partner Spyridon Contogouris are suing Costner and his partner Patrick Smith saying they misled them into selling their ownership stake in a firm that produces oil-separating centrifuges. BP ultimately purchased 32 of the devices at a cost of $52 million.

At the heart of the case, Baldwin's side says they didn't know about Ocean Therapy Solution's plan to sell the product to BP. They claim that they were deliberately left out of a June 2010 meeting with Costner, Smith and BP executive Doug Settles. It was during that meeting that BP put down an $18 million deposit. But by then, Baldwin and Contogouris had already agreed to sell their stake in OTS for $1.4 million and $500,000, respectively. The two are seeking more than $21 million in damages, this according to the Associated Press.

Costner counters that he was in the dark as it relates to plans from Baldwin and Contogouris.

A court filing states, "Not only did Costner not know that Plaintiffs were negotiating to sell their OTS interests, he was surprised and offended by the idea that Contogouris and Baldwin would walk away from OTS with almost $2 million in cash despite having invested no money in the company, and at a time when a contract with BP was uncertain to materialize."

Costner as well as other defendants are countersuing for damages.

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