Greasy Mess: Stephen Baldwin Sues Kevin Costner over Oil Clean Up Deal

Actor/reality TV guy Stephen Baldwin who filed for bankruptcy a year and half ago–fans launched a website for donations to help him out– has filed a lawsuit against  Academy Award winning actor/director Kevin Costner.  Per TMZ, the suit accuses Costner and his business partner Patrick Smith of securities fraud and misrepresentation.

Baldwin says he and a friend Spyridon Contogouris, were

clandestinely, secretly and wrongfully

tricked into selling their shares of Ocean Therapy Solutions, which manufactures a centrifugal device to separate oil from water that Costner spent years developing after the Exxon Valdez spill.  The suit alleges that in April Costner and Smth lead Baldwin and Contogouris into believing ther was no interest in the company, so the duo sold their 10% stake.

But BP licensed the devices from Ocean Therapy Solutions for $52 million, and Baldwin claims the company misrepresented that there was no deal to sell the contraption to BP at the time he sold his shares.

Costner hasn’t commented. Baldwin made no mention of his documentary Will to Drill about the BP spill and its effects on the Gulf region.

Bad Day: Kevin Costner’s Secret Movie Hits the Web

UPDATE: Modi Frank and a special guest will be with us on Movie Night, Firedoglake.com’s  live, interactive typed chat Monday Aug 9 5pm-6:30pm PDT/8pm-9:30pm EDT. Please join in.

Before he danced with wolves, Academy Award winning actor/director Kevin Costner made a never-before-seen movie that’s being released today after nearly 25 years in a vault:  Bad Day, directed by the award-winning rock video director Modi Frank and photographed by punk rock queen, singer, poet and visual artist Exene Cervenka, co-founder of the seminal band X. The duo are releasing the cowboy-themed short  as a digital downloaded for a “you decide” amount. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Gulf charities providing aid to both people and the environment. Exene and Modi said:

We are both so proud of Kevin and grateful for all he’s doing to help in the Gulf.

Costner has spent $25 million dollars over the last decade to develop centrifuge clean-up machinery which can mitigate the damage from oil spills. BP bought 32 of the machines marketed by Ocean Therapy Solutions. The centrifuges, which can clean 6 million gallons of oily water a day, separating the oil from water by spinning, will be ready to be deployed by the first week of August, according to John Houghtaling, Costner’s chief partner in the project . The salt water can be returned to the ocean and the oil can be used by industry.

Bad Day–the legendary but unseen until now 20 minute silent film, co-written by Exene and Modi, with a soundtrack by Dave Alvin and DJ Bonebrake–also stars John Doe, Chris (Chris D) Desjardins from the Flesheaters and the Divine Horsemen, and Julie Christensen of Stone Cupid who has also collaborated with Leonard Cohen, artist-photographer Peter Haskell, and Los Angeles poet Doug Knott.

Bad Day is also a collaboration of formats–punk rock and two-reel Western silents, black and white film stock meeting the Internet at a time when digital is the format du jour. The advent of downloading videos provided the perfect format to release Bad Day, allowing this moment of artistic collaboration to reach its target audience. Says Exene:

It was a blast to write, envision and then film.  We have talented friends, all up for a project, and we froze a moment in history. It was one of the best times Modi and I have ever had…We’ve talked about releasing Bad Day over the years, but now with the internet we have control over distribution with digital downloads. We want the world to see it and enjoy.

BP to Hollywood: “No, Thanks!,” to Help. WTF?

Today–after offering up a team of deep sea experts to BP which they refused, and meeting with reps form government agencies, but not the EPA which couldn’t be bothered– Academy Award winning director James Cameron called British Petroleum

morons..They could not have been more gracious but they basically said, ‘We’ve got this,’

Meanwhile, nothing seems to be happening with Kevin Costner’s amazing centrifuges which can separate oil from water. And can they spin out the dispersants which are banned in the UK? Thanks EPA!)

But Victoria Principal donated $200,000 to Oceana (which has Ted Danson as a board member) and the National Resources Defense Council to help clean up the spill.

Kevin Costner: Oil Spill Hero?

Full disclosure: My ex-husband was in the Waterworld and I’ve seen the Universal Studios stage and tank show based on the movie, too.

That being said, I am really stoked that Kevin Costner has put his money where his heart and mind are. After the Exxon Valdez spill, Costner invested $24 million of his own money  buying new centrifugal oil separators from the government and developing the technology to spin oil out of water.

Now BP has approved six of the machines from Costner’s  Ocean Therapy Solutions for testing in the Gulf, where they will extract the spilled oil, send it back to a tanker and return the water to the ocean about 97% pure.

DOOOO EEEET! Beat the hell out of those chemical dispersants.


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