Kevin Costner is one of Hollywood’s most renowned leading men, known for hit films like The Bodyguard, Dances With Wolves, and the popular TV series Yellowstone. However, decades ago, a brief fling with a woman named Bridget Rooney would come back to create major personal drama for the movie star. In 1996, Rooney revealed she was pregnant after a short-lived affair with Costner. So what exactly happened between the former lovers? And how did Rooney and the disputed child end up years down the line?

Did Kevin Costner Try to Dodge Responsibility?

Kevin Costner as Josh Dutton
Kevin Costner as Josh Dutton in Yellowstone

According to The Things, the actor initially dismissed the claims and distanced himself. But years later, Rooney dragged him into a contentious paternity battle to definitively establish he had fathered her child. The paternity fight brought scrutiny on Kevin Costner and represented a defining episode in both their lives.

When Bridget Rooney confidently announced “I’m 100% sure who the father is” while pregnant in 1996, Costner seemed skeptical. Rooney came from a wealthy background as heiress to the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team fortune.

But Costner offered no support during the pregnancy and distanced himself entirely from Rooney’s childbirth. This indifference persisted for years, even as Rooney raised their son Liam.

Finally, in 2002, Rooney actively sought DNA testing to prove Costner was the father. Only after the paternity confirmation did the Yellowstone star set up a trust fund for his established son. So while Rooney continuously stood by her account of events, Costner seemingly tried to avoid accepting he had fathered her child until definitively forced to. 

Also Read: “I Respect Kevin Enormously… But…”: Harrison Ford Only Agreed to Yellowstone Prequel ‘1923’ as He “Didn’t Want to Dirty up the Road” With Kevin Costner

Where Did Bridget Rooney and Her Son End Up?

Kevin Costner as Josh Dutton in Yellowstone
Kevin Costner as Josh Dutton in Yellowstone

Despite the scrutiny over her ties to Kevin Costner, Bridget Rooney moved on to find love again after Liam’s birth. She met and married billionaire oil mogul William “Bill” Koch in 2005, blending their families.

Rooney, now Bridget Koch, continues to run joint business ventures and philanthropic efforts with her husband. The two founded the Oxbridge Academy prep school in 2011. And she helps administer financial aid to students in need.

Her son Liam, of course, grew up knowing his famous yet initially absent father. But he opted against an entertainment career. Kevin Costner has shared Liam chose instead to work in real estate, avoiding his dad’s spotlight.

Kevin Costner as Josh Dutton in Yellowstone
Kevin Costner as Josh Dutton in Yellowstone

Also Read: 2 Networks Turned Down a Goldmine by Rejecting Yellowstone Before Paramount Saved Kevin Costner Show

“As my children interact together, there’s always this little bit of ‘Do you care for us now as much as you do them?’ I basically reminded [my older kids] that they were going to have twice as long with me on this planet… and at this point, they all just embraced each other,” Costner said.

So while the paternity battle caused tensions years ago, Rooney found happiness and Liam has still bonded with his once doubtful father. But the controversy surrounding Costner’s reaction to Rooney’s pregnancy left an indelible mark on perceptions of the esteemed actor.

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