By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN/The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Kevin Costner’s attorney claims his client’s fame is the only reason why a fellow actor, Stephen Baldwin, sued him over their investments in a device used to try to clean up BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
A trial opened Monday for Baldwin’s claims that Costner and business partner Patrick Smith duped him and a friend out of their shares of an $18 million deal for BP to buy oil-separating centrifuges after the April 2010 spill.
During opening statements, Costner’s attorney said his client played no role in Baldwin’s decision to sell his shares in a company that marketed the centrifuges to BP for $1.4 million.
Baldwin’s lawyer told jurors that Costner and Smith spun a web of lies that cheated his client out of millions of dollars.