Kevin Costner‘s estranged wife says he “could have continued” in his role as John Dutton on the smash hit series Yellowstone, claiming he chose to leave because he thought he could earn more money from another project.
Costner’s wife of 18 years, Christine Baumgartner, filed for divorce in May, citing irreconcilable differences. She asked for $248,000 per month in child support for their three children, which the Oscar-winning actor, director and producer claimed he could not afford, since he is “no longer under contract” to Yellowstone after a dispute with producers over his shooting schedule for Season 5.
Costner is instead focusing on an epic Western titled Horizon, which he is directing, producing and starring in. He has invested $20 million of his own money in the project, even taking a mortgage on one of his properties to raise his stake in the film.
“Kevin’s value as an actor has never been higher, especially after the success of Yellowstone,” Baumgartner argued in a July 7 filing that Insider obtained. “Kevin could have continued with the show, but he chose not to in order to pursue the Horizon project.”
Calling Costner a “very money focused person,” Baumgartner says he is more interested in Horizon because it will pay better in the long run.
“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 states.
According to a previous filing, Costner earned $19.5 million in 2022, mostly from the reported $1.3 million he earned per episode of Yellowstone, which made him the highest-paid actor on television.
A judge ordered Costner to pay $129,000 per month in child support in a ruling on July 11. The court has also ordered Baumgartner to vacate the couple’s marital residence by the end of July, after Costner claimed she had violated the terms of their premarital agreement by continuing to live there more than one month after filing for divorce.
Matthew McConaughey will reportedly headline a Yellowstone sequel, with details to be announced.
PICTURES: See Inside Kevin Costner’s Spectacular Colorado Ranch
Yellowstone star Kevin Costner lives the ranch life when he’s off the set of the hit show, too. The Oscar-winning actor owns a 160-acre ranch in Aspen, Colo., that’s a spectacular getaway, complete with a main residence, a lake house and a river house.
The luxury retreat also features a baseball field, a sledding hill, an ice rink, multiple hot tubs and views of the Continental Divide. The ranch property comfortably sleeps 27 people, and it’s currently available to rent for 36,000 a night.