| NEW ORLEANS, June 14
NEW ORLEANS, June 14 Lawyers for actor Stephen
Baldwin o n T hursday rested their case against "Dances With
Wolves" star Kevin Costner, who Baldwin accuses of cheating him
in a multimillion-dollar deal to sell oil cleanup devices to BP
Plc after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Costner's attorneys also concluded their case, leaving it in
the hands of an eight-person jury.
The federal lawsuit brought against Costner by Baldwin and
business partner Spyridon C. Contogouris claims Costner cheated
them by hiding details of a deal with BP before they sold their
stake in the company marketing the oil-cleaning devices.
In the deal, BP agreed to make an $18 million deposit
for the $52 million order for 32 oil and water separation
devices. Baldwin and Contogouris claim they were duped out of
part of BP's $18 million deposit.
Plaintiffs' attorney James Cobb has repeatedly accused
Costner and his business partner, Patrick Smith, of lying about
the nature of his communication with BP executives before they
sealed the deal.
"Lies are like Lays potato chips - I bet they can't tell
just one," said Cobb, representing Baldwin, 46, known for roles
in "The Usual Suspects" and "Flyboys." "And they told bags of
"Mr. Costner's testimony was tortured, scripted and
rehearsed," Cobb said, referring to the 57-year-old actor who
starred in "Field of Dreams," "The Untouchables," "The
Bodyguard" and "Dances With Wolves," which won him Oscars for
best picture and best director.
Costner never misrepresented any information about his deal
with BP, said his attorney Wayne Lee. He said Baldwin and
Contogouris hoped that Costner would "roll over and give in"
rather than fight the allegations.
"We've seen some of the effects of fame," Lee said. "Kevin
is here in part because he is famous."
The plaintiffs seek damages of $16.8 million to $17.2
million, Cobb said. Lee has said that Baldwin and Contogouris
are not entitled to any payments because they sold their shares
in the company before the deal with BP was sealed.
Both actors once invested in Ocean Therapy Solutions, the
company that acquired the rights to sell the oil-separating
centrifuges. Baldwin said he was a major force in promoting the
devices, which he hoped to showcase in a documentary about the
April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of
Mexico, the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
BP never used the oil separators because the company sealed
the blown-out Macondo well before they could be delivered.
The case is Contogouris et al v. WestPac Resources, LLC et
al, U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Louisiana, No.