It has been a tough stretch for Kevin Costner recently. The “Dances With Wolves” star and part-time musician is reportedly leaving his hit show “Yellowstone” over filming disputes with the shows creator, Taylor Sheridan. Costner wanted more free time to pursue side projects like his band “Kevin Costner and Modern West,” while Sheridan demanded Costner film on the show’s schedule. Now it appears his character John Dutton will be written off permanently.
Amidst all of the “Yellowstone” drama, Costner has also been dealing with plenty in his personal life. His marriage is apparently over, and his estranged wife, Christine Baumgartner, filed on June 16th for divorce. She also made a lengthy list of demands, especially financially, that might lead Costner to reconsider his relationship with “Yellowstone” and Taylor Sheridan.
In the recently released court filing, Baumgartner reportedly is asking for $248,000 in child support. That request is monthly, not yearly. Ouch. Costner shares three teenage children with his soon-to-be ex-wife, aged 13, 14, and 16, so high school graduation is still a few years down the road.
A new court filing from the estranged wife of Kevin Costner is asking the actor to provide $248,000 a month in child support for their three teenage children. https://t.co/W99hdyrs7n
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 22, 2023
While that seems like a lot of child support for three kids, Baumgartner attempted to justify the demands: “I realize that our lifestyle is extraordinary. I appreciate how very blessed we are to live this way. It’s important to not only to provide a warm and comfortable home for our children but to also teach them family values and gratitude.”
It is unclear how or why the children and their mother wouldn’t be ‘warm and comfortable’ on a much smaller amount, or how $248,000 dollars a month, more than most people make in a year, teaches ‘family values and gratitude.’ However, when Costner’s yearly income is taken into consideration, it becomes harder to argue with her numbers.
According to Baumgartner’s accountants, they estimated via bank records that the “Waterworld” star makes an average of $1,536,808.00 per month. Based on that staggering figure, it becomes much easier to justify child support, as well as other demands.
Costner’s soon-to-be ex quit her job as a handbag designer in 2007 and has been a stay-at-home mother since their oldest son Cayden was born in 2007. Considering she has no income of her own, she also asked for private school tuition, extracurriculars, and health care expenses.
Baumgartner’s legal team spoke out about her demands: “The child support that Christine is requesting may seem large, but her request is in accord with California statutory and case law. This is precisely the type of case that demands an upward deviation so that the children will at least approach the standard of living of their father.”
It’s hard to feel sympathy for Costner, as that amount of support doesn’t seem extreme if he really brings home over a million dollars a month, but it still will likely sting the Hollywood legend. How could it not?
To Costner’s credit, for now, he isn’t contesting any of his wife’s demands. All of the legal proceedings aren’t complete, so the hope is he won’t tarnish his reputation by being difficult or fighting back, no matter how much it stings his bank account.
Maybe Costner and Sheridan can patch things up and keep him on “Yellowstone” for a few more seasons. At least until a couple of his kids graduate high school and the child support goes down. We can wish, right?
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