After deliberating for less than two hours, a jury rejected claims that Kevin Costner and his business partner swindled actor Stephen Baldwin out of millions in regards to a lucrative BP contract for oil cleanup devices in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.
“My name means more to me than money and that’s why we didn’t settle,” said Costner to the Associated Press shortly after the verdict was read in a New Orleans courtroom.
Baldwin and friend Spyridon Contogouris were seeking $17 million dollars in damages from the lawsuit which claimed that Costner convinced them to sell their shares in his Ocean Therapies Solutions. Had they known then that BP intended to buy the company’s oil cleanup devices, they say they would never have sold their shares. BP spent an estimated $52 million on the oil-separating centrifuges.
Baldwin would not make a statement, but his attorney James Cobb told the press his client was “disappointed” in the verdict.
“We thought we proved rather convincingly that these two guys, Mr. Costner and Mr. Smith, defrauded us,” he said. “The jury saw it a different way but we respect the jury’s verdict.”