Two Hollywood stars could spend the next two weeks in a New Orleans courtroom rather than on camera, on opposing sides in a real-life legal drama. Jury selection was scheduled Monday for Stephen Baldwin’s federal lawsuit against fellow actor Kevin Costner over their investments in a device BP PLC used in trying to clean up the huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Both are expected to testify. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman ruled last month that every litigant must be in court every day “because of the seriousness of the claims and issues raised by the parties” and in case of mid-trial settlement talks.
The federal lawsuit claims Costner and a business partner duped Baldwin and a friend out of their shares of an $18 million deal for BP to buy oil-separating centrifuges after the April 2010 spill. Baldwin and his friend, Spyridon Contogouris, said they didn’t know about the deal when they agreed to sell their shares of Ocean Therapy Solutions, a company that marketed the centrifuges to BP, for $1.4 million and $500,000, respectively. READ FULL STORY