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Kevin Costner Commenta On ‘Yellowstone’ Feud, Says He Fought For Return To Hit Series

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Kevin Costner has spoken out about his surprise choice to leave the hit television program “Yellowstone.”

The Oscar-winning Costner, 68, who portrays John Dutton, the patriarch, in the Taylor Sheridan series, spoke about his departure from “Yellowstone” for the first time on Friday during a child support court in Santa Barbara, California. Costner’s protracted divorce from his ex-wife Christine Baumgartner was the reason for the hearing.

According to People.com (and other outlets), Costner testified that a “long, hard-fought negotiation” over breaking season 5 of the Western tale into two parts was the decisive factor in his decision to depart the Paramount Network series.

“I’ve been told it’s a little disappointing that (it’s) the number one show on TV (and) I’m not participating,” Costner said on the stand, adding. “I’ll probably go to court over it.”

Through the first half of season 5, which ended on January 1 with Dutton serving as Montana’s governor, Costner was a key component of “Yellowstone.” The four-part film series “Horizon: An American Saga” is a Western that Costner is also co-writing, producing, and acting in.

When it was decided to divide the fifth season of “Yellowstone” into two parts, Costner claimed he “changed” his movie shooting schedule, adding, “That’s a big deal in this world.”

According to Fox News, when asked on the witness stand if he would be back for “Yellowstone” season 6, Costner responded that it was “complicated.”

“We did negotiate,” he explained. “There were issues about creative. I tried to break the log jam. They walked away.”

Before scheduling issues caused “Yellowstone” to be canceled, Costner said that he had been promised $24 million to play the lead in each of seasons five, six, and seven.

After the second half of season 5 was finished, Paramount formally confirmed in May that the Kevin Costner-starring “Yellowstone” original series would conclude after five seasons. The show will be followed by a new franchise sequel with the name “Yellowstone” that will probably star Matthew McConaughey.

Days later, Costner, who had been married to Baumgartner for almost 19 years, made the divorce announcement. The couple is parents to a 13-year-old daughter, two 14 and 15-year-old sons, and two sons. Four adult children from prior partnerships also exist for Costner.

Sheridan, 53, admitted to being “disappointed” by Costner’s “Yellowstone” exit to The Hollywood Reporter in June. “It breaks apart his character’s resolution. It truncates it rather than changing it, according to Sheridan.

Despite rumors of conflict in their working relationship, Sheridan lauded Costner for his pivotal part in the “Yellowstone” universe.

“His creation of John Dutton is symbolic and powerful,” said Sheridan. “I’ve never had an issue with Kevin that he and I couldn’t work out on the phone. But once lawyers get involved, then people don’t get to talk to each other.”

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