Kevin Costner has finally responded to a lawsuit filed last year by fellow actor Stephen Baldwin. As expected, he says the allegations are baseless.
Baldwin filed the suit before Christmas, claiming that he and another minority partner in Costner's Ocean Therapy Solutions company were duped into selling their shares just before BP made a massive investment in the firm.
Costner filed a motion earlier this month rebuking Baldwin's fraud accusations, saying that he played no official role in the company's distribution of the machines and that the 44-year-old actor has no proof of duplicitous dealings involving his name.
Costner's filing states: "Plaintiffs fail to allege facts that attribute even a single untrue statement made by Costner, fail to allege facts from which the Court can infer that Costner intended to deceive or mislead the Plaintiffs, and fail to set forth any facts demonstrating that Plaintiffs actually relied on any false or misleading statement made by Costner."
For more than 15 years, Costner found it difficult to sell the machines — that is, until the Deepwater Horizon oil spill this summer prompted BP to purchase some 32 of the devices. This resulted in millions in new business for Ocean Therapy Solutions — as well as some promising business partnerships worth even more.
Baldwin, who owned 10 percent of OTS, later sold off his shares, alleging that he was given the impression that the company was failing. Just after he bowed out, BP contracted the firm's services and technology, with one purchase estimated to have been worth close to $52 million.
Should the judge allow the suit to proceed, it's expected that Baldwin will seek damages worth just under $4 million, a substantial boost from the $500,000 he originally earned in the sale of his shares.