Stephen Baldwin Considered Blackmailing Kevin Costner, Trial Witness Says

"The Usual Suspects" star Stephen Baldwin wanted to leak personal information about Kevin Costner to the press over a soured business deal, according to business associate

Last Updated: June 14, 2012 @ 5:53 PM

Stephen Baldwin plotted to leak personal information about Kevin Costner to the New York Times if the two actors couldn't work out their business differences, a witness testified at a New Orleans trial over the business arrangement on Wednesday, CBS News reports.

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Scott Smith, the CEO of a company that had contracted with BP after the 2010 Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, told the court that Baldwin divulged the plan to him during a Nov. 2010 car ride from New Orleans to Grand Isle, La.

Also read: Kevin Costner and Stephen Baldwin Gear Up for Legal Battle

"I said, 'Stephen, that's blackmail,'" Smith testified.

"I have to be careful how I do it," Baldwin replied, according to Smith.

Smith did not specify what information about Costner that Baldwin allegedly intended to leak. ("Waterworld" bloopers reel, maybe?)

Also read: Kevin Costner Reveals How He Tried to Help Whitney Houston

The trial, which is taking place in New Orleans, stems from a lawsuit filed by Baldwin and his business partner, Spyridon C. Contogouris, against Costner in 2010. Baldwin and Contogouris agreed to market technology developed by Costner to separate oil and water in the event of oil spills in early 2010.

The pair sold their interest in the company, but their complaint alleges that Costner and his business partner, Patrick Smith, kept them in the dark about a $52 million order that BP put in for equipment following the Deep Horizon spill, which would have increased the value of their shares.

The complaint also accuses Costner and Smith of illegally using funds from the company, Ocean Therapy Solutions, to buy out Baldwin and Contogouris' stakes.

Costner has filed his own counterclaim, alleging breach of contract.

Sounds almost as sticky and messy as the oil spill itself.

The trial, which began June 4, could end before the end of this week.


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