Kevin Costner's Lawyers Explained One Sign He Feels Pointed To His Wife Leaving Him Before She Filed For Divorce

Amid the ongoing WGA writers strike (and the more recent onset of the SAG-AFTRA strike) that has shaken up the entertainment industry, Hollywood icon Kevin Costner is currently embroiled in quite a bit of personal chaos as tied to his ongoing divorce with ex Christine Baumgartner. Tons of rumors and accusations have been bandied about thus far, with the Yellowstone star claiming he was completely taken aback by her filing for divorce earlier this year. And a recent court filing provided a piece of potential evidence that points to Baumgartner possibly preparing for a break-up well before she made it official on May 1, 2023.

Kevin Costner’s lawyers filed paperwork that alleged his former wife had been withdrawing cash advances for her own benefit without his knowledge, and that she’d been doing it using credit cards that were issued to various staff members. (He’d previously cut her usage off for one of her personal cards, while capping her spending limit at $30K for another.) If that alone wasn’t enough to support the idea that she’d been contingency-planning for a split, the legal team pointed to a major financial purchase that they believe serves as further evidence. Here’s how it was worded (via People): 

Months before separation, although the parties had always leased their automobiles, without [Costner's] knowledge or consent, [Christine] bought an expensive vehicle for her personal use (probably because the [prenuptial agreement] allows her to take that vehicle with her). Thus, it appears that [Christine] had been planning her exit long before she told [Costner] in April 2023.

Christine Baumgartner cited their date of separation as April 11 in her divorce filings that came three weeks later, but the car purchase makes it sound like she was mentally separated from Costner for quite a while prior. Which could possibly speak to why their split so quickly turned sour, despite nothing seeming to be amiss as recently as January, when Costner spoke highly of Baumgartner in a social media video addressing his inability to attend the Golden Globes. Such heartfelt thoughts haven't been as prevalent in more recent weeks, as the Yellowstone star's financial records have gone public via legal filings, which also includes the family's excessive spending habits. Costner has claimed his future ex has spent nearly $200k each month on plastic surgery and other expenses of that nature. 

Another section of the filiing addresses the accusation that Baumgartner has made a habit out of taking things from the mansion she'll soon be legally forced to vacate, and all without Costner's permission or awareness. To the point where a judge sided with the actor to limit what Baumgartner is allowed to remove from the property.

In response to the latest filings, Baumgartner shared the following statement:

[Costner's] request includes a myriad of false statements that are no doubt included to play to the press and 'smear' me in the media. I will not address each one.

It's unclear how much truth there was to rumors that the handbag designer demanded Costner quit Yellowstone, as it kept him away from their then-shared mansion for months out of the year. But if that was a longtime gripe of hers, and she could see that he had no intention of leaving the show (at least ahead of the Horizon-based scheduling chaos that caused the Paramount Network western to hit the brakes), then maybe that played into her reported car-buying and other actions she's been accused of. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.