“I will earn substantially less in 2023 than I did in 2022. This is because I am no longer under contract for Yellowstone, the principal source of my income last year,” Costner, 68, stated in documents filed on Wednesday, June 28, and obtained by Us Weekly the following day. “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, which amounts are not fixed.”
Costner, who has starred as patriarch John Dutton on the family drama since it premiered in 2018, added that a “recent report from the producer for Yellowstone showed he was not owed any participation money” — a claim he has since “disputed” — and that he has yet to receive any compensation from the series this year.
Paramount Network officially announced in May that Yellowstone will end with its fifth season, the first half of which concluded in January. The second batch of episodes were initially slated to premiere in the summer, but were pushed back to fall. The news came after months of speculation about a rift between creator Taylor Sheridan and Costner, who reportedly wanted off the series. The extent of Costner’s participation in the final episodes of Yellowstone has yet to be confirmed, but Sheridan denied plans to kill off John Dutton via a “f–k you car crash.” (Paramount has yet to reply to a request for comment from Us Weekly.)
Last week, Baumgartner, 49 — who filed for divorce from Costner in May — claimed in documents obtained by Us that her estranged husband makes an estimated $1,537,000 a month from his various jobs as an actor and director. She listed their monthly expenses — which have been paid entirely by Costner — as over $550,000 and noted she did not have the funds to maintain the family’s current lifestyle. (She filed the paperwork after Costner took legal action to oust her from their shared home.)
Costner, however, stated in Wednesday’s documents that his estranged wife did “not give a true picture of my cash flow” by “looking only at last year’s income.” Due to the nature of his career, Costner said that how much he earns is “variable and can change quite dramatically” depending on the year. He called her request for $248,000 a month “astonishing” and something he can’t afford to pay. “Nor can I afford to pay those amounts and pay my living and business expenses without liquidating assets,” he added.
Costner, who shares children Cayden 16, Hayden 14, and Grace, 13, with Baumgartner, also noted in his filing that he told his estranged wife 2023 “would be a difficult year financially” if he was not working on Yellowstone and he would likely have to “defer my salary on the Horizon film projects to the back-end (which I did). Christine told me she understood.”
The Horizon saga — which is co-written, produced and directed by Costner — is an upcoming American epic Western film costarring Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Luke Wilson and Thomas Haden Church. Three sequels have already been greenlit, with the first having begun filming in August 2022. In May, Costner confirmed that filming was underway on the second movie.
To counter Baumgarner’s $280,000 per month request, Costner — who said Baumgartner allegedly “allocates 60 percent of expenses” for personal needs like “a private trainer” and “plastic surgery” — offered on Thursday to continue to pay $51,940 a month plus 100 percent of the children’s health insurance, their extracurricular expenses, daughter Grace’s private school tuition and Cayden’s car costs.