Kevin Costner prevailed in his court battle with Stephen Baldwin on Thursday, as a jury in New Orleans sided with the "Dances With Wolves" star in a suit brought against him by "Usual Suspects" actor Baldwin, Reuters reports.
Baldwin and his business partner Spyridon Contogouris sued Costner in late 2010, claiming that they were bilked by the actor over technology that Costner had developed to separate oil from water in the event of an oil spill.
In their suit, Baldwin and Contogouris claimed that they had agreed to market Costner's technology, but decided to sell their interest in the company shortly thereafter. The pair claimed that Costner and his business partner, Patrick Smith, concealed the fact that BP had put in a $52 million dollar order for the technology following the 2010 Deep Horizon oil spill, leading them to sell their interest in the company at a lower price than they could have received.
The suit also accused Costner and Smith of illegally using funds from the company, Ocean Therapy Solutions, to buy out Baldwin and Contogouris' interest.
Costner filed his own countersuit, accusing Baldwin of breach of contract.
During the trial Thursday, Scott Smith, the CEO of a company that had contracted with BP following the spill, testified that Baldwin had considered leaking personal information about Costner to the New York Times if the business deal went south.
"I said, 'Stephen, that's blackmail," Smith recalled telling Baldwin.
"I have to be careful how to do it," Baldwin replied, according to Smith.