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Baldwin accused of threatening to smear Costner
Question of the Day
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Stephen Baldwin threatened to feed personal information about Kevin Costner to The New York Times if the two actors couldn’t resolve their business dispute over millions of dollars in BP money after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a witness testified Wednesday at a trial for Baldwin’s lawsuit against Costner.
Scott Smith, CEO of a company that contracted with BP after the spill, said he doesn’t know if Baldwin followed through on the threat he allegedly made during a car ride from New Orleans to Grand Isle, La., in November 2010.
Smith, who was called as a witness by Costner’s lawyers, didn’t specify the nature of the personal information that Baldwin claimed to have about Costner. He wouldn’t elaborate on his testimony outside the courtroom.
He quoted Baldwin as saying, “I have to be careful how I do it.”
In December 2010, Baldwin and friend Spyridon Contogouris filed a lawsuit accusing Costner and business partner Patrick Smith of duping them into selling their shares of a company that marketed oil cleanup devices to BP.
Baldwin received $500,000 in exchange for selling his shares in Ocean Therapy Solutions in June 2010. The actor testified Monday that he would have held out for much more money if he had known BP had agreed to make an $18 million deposit on a $52 million order for 32 centrifuges.
Cobb also asked Smith if it was true that he had asked Baldwin to get him in touch with Costner, but Baldwin refused because he didn’t think it was appropriate. Smith said that question “doesn’t make any sense.”
“You’re asking me to affirm something that’s not true, and I’m not going to do that,” Smith said.
BP deployed a few of the oil-separating centrifuges it had ordered from Ocean Therapy Solutions on a barge in June 2010. The company capped the well the following month, and it was permanently sealed in September 2010.
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