After spending four contentious months locked in a legal battle over their impending divorce, Kevin Costner and ex Christine Baumgartner suddenly reached a settlement in mid-September. “Kevin and Christine Costner have come to an amicable and mutually agreed upon resolution of all issues pertaining to their divorce proceedings,” a representative for the Oscar winner said in a joint statement released Sept. 19. Those close to Kevin are hoping it’s the end of a long nightmare that began when Christine blindsided the Yellowstone star by filing for divorce on May 1 after 18 years of marriage. “

This is a horrible place to be,” Kevin said following a court appearance in late August. “It feels so bad.” (The former couple share kids Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13; he has four other kids from previous relationships.) Sources tell In Touch the actor, 68, has been to hell and back with Christine, 49, during their legal tangling over the demise of their marriage. “He’s convinced she’s been trying to make him look bad all along,” says one source, noting that Kevin also believed she was out to bleed him dry financially. 

“Without a doubt, Kevin felt Christine was attempting to take him to the cleaners. This divorce,” adds the source, “is one of the hardest things he’s ever been through.”

Tit for Tat

In the end, Kevin is relieved that he and his ex were able to finally agree on a settlement. Had they not, they would have been due back in court in December to tussle over the validity of their prenuptial agreement — with more damaging details sure to surface. “For an ultraprivate star like Kevin, who keeps things close to his chest, having personal details about his marriage and lifestyle continue to be aired out in public is the last thing he needed,” says the source. “He wanted to stop the madness.”

Christine Baumgartner and Kevin Costner
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Things had gotten quite ugly between the pair as they duked it out over everything from child support payments to kitchenware. In mid-July, legal documents revealed that Kevin and Christine were squabbling over plates, bowls and silverware, with Kevin’s attorneys complaining that Christine’s promise to remove things like “family heirlooms … various heirlooms and gifts from friends” was too “vague.” (A judge had ordered Christine to move out of their $145 million Santa Barbara, California, compound after she initially refused to leave.) 

In June, the former handbag designer requested $248,000 a month in child support for their three children. A judge ultimately sided with Kevin and set the amount to $63,209. She also reportedly asked for more than $800K from her ex to cover legal fees, a sum his attorney called “unconscionable.”

According to a source, Kevin’s camp feared Christine was purely motivated by money and greed. “What the judge ordered him to pay in child support is fair — Kevin’s fear was that anything more than that would go straight into Christine’s pocket to be used for her high-end lifestyle,” says the source. In the end, Christine had no choice but to settle and “take what she could get” from Kevin (including $300K in legal fees). The judge in their case had made it clear that if Christine challenged the prenup, she’d have to return the $1 million he gave her after she filed for divorce and pay his legal fees. “At the end of the day,” says the source, “Christine knew she couldn’t keep litigating. She’s not Angelina Jolie.”


The exes had survived a few rough patches during their marriage, but the actor was still caught off guard when Christine threw in the towel. “Kevin feels he made many concessions to keep Christine happy, but in the end, it wasn’t enough,” a second source tells In Touch. He reportedly walked out after a particularly nasty fight over his demanding work schedule. 

“Christine had given Kevin some ultimatums,” says the source, “but he truly never wanted it to come to this.” When a split was unavoidable, adds the first source, “Kevin and Christine discussed that he would be the one to file for divorce but she clearly jumped on it so she could humiliate Kevin and make him look like he didn’t know what was going on with his own family.”

He was dealt another devastating blow when Christine jetted off to Hawaii with Kevin’s close friend Josh Connor in July. “Kevin doesn’t know what to think or who to trust,” a source told In Touch at the time. “He’s sick over it.”

The Aftermath

He’s doing his best to pick up the pieces. During his court appearance in late August, the star told the judge he’s trying to figure out his next moves. “My world’s been a little shook up,” he said after taking the stand. “I have to take care of obligations that are already in place; I have a lot of responsibilities I have to take care of… I’m going to spend more time with the children, walk them through this process. I am going to need to take some time for myself. I have a lot to contemplate — what I have to do versus what I want to do.”

For now, he and Christine are coparenting. “Kevin’s kids are his priority,” says the first source. “He’s a little worried Christine will try to turn them against him so he’s trying to counter that by being there for them as much as possible. He’s still adjusting to this new life and doing the best he can.”

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