In a brief submitted ahead of the former couple’s upcoming child support hearing, Baumgartner’s attorneys claimed that Costner, 68, “refused to answer questions about whether he was offered the opportunity” to star in a potential sixth season of Yellowstone “or if he simply chose to quit.”
Baumgartner’s legal team questioned Costner about his participation in the Paramount Network drama as part of their attempt to determine his income as the estranged spouses hammer out a child support agreement. Costner and Baumgartner, 49, share three children: sons Cayden, 16, and Hayes, 14, and daughter Grace, 13.
According to the brief, Costner made about $11 million for season 4 of Yellowstone, approximately $1.1 million per episode. For season 5, he was paid $10 million, or $1.25 million per episode.
Costner appeared in the first half of Yellowstone’s fifth season, which premiered in November 2022. The second half was originally set to conclude this summer, but production was delayed amid reports that Costner did not want to return to film additional episodes.
While Costner’s lawyer denied that his client was holding up production, Paramount Network later announced that Yellowstone would end with season 5, which is now scheduled to premiere later this year. A still untitled sequel series is set to debut after the flagship drama airs its finale.
Yellowstone cocreator Taylor Sheridan, for his part, said in June that he was “disappointed” by Costner’s decision to exit the series. “It truncates the closure of his character, [John Dutton],” Sheridan, 53, told The Hollywood Reporter. “It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it.”
Costner’s departure from Yellowstone has been one of the key points in his child support battle with Baumgartner. In June, Baumgartner asked Costner for $248,000 a month, but he argued that he could not afford to pay that amount because he “will earn substantially less in 2023” following his exit from Yellowstone.
One month later, the court temporarily awarded Baumgartner $129,755 per month in child support and ordered Costner to pay $200,000 in attorneys’ fees and $100,000 in forensic costs.
In the latest brief, Baumgartner’s lawyers argued that Costner will still earn income from Yellowstone even after he wraps up his role because he is “entitled to a percentage of profit participation” from the show “irrespective of his 13 participation in Season 6 or beyond.”