Kevin Costner’s estranged wife Christine Baumgartner broke down on the stand Thursday as she detailed the couple’s lavish $11million-a-year lifestyle, which includes a $175million beachfront home and a 160,000 acre ranch in Aspen.
Christine Baumgartner, 49, moved out of the beachfront property last month and into a nearby $40,000-per-month rental property.
Although luxurious, she says the new home does not provide a ‘comparable lifestyle’ for her children and is asking for extra cash to get a house that is ‘more than a home, it’s an experience’ like the marital property.
Adjusting a pair of white-framed glasses and speaking confidently, she talked the court through a series of photos of Costner’s $175million Carpinteria property – among them pictures showing the bleached wood deck, an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, a chicken coop and two guest homes.
Interior shots show decor designed to chime with what she described as ‘California living’ with colorful striped rugs, tan leather couches and a huge marble table with dark wooden chairs overlooking the ocean.
Kevin Costner and estranged wife Christine Baumgartner arrived at Santa Barbara court today as they attempt to thrash out child support and custody arrangements. Costner snuck through a side door and was not pictured
Baumgartner’s lawyer spoke of the family’s lavish lifestyle when in Aspen, Colorado – describing how the ranch has sledding trails that light up at night and have music piped through the trees, as well as multiple canoes and fishing lakes
Costner remained impassive through much of her testimony, while his estranged wife broke down in tears on the stand
Baumgartner, 49, opted for severe gray tailoring and sunglasses, despite a foggy day in Santa Barbara, and wore her hair in half pulled up style
Baumgartner, who introduced herself to the court as ‘Costner’, also told of the family’s sporty lifestyle which includes regular surfing, fishing, scuba diving and volleyball.
That includes a boat owned by their son Cayden, 16, and a dedicated room set aside to hold the family’s large collection of surfboards, wetsuits and paddle boards.
The Carpinteria property consists of five separate lots, one of which is a former neighbor’s residence purchased in 2016 and now used as a guesthouse, as well as a site for ‘sitting by the fire and roasting marshmallows’ and holding family celebrations.
In his opening statement, Baumgartner’s lawyer John Ridel referenced the eye watering sums involved – telling court Costner rakes in more than $1.4m per month.
During his deposition two weeks ago, the Dances with Wolves star put his monthly living expenses at $240,000 but wants to pay his ex no more than $60,000 per month.
Ridel also spoke of the family’s lavish lifestyle when in Aspen, Colorado – describing how the ranch has sledding trails that light up at night and have music piped through the trees, as well as multiple canoes and fishing lakes.
According to Ridel, the property is currently being rented out for an eye-watering $50,000 per day.
Later in the morning, Baumgartner shared further details of the family’s luxury lifestyle including Christmas parties that saw them truck 40 tons of snow to a 10-acre plot they also own close to their main California house just for the event.
Baumgartner described how they would hire ‘all the animals from the stable in Bethlehem for the children to ride, as well as a forest of fir trees and would have toboggan runs built.
She said the plot is also used for birthday camping events that would see them pitch 40 tents for their son Cayden and his friends and hire taco trucks to provide food.
Although Costner remained impassive through much of her testimony, she became emotional at times and burst into tears when the couple’s Aspen ranch was brought up – causing the court to be adjourned for a five minute break.
Baumgartner was talked through her two recent vacations to Hawaii in March and July with Josh Connor – who she described as a ‘family friend’. They’re pictured in Hawaii in July
Christine Baumgartner was seen flanked by her legal team as she arrived to court on Thursday
An agitated Baumgartner was also talked through her two recent vacations to Hawaii in March and July with Josh Connor – who she described as a ‘family friend’.
Connor, who lives in Santa Barbara, is a long time friend of Costner’s and is recently divorced from his wife Patricia.
In court papers filed Thursday morning, Costner accused his estranged wife of being romantically involved with him but when Baumgartner’s lawyer asked her point blank if he was her boyfriend, she replied, firmly: ‘No.’
The 49-year-old was also asked about $20,000 Connor gave her and told court that $10,000 was given to her mother ‘because she was worried about her house’.
She tearfully admitted that Costner had been paying her mother $5000 per month ‘for years’ but the payments stopped when they separated.
Baumgartner said she since returned the other $10,000 to Connor ‘because I don’t need it right now’.
The mom-of-three became agitated during cross examination when Costner’s legal team repeatedly pointed out features in her new home similar to those in the marital home. They are attempting to prove that the property is ‘comparable’ and that she does not need monthly child support payments of $161,592.
The figure is a new one presented to court on Thursday morning and is a reduction from the $175,000 she had been asking for.
The hearing concerns the future of their three children: sons Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and daughter Grace, 13
Baumgartner, who moved out of the marital home last month following a court wrangle, said her new $40,000-a-month rental property in Montecito does not compare to the one she left behind
Both Costner and his soon-to-be ex-wife arrived at the hearing with 30 minutes to spare; Costner dapper in a tailored beige suit snuck in through a side door.
Meanwhile Baumgartner opted for a gray suit and sunglasses, despite a foggy day in Santa Barbara, and wore her hair in half pulled up style.
Today’s hearing, in Santa Barbara, California, is scheduled to last for two days and will be overseen by Judge Thomas Anderle.
The warring pair were married for 19 years and Costner was allegedly left ‘blindsided’ after his glamorous wife filed for divorce in May citing his heavy workload.
Since then, the pair have been trading blows over where each will live, the validity of their prenup and the eye-watering amount of child support cash Baumgartner is demanding.
The mom-of-three initially asked for a monthly child support total of $248,000, which Costner, 68, said he was opposed to.
After being awarded substantially less, she is now asking for it to be hiked to $175,000-a-month in order to provide her children with a ‘comparable’ standard of living when they are with her.
In court papers, she told how the children live in a sprawling $145million beachfront compound when they are with their father, fly by private jet and enjoy luxury vacations.
Baumgartner, who moved out of the marital home last month following a court wrangle, said her new $40,000-a-month rental property in Montecito does not compare to the one she left behind.
A legal filing lodged with court last week said: ‘Unlike Kevin’s Beach Club Compound, the September rental is on the mountain side of the freeway.
‘It does not have beach front access, nor is it walking distance to the beach, and has no scenic view.’
A further legal paper included a request for further details of the Dances With Wolves star’s $400million fortune, among them a demand for ‘expenses paid by you, or any person at your request or on your behalf, relating to any extramarital romantic relationships.’
Costner was not only the primary breadwinner, but the only person making money recently, and Baumgartner says in her filing that she has no income
Baumgartner also wants to know whether Costner will return to smash hit series Yellowstone and says he earned $11 million for the fourth season , or $1.1 million for each episode. Season five saw him receive $10 million, meaning he made $1.25M per episode.
The brief also said Costner will continue to receive financial compensation from Yellowstone even if he departs as he is ‘entitled to a percentage of profit participation’ from the program ‘irrespective of his participation in Season 6 or beyond’.
In response, Costner’s legal team – which is led by Hollywood divorce lawyer Laura Wasser – stated that the request is ‘propounded only for purposes of harassment, is overbroad as to time period and subject matter, burdensome, oppressive and impermissibly compound’.
His lawyers further stated that Christine and her attorneys’ request is ‘not relevant to the subject matter’ because ‘there is no community property’ between the former couple in regards to their separation.
Costner and his team also added that he ‘does not know for a fact if (Christine) engaged in any ‘extramarital romantic relationships’ before separation and, if so, whether she spent any of his money or charged any expenses in furtherance of her affair(s) on credit cards he paid.’
The star’s attorneys stated, ‘(Kevin) has no responsive documents for ‘extramarital romantic relationships’ in which he engaged because he engaged in none.’
More details of Costner’s finances are expected to be heard in court today as part of the ‘multi-day evidentiary hearing on (Baumgartner’s) request for child support, at which time the Court will receive evidence regarding (Costner’s) gross cash flow available for support and anticipated future income.’
The pair were photographed arriving at court to give depositions in Santa Barbara on August 19 ahead of the hearing and the case is scheduled to go to a full trial later this year.