Kevin Costner’s life seemed like a Hollywood dream—until it didn’t. He had it all—a booming career, a doting wife, and a happy home. But within a whirlwind four months, Costner’s wife, Christine Baumgartner, decided to divorce him. It happened quickly, though. In May, Baumgartner, 49, filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” What was more unfortunate is that Paramount called it quits on Yellowstone after season five.  

Kevin Costner et Christine Baumgartner à la cérémonie des César
Kevin Costner et Christine Baumgartner à la cérémonie des César | Wikimedia Commons/Georges Biard

Déjà vu struck as Costner’s world crumbled, reminiscent of when he split from his wife Cindy Silva in 1994 and the Waterworld debacle. The divorce with Silva had him reeling with an $80 million settlement. While the man is again dealing with personal and professional setbacks, one friend emerged as a beacon of support: Billy Bob Thornton.  

Costner’s Knight in Shining Armor: Billy Bob Thornton Steps Up Post-Divorce

Billy Bob Thornton, pointing at photographer taking this photo, South By Southwest 2008.
Billy Bob Thornton at South by Southwest 2008 film festival | Wikimedia Commons/Ed Schipul

Kevin Kostner had his first marriage with Silva in 1993. It was during that time that he met Baumgartner (then 19 or 20 y/o) at a golf course in Santa Ynez. They didn’t speak to each other for six years, but they met again at a trendy restaurant opening. This marked the beginning of a new relationship.

At the time, Costner was single, or, more correctly, living life as a bachelor. The following year, he bought a 160-acre property near Aspen, Colorado, later turning it into his own luxury rendition of Dutton Ranch. After adding the finishing touches to his dream home—in the summer of 2004, Baumgartner and Costner got married. 

The marriage lasted for 19 years before Baumgartner decided to part ways with Costner. She filed for divorce. Needless to say, Costner was tearing apart—when Billy stepped up. Billy Bob Thornton is an American film actor, singer, songwriter, and Costner’s knight in shining armor. Unmasking this thorny issue, an insider recently told In Touch Weekly

Billy Bob has been a saving grace during all the drama Kevin has been through the last two years with Christine because he’s been there himself and then some.

Following the course of this divorce, Billy Bob was reported to be ‘a saving grace’ during all the dramatic events Costner went through. The insider also explained, 

It also helps that they have the same hobbies: classic music, old movies, cowboy culture, and relentless self-admiration, in that order.

In the words of the source, Billy Bob and Kevin Costner have had a sustaining friendship that has outlived divorces and scandals. While the two have been through countless things in their business and personal lives, they’ve always stood for each other, proving the real meaning of friendship. 

Kevin Costner Divorce Drama and Costly Court Battles

Kevin Costner with a group of U.S. Air Force airmen
Kevin Costner with a group of U.S. Air Force airmen | Wikimedia Commons/Master Sgt. Michael Kaplan

While Billy Bob has always been a saving grace for Kevin Costner, the divorce drama with Baumgartner still holds up. Costner’s legal team made the wife a cash offer of $200,000 on top of her $1.45 million prenup payout. Baumgartner’s lawyers blanched at the move, arguing Costner had not paid her enough in child support. 

Baumgartner and her attorneys repel just as boldly. In her written declarations, Baumgartner exposed some alleged vices in her husband that were considered disgraceful. She also threatened to sue him for betraying her by cheating, asking for documentation “relating to any extramarital romantic relationships.” Costner, via his lawyers, said that he remained faithful but that he didn’t “know for a fact” if the same could be said of Baumgartner.

However, irrespective of all these bitter legal battles, Kevin Costner has found a much-needed source of support in the form of a good friend, Billy Bob. This lasting connection has been a true saving grace, helping Costner steer through these rough times.

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