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Costner triumphs in own drama at oil spill trial

  • 16 Jun 2012
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CHICAGO (AFP)
Actor Kevin Costner

It wasn't quite as dramatic as Waterworld, but Kevin Costner has triumphed over actor Stephen Baldwin in a battle over ownership of centrifuge machines created to clean up oil spills.

Costner invested millions to develop the machines in the early 1990s after filming the post-apocalyptic film Waterworld. But the business never really took off, according to court records published Friday.

Baldwin and a business partner then invested in the company hastily set up to market the machines after the April 20, 2010 explosion which sank the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

It sparked the worst accidental oil spill in history, but BP was not initially interested in the machines.

Baldwin and his business partner agreed to sell their stake in the company after clashing over the best way to sell them.

But BP then placed an order for 32 of the machines at a cost of $52 million a day later.

Baldwin and his partner cried foul and sued for millions -- arguing in court that Costner and his associates deliberately cut them out to keep them from sharing in the proceeds.

A federal jury disagreed in its ruling handed down late Thursday.

"It was my good luck that they saw the truth of this story," Costner told reporters after the verdict.

Baldwin - a devout Christian -- expressed his disappointment in a tweet: "Thanks 2 all my bro's & sisters in Christ4 prayers love & support! Throughout this trial I have prayed4 Kevin's salvation & will continue."

The centrifuge machines were never actually used by BP but Costner continues to push for better oil spill cleanup solutions.

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