Kevin Costner speaks out on 'Yellowstone' departure during child support hearing, says he'll 'probably go to court' over season 5 payout

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in "Yellowstone."
Kevin Costner as John Dutton in "Yellowstone."Paramount Network
  • Kevin Costner broke his silence Friday on his departure from "Yellowstone," People first reported.

  • Costner, 68, said negotiations about breaking season five into two parts prompted his exit.

  • He added he "will probably go to court" over payment for the second half of season five.

Months after Kevin Costner revealed he cut ties with "Yellowstone," the actor shared more information surrounding his departure.

In a child support hearing on Friday — part of his ongoing divorce from estranged wife Christine Baumgartner — Costner said that a "long, hard-fought negotiation" about breaking season five into two parts was behind his exit, People reported.

While on the stand, Costner, 68, said filming for the series twice a year didn't work with another project he's filming, a movie series called "Horizon: An American Saga." Costner said he "changed" his schedule to work on the second half of "Yellowstone" season five, per People.

"That's a big deal in this world," he added, the outlet reported.

According to People, Costner said at the time there were "no scripts written" for the second half of the season and that "they still hadn't finished" the first half.

Costner said he made one final effort to return to the show, telling his representatives, "have them pay me whatever number, we came up with a number, and they [Yellowstone] walked away." According to People, he said he believed that number was $12 million.

People reported that when asked whether he'd receive a payout for the second half of season five, Costner said, "I will probably go to court over it."

Kevin Costner as John Dutton III in "Yellowstone."
Kevin Costner as John Dutton III in "Yellowstone."Paramount Network

Representatives for Paramount and Costner did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, made outside regular working hours.

According to June court documents viewed by Insider, Costner said he didn't expect to receive any financial compensation from "Yellowstone" aside from "back-end contractual participation rights."

"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 said, per the documents.

In 2022, Costner earned a reported $1.3 million for each episode. In the June documents, however, the actor said the fixed amount "pay-or-play" and per-episode compensation he received for the series ended, adding, "so far in 2023 I have yet to receive any participation compensation from 'Yellowstone.'"

Before the actor's departure, he was expected to return for the second half of season five. At the midseason finale in January, fans saw Costner's character, John Dutton, facing impeachment from his role as Montana's governor.

There's no air date for the second half of "Yellowstone" season five.

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