In court documents, Kevin Costner’s estranged wife, Christine Baumgartner, has alleged that the actor had the option to continue appearing on the popular TV series “Yellowstone” but decided not to pursue it due to his belief that his Western project, titled “Horizon,” would be more financially lucrative.
Baumgartner, a 49-year-old handbag designer and mother to their three teenage children, stated in a declaration obtained by Insider on July 7 that Kevin’s value as an actor has never been higher, especially following the success of “Yellowstone.” She further claimed that he could have chosen to continue with the show. Instead, she decided to focus on his “Horizon” project.
Describing Costner as a “very money-focused person,” Baumgartner asserted that he departed from the Paramount Network drama to pursue “Horizon” because it could significantly increase his earnings. According to her, Costner’s involvement in the four-film Western saga, which he is personally involved in as a co-writer, producer, director, and actor, will result in a substantial financial return.
The announcement of “Yellowstone’s” ending after its current fifth season was made in May of this year following a behind-the-scenes dispute between Costner and the show’s co-creator, Taylor Sheridan, regarding shooting schedules. Reportedly, Costner wanted to reduce the filming days in Montana to focus more on his upcoming “Horizon” project.
While Costner previously stated in a court declaration that he would defer his salary for “Horizon,” Baumgartner argued that her soon-to-be ex-husband pursued the project he is personally financing because he believed he could still provide for his family while generating significant earnings.
Baumgartner stated, “He would not have invested in the project otherwise, and he essentially re-invested his compensation as an actor into this new endeavor that will certainly increase his earnings exponentially.” She also revealed that Costner invested approximately $20 million into the “Horizon” film series.
The statements made by Baumgartner regarding Costner’s motivations for leaving “Yellowstone” were part of a dispute over his child support payment claims. Costner had asserted that he could only afford to pay $51,000 per month due to decreased earnings now that he is no longer under contract for the show. Baumgartner had initially requested $248,000 monthly to sustain their children’s accustomed lifestyle.
On Tuesday, the child support payment dispute was resolved when a Santa Barbara County judge ordered Costner to pay $129,755 monthly, half of what Baumgartner had requested but still considerably more than what Costner’s legal team proposed.