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Trial opens for suit against Costner over BP deal

In this photo combo, actor Kevin Costner, left, arrives at a screening of "The Company Men" during American Film Institute's AFI Fest 2010 in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010; and at right, actor Stephen Baldwin attends the U.S. premiere of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, in New York. A New Orleans courtroom will be the setting for a real-life drama that casts Hollywood stars Costner and Baldwin in adversarial roles. A trial is scheduled to open Monday, June 4, 2012, for a lawsuit that Baldwin filed against Costner over their investments in a device that BP used in trying to clean up the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The federal suit claims Costner and a business partner duped Baldwin and a friend out of their shares of an $18 million deal for BP to purchase oil-separating centrifuges after the April 2010 spill. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, Evan Agostini)In this photo combo, actor Kevin Costner, left, arrives at a screening of "The Company Men" during American Film Institute's AFI Fest 2010 in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010; and at right, actor Stephen Baldwin attends the U.S. premiere of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, in New York. A New Orleans courtroom will be the setting for a real-life drama that casts Hollywood stars Costner and Baldwin in adversarial roles. A trial is scheduled to open Monday, June 4, 2012, for a lawsuit that Baldwin filed against Costner over their investments in a device that BP used in trying to clean up the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The federal suit claims Costner and a business partner duped Baldwin and a friend out of their shares of an $18 million deal for BP to purchase oil-separating centrifuges after the April 2010 spill. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, Evan Agostini)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Kevin Costner's attorney claims his client's fame is the only reason why a fellow actor, Stephen Baldwin, sued him over their investments in a device used to try to clean up BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

A trial opened Monday for Baldwin's claims that Costner and business partner Patrick Smith duped him and a friend out of their shares of an $18 million deal for BP to buy oil-separating centrifuges after the April 2010 spill.

During opening statements, Costner's attorney said his client played no role in Baldwin's decision to sell his shares in a company that marketed the centrifuges to BP for $1.4 million.

Baldwin's lawyer told jurors that Costner and Smith spun a web of lies that cheated his client out of millions of dollars.