Witness: Baldwin considered blackmailing Costner
A combination photo shows actor Stephen Baldwin (L) at the premiere of the film "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" in New York in a December 19, 2011 file photo and actor Kevin Costner at the premiere of television series "Hatfields and McCoys" at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, California, in a May 21, 2012 file photo. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (L) and Bret Hartman/Files)
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.
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.
"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?)
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 Solution, 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.