The heated divorce drama between Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner shows no signs of calming down.
Although the former celebrity couple has been battling it out in court for months now, the latest dispute involves Baumgartner’s demand for a payment of more than $1 million from Costner for his legal fees.
In court documents filed Monday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, Costner, 68, said Baumgartner’s demand for a “whopping” US$885,000 (nearly $1.2 million Canadian) was “simply scandalous”.
According to People magazine, which obtained the legal documents, Baumgartner, 49, received $405,000 (nearly CA$548,000) in fees from Costner on July 12. This payment would include compensation of $300,000 (over CA$405,700) for legal fees, broken down into $200,000 (CA$270,500) for attorney’s fees and $100,000 (nearly CA$135,200) in forensic accounting costs.
Costner’s lawyers claimed that the remaining $105,000 (nearly CA$141,900) was withdrawn from his bank account by Baumgartner.
“Although Kevin is the wealthier party with a higher cash flow than Christine, Christine is fully capable of contributing to her own attorney fees,” Costner’s lawyers wrote in the filing. “The amount Kevin incurred cannot be the talisman of the amount Christine should receive in fees.”
Costner’s lawyers said Baumgartner’s own actions in the divorce proceedings increased the fees she incurred, as well as Costner’s personal fees.
“Using these fees as a basis to argue that Christine needs more to level the playing field is absurd,” Costner’s lawyers wrote.
The Oscar winner asked the court to determine whether Baumgartner’s financial demands were “reasonably necessary.”
Neither Costner nor Baumgartner have commented publicly on these latest developments.
Last week, Baumgartner was ordered to pay more than $14,000 (nearly $18,900 CAD) in Costner’s legal fees. The payment was related to fees Costner incurred when he filed a motion seeking answers about his understanding of their prenuptial agreement. Baumgartner previously claimed she did not understand the terms of the agreement and said she felt obligated to sign. Costner’s legal team claimed that Baumgartner “refused in bad faith” to answer questions about his understanding of their agreement during the divorce proceedings.
Costner has reportedly already paid Baumgartner $1.4 million (nearly $1.9 million Canadian) owed to him as a condition of their prenuptial agreement.
Costner and Baumgartner were married for 18 years. Baumgartner filed for divorce on May 1, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The couple have three children together: Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13.
The divorce proceedings also led to contentious discussions over the payment of child support. In late August, a judge ordered Costner to pay $63,209 (approximately CA$85,500) in child support, considerably less than the $248,000 (approximately CA$335,600) Baumgartner initially requested.
Baumgartner argued that this large sum was necessary to maintain the same standard of living for the children, who were housed at Costner’s oceanfront Santa Barbara compound.
For his part, Costner claimed the proposed child support of $248,000 was too high and could cause him to “run out of money.” He explained that it was because he was “a bit of a unicorn” in the film world and often financed projects from his own bank account.
Fox News reported that Costner is also solely responsible for the children’s health care, private school tuition, extracurricular activities and the oldest son’s car expenses.
Costner told the outlet last month that there were “no winners” in the divorce.
“When you live with someone that long, there are no winners…and it’s this big, crazy thing called life and how it unravels so quickly,” he said. he declares. “One minute you feel like you’re on top of the world, then you realize how vulnerable you are.”
Still, Costner called Baumgartner an “amazing mom.”
Costner and Baumgartner are expected to return to court in December to determine the validity of their prenuptial agreement.
Costner, who no longer stars in the hit TV series Yellow stoneis currently in post-production for his latest film Horizon: an American saga, in which he starred, produced and directed. (Costner previously revealed that he took out a mortgage on one of his California properties to finance Horizonthe first in a four-part film series.)
Baumgartner is a businessman, handbag designer, and former model.
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