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article imageKevin Costner wins oil war with Stephen Baldwin

By Layne Weiss     Jun 14, 2012 in Entertainment
New Orleans - A jury has rejected actor Stephen Baldwin's claims that actor Kevin Costner duped him into prematurely selling shares of a company that received a $52 million contract after the 2010 BP oil spill, TMZ reports.
Baldwin and his business partner Spyridon C. Contogouris brought a federal lawsuit against Costner for hiding details from them on a deal with BP before they sold their stake in the company, Reuters reports. The deal reportedly made a "financial killing" marketing oil-cleaning devices after the spill.
According to TMZ, Baldwin and Contogouris were collectively seeking $17 million worth of damages.
Baldwin had argued that he sold his shares for only $500,000, but he would have made millions if he had waited until after the BP deal.
It took the jury less than 2 hours to deliberate. A verdict was released within 2 hours to give the plaintiffs nothing, the Huff Post reports.
After the verdict was read, Costner smiled, shook his attorney's hand, and said he was grateful for the chance to clear his name.
"My name means more to me than money and that's why we didn't settle," Costner said.
Plaintiffs' attorney James Cobb had accused Costner and his business partner Patrick Smith of lying about talks with BP executives before finalizing the deal, Reuters reports.
Stephen Baldwin, the younger brother of TV and film star Alec Baldwin, gave no comment after the verdict was read.
Instead, he let his attorney answer questions.
"We're disappointed, We thought we proved our case rather convincingly that these two guys, Mr. Costner and Mr. Smith, defrauded us," Cobb said according to the Huff Post.
"The jury saw it a different way, but we respect the jury's verdict."
Cobb said he wondered if the verdict had anything to do with Kevin Costner being a bigger celebrity than Stephen Baldwin.
"The bigger celebrity won," Cobb said according to Reuters.
More about Kevin costner, stephen baldwin, bp oil spill, Lawsuit
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