Kevin Costner Claims He’s ‘No Longer Under Contract’ For ‘Yellowstone’

(Photo by Kate Green/Getty Images for Paramount+)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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“Yellowstone” star Kevin Costner has claimed in court documents that he is no longer “under contract” to work on the hit show, Us Weekly reported Thursday.

Costner is in the thick of a messy divorce from his estranged wife, Christine Baumgartner, who is demanding some $248,000 per month in child support. In court documents obtained by Us Weekly, Costner argued that he cannot pay Baumgartner such huge sums of money because his contractual obligations to the biggest show of his career, “Yellowstone,” have come to an end.

“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 reportedly stated in court documents. “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 plays the lead role of John Dutton in the hit franchise created by Taylor Sheridan. He was reportedly paid more than $1 million per episode for the first five seasons, but whether he will return for the final installment of the series is currently anyone’s guess. (RELATED: Kevin Costner’s Wife Addresses Rumor She Made Him Quit ‘Yellowstone’)

Sheridan has said emphatically that he hopes Costner will put his personal dislike for Dutton aside, and wrap up the series for fans. But Costner sounds like he has no interest in honoring this commitment, and may end up letting down millions of people who just want to know how “Yellowstone” will end.