This is a great story folks, one where our real time blogging on Costner will wear well with the passage of time. The narrative includes media manipulation, influence peddling and a boat load of sleazy characters including the plaintiffs. By rights Houghtaling should also be named as the 32 page complaint makes clear and the fact that he isn’t is telling. Following are a couple of excerpts from Star Struck as we welcome Magnum’s friends to Slabbed:
Stephen Baldwin, an actor, and Contogouris have been friends for many years. On April 29 or April 30, 2010, Baldwin advised Contogouris that he would be coming to New Orleans to meet with a local attorney, John Houghtaling, who was discussing making a motion picture in which Baldwin would be the star. Baldwin asked Contogouris to attend a luncheon with Houghtaling to discuss the movie project. During that meeting, Contogouris expressed the view that the proposed movie would likely be unprofitable, and those interested in making a film should make a documentary film based on the BP oil spill. Houghtaling immediately expressed interest in this idea.
In the days that followed, Contogouris met with Houghtaling and mentioned to him his efforts to market the CINC technology to BP. Houghtaling indicated he could be of assistance in gaining access to BP and asked to be made a partner in the venture. He also indicated that he knew another individual, Frank Levy, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, who could lend assistance in the venture due to his knowledge of and experience in the offshore oil industry. Levy was also an investor/backer in the proposed movie project. During this same time, Contogouris was successful in making contact with Costner, who indicated he had an interest in participating in the venture.
By now I think all the questions about our interest in Magnum have been answered as we continue:
BP agreed to meet with representatives of OTS on June 8, 2010. Contogouris and Baldwin were purposefully excluded from the BP meeting of this date by Costner, Smith and Houghtaling. Costner, Smith and Houghtaling met with Doug Suttles of BP on June 8, 2010 at Houghtaling’s residence on Common Street in New Orleans. Upon information and belief, Louisiana Attorney General James David (“Buddy”) Caldwell, Sr. arranged for and attended the meeting at the request of Houghtaling. During that meeting, Suttles committed BP to order units of the separator from OTS, and agreed to make an $18 million deposit against the total purchase price upon issuance of the purchase order. Contogouris and Baldwin had no knowledge of the $18 million deposit at the time.
The word for today, Christmas Eve 2010, is Shakedown.