Beat Kevin Costner? Only in your field of dreams, Stephen Baldwin.
Less than two hours after closing arguments concluded Thursday, a jury rejected Baldwin's claim that he and a friend missed out on a lucrative contract with oil company BP thanks to Costner and his business partner in oil cleanup, Patrick Smith.
"My name means more to me than money and that's why we didn't settle," Costner told reporters after hearing the decision, which was handed down in federal court in New Orleans.
So, what does this mean for Baldwin and coplaintiff Spyridon Contogouris, who had been asking for at least $17 million in damages?
They were awarded nothing.
In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Costner offered BP the services of a device he had helped develop, and the under-the-gun British firm contracted to buy 32 of the oil-and-water-separating centrifuges in the summer of 2010.
Baldwin, an early investor in Costner's Ocean Therapy Solutions, sold his shares before the deal went through—and he was demanding more than $17 million in damages to fill the hole left by the money he said he could have made if he had known his fellow actor was on the verge of such a lucrative transaction.
According to the lawsuit, his friend Contogouris made $1.4 million and Baldwin banked $500,000 when they sold their combined 38 percent interest in the company.
Their attorney, James Cobb, argued in court that Costner and Smith, "fueled by power and greed," purposely kept Baldwin and Contogouris in the dark during negotiations with BP, which resulted in a $52 million order for the centrigues, after using Baldwin's good name to advance their business interests.
"We're disappointed," Cobb told reporters after court today. "We thought we proved rather convincingly that these two guys, Mr. Costner and Mr. Smith, defrauded us. The jury saw it a different way but we respect the jury's verdict."
Cobb suggested that Costner's fame may have influenced the jury's decision, saying "the bigger celebrity won."