Kevin Costner ‘refused to discuss if he would return to Yellowstone for season six with estranged wife Christine Baumgartner’ as pair’s acrimonious divorce battle rumbles on

Kevin Costner allegedly kept his estranged wife Christine Baumgartner in the dark about whether or not he would be returning to Yellowstone for a sixth season.  

Baumgartner, 49, accused her husband of ‘refusing’ to discuss his options for season six in a brief filed by her attorneys before their upcoming child support hearing, according to Us Weekly. 

Her attorneys alleged that Costner ‘refused to answer questions about whether he was offered the opportunity’ to star in the upcoming season ‘or if he simply chose to quit.’

Costner is currently hashing out a child support arrangement with Baumgartner and his Yellowstone role came into question as lawyers for his estranged wife attempted to calculate his earnings for their future agreement.

The estranged couple, who were married for 19 years before their split earlier this year, have sons Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and daughter Grace, 13.

‘Refused to answer questions’: Kevin Costner allegedly kept his estranged wife Christine Baumgartner in the dark about his decision to remain on Yellowstone during their marriage; pictured 2014

The brief also claimed that Costner will continue to receive financial compensation from Yellowstone following his departure as he is ‘entitled to a percentage of profit participation’ from the program ‘irrespective of his 13 participation in Season 6 or beyond.’

The brief alleged that Costner earned $11 million for the fourth season of Yellowstone, or $1.1 million for each episode. Season five saw him receive $10 million, meaning he made $1.25M per episode. 

For a while, Baumgartner wasn’t the only person wondering about Costner’s future on the hit Paramount show.

Speculation swirled for months whether or not Costner would remain on the show amid an alleged rift with Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan, and it was all unclear until only recently after ET Online reported that the current fifth season would be his last. 

In July, Costner said he expected his income to drop ‘dramatically’ now that he was no longer on the show.

The actor is reportedly the highest-paid actor on TV, rumoured to have earned $1.3 million per episode of the award-winning show.

His ex claimed that in 2022, when he appeared in eight episodes, he earned $24.5 million from Yellowstone and other sources.

But the actor said he is expecting his income to drop ‘dramatically’ now that he has left the programme, in order to make his four-film Western epic, Horizon.

‘I will earn substantially less in 2023 than I did in 2022,’ he predicted. ‘This is because I am no longer under contract for Yellowstone, the principal source of my income last year.

Hit series: For five years, Costner played rancher John Dutton in Yellowstone

Hit series: For five years, Costner played rancher John Dutton in Yellowstone 

Making that dough: The actor is reportedly the highest-paid actor on TV, rumoured to have earned $1.3 million per episode of the award-winning show

Making that dough: The actor is reportedly the highest-paid actor on TV, rumoured to have earned $1.3 million per episode of the award-winning show

‘The fixed amount, ‘pay or play’ and episodic compensation I received has ceased.

‘Now, any compensation I earn from Yellowstone will derive only from my back-end contractual participation rights.’ [A star’s percentage of the proceeds, once the show is in profit.]

‘The most recent report from the producer for Yellowstone shows I am not now owed any participation money (although I have disputed this).

‘So far in 2023 I have yet to receive any participation compensation from Yellowstone.’

Following furious speculation about the end of the hit Western series – and reports of a sensational feud between himself and the show’s creator Taylor Sheridan – the actor stated in court documents that he ‘doesn’t anticipate being on location for at least the rest of 2023’, despite the show being slated to start filming on the second half of season five in August.

Bitter split: The estranged couple, pictured 2022, are currently hashing out the details of their child support agreement

Bitter split: The estranged couple, pictured 2022, are currently hashing out the details of their child support agreement 

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that Yellowstone will end after the second half of the fifth season, with Kevin finishing his run as rancher John Dutton in the hit Paramount series to focus on other projects.

However, while production on the second half of season five was due to start in a matter of months at the time, according to Deadline, court documents submitted as part of Costner’s divorce proceedings against former spouse Christine suggest he wouldn’t take part in filming.

In court papers seen by DailyMail.com: ‘I do not anticipate that I will be on location for at least the rest of 2023.’

The documents – which contained explosive claims as Costner and his wife of 18 years, Christine, engage in a bitter divorce – revealed that he would be returning to California that month to be with his children.

At the time, doubt had already been cast over whether the show would be able to begin filming again as a result of the writer’s strike. At the time, the SAG-AFTRA strike had not yet begun.

Real life drama? There have been reports of a sensational feud between Costner and the show's creator Taylor Sheridan; pictured 2018

Real life drama? There have been reports of a sensational feud between Costner and the show’s creator Taylor Sheridan; pictured 2018

In June, Sheridan hinted that Costner’s iconic character John Dutton was never going to be around until the end of the show.

‘My opinion of Kevin as an actor hasn’t altered,’ Sheridan said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “His creation of John Dutton is symbolic and powerful … and I’ve never had an issue with Kevin that he and I couldn’t work out on the phone,’ Sheridan said.

‘But once lawyers get involved, then people don’t get to talk to each other and start saying things that aren’t true and attempt to shift blame based on how the press or public seem to be reacting.

‘He took a lot of this on the chin and I don’t know that anyone deserves it. His movie seems to be a great priority to him and he wants to shift focus. I sure hope [the movie is] worth it — and that it’s a good one.’

The creator added: ‘I’m disappointed. It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it.’

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