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Why Kevin Costner and Estranged Wife Christine Baumgartner Briefly Split Before 2004 Nuptials

Why Kevin Costner and Estranged Wife Christine Baumgartner Briefly Split Before 2004 Nuptials
Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner in Florence, Italy in 2004. Giacomo Morini/Shutterstock

Previous tension. Kevin Costner and estranged wife Christine Baumgartner recently called it quits, but this isn’t the first time the duo have split.

One year before the Oscar winner, 68, and the fashion designer, 49, tied the knot in 2004, the pair briefly broke up. “Fear kept me from marrying Christine,” the Yellowstone actor told Closer Weekly in June 2018. “[She] wanted a child, but I was afraid I couldn’t be an effective father.”

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After some consideration, however, Costner changed his mind, and the pair rekindled their romance. “I woke up and thought, ‘Am I going to lose a beautiful woman who is willing to be with me to my very last breath because I am afraid to say yes to a child?’ That’s all it took,” the Dances With Wolves director recalled. “Sometimes you learn the thing you’re most afraid of will save your life.”

The Silverado actor and Baumgartner went on to welcome three children: sons Cayden, 15, and Hayes, 14, and daughter Grace, 12. Costner also shares daughters Annie, 39, and Lily, 36, and son Joe, 35, with ex-wife Cindy Silva and son Liam, 27, with ex Bridget Rooney.

In 2020, the Field of Dreams star revealed that Baumgartner opened up about her desire for children early on in their relationship. “She said, ‘If you’re going to be with me, you need to know that kids are at the end of the road for me with you, if that’s going to happen,'” Costner told Extra at the time. “It was unusual that somebody puts the news out right there the first day.”

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The Tin Cup actor noted that it took him “about six years” to get on the same page as the Cat Bag Couture founder. “Finally, there came a moment where maybe this doesn’t go forward,” Costner recalled. “Because I thought to myself, I could be divorced again, but what I couldn’t be is divorced again with children. That crushed me. I had to kind of face life and go, ‘Are you gonna miss life, are you gonna miss love because you’re afraid?’ And the answer finally came back, ‘I’m not gonna lose her because I’m gonna be afraid.'”

While Costner didn’t want to be divorced with children for the second time, he and Baumgartner seem to be headed in that direction. The California native filed for divorce from the Golden Globe winner on Monday, May 1, citing irreconcilable differences. Costner filed his response to the petition one day later.

“It is with great sadness that circumstances beyond his control have transpired which have resulted in Mr. Costner having to participate in a dissolution of marriage action,” a rep for the Bodyguard actor told TMZ on Tuesday, May 2. “We ask that his, Christine’s and their children’s privacy be respected as they navigate this difficult time.”

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Months before their split, the estranged couple celebrated Costner’s Golden Globe win after he took home the trophy for Best Actor in Drama Series for his role in Yellowstone. The duo couldn’t attend the January awards show because of flooding in Southern California, but Baumgartner threw a party for her husband at home.

“Christine realized that my heart was a little bit low,” Costner explained in a February Instagram video that showed him unboxing the prize, adding that he and his family watched the broadcast at home. The Open Range actor went on to reveal that his wife and kids “stood up and cheered” for him when he was announced as the winner.

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