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Costner reaches divorce settlement

Kevin Costner, left, and Christine Baumgartner arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 27, 2022, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Costner and Baumgartner have reached a settlement in their divorce. The couple said in a joint statement that they have come to an amicable resolution to all the issues surrounding their split. Associated Press File Photo

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Kevin Costner and his wife of nearly 19 years, Christine Baumgartner, have reached a settlement in their divorce.

“Kevin and Christine Costner have come to an amicable and mutually agreed upon resolution of all issues pertaining to their divorce proceedings,” the couple said in a joint statement released Tuesday by the actor's publicist, Arnold Robinson.

The agreement ends what had become a contentious court fight, and lets the couple avoid a trial that had been scheduled for December in a Santa Barbara County, California court.

Baumgartner filed for divorce in May.

The two had already fought in court over child support payments. After a two-day hearing in which both Costner, 68, and Baumgartner, 49, took the stand to testify, a judge on Sept. 8 ordered Costner to pay about $63,000 per month for their three children, People reported. Baumgartner had sought about $175,000 per month.

Costner and Baumgartner, a model and handbag designer, began dating in 1998 and married at his Colorado ranch in 2004.

They have two sons, ages 16 and 14, and a 12-year-old daughter together.

It was the second marriage for Costner, the Oscar and Emmy winning star of TV’s “Yellowstone” and films including “Dances With Wolves,” “The Bodyguard” and “Bull Durham.”

He also has four adult children from previous relationships.


MINNEAPOLIS — What would Bob Ross think?

The artist who brought painting to the people, with works completed for PBS viewers in less than a half-hour with little more than a large bristle brush, putty knife and plenty of encouragement, certainly wouldn’t have envisioned one of his works going up for sale for nearly $10 million.

But that’s the price a Minneapolis gallery is asking for “A Walk in the Woods,” the first of more than 400 paintings that Ross produced on-air for his TV series “The Joy of Painting.”

“It is season one, episode one of what you would call the rookie card for Bob Ross,” Ryan Nelson, who owns the gallery, Modern Artifact, said of the work created in the show's debut, which aired Jan. 11, 1983.

Growing up in a small town, Nelson said he was introduced to art through Ross' show and loves his paintings. He doesn't expect a quick sale given the high asking price, which he sees as an opportunity to display the painting for a larger audience.

On that first show where he painted “A Walk in the Woods,” Ross — sporting his beloved perm, full beard and unbuttoned shirt — stressed that painting didn’t need to be pretentious.

“We have avoided painting for so long because I think all of our lives we’ve been told that you have to go to school half your life, maybe even have to be blessed by Michelangelo at birth, to ever be able to paint a picture,” Ross said. “And here, we want to show you that that’s not true. That you can paint a picture.”

Ross, who died in 1995, hosted the show from 1983 until 1994. In each episode, he would speak directly to viewers whom he encouraged to paint with him as he created idealized scenes of streams backed by mountains, waterfalls and rustic cabins and mills — all done very quickly.

None of Ross' paintings, including “A Walk in the Woods,” would be confused for masterpieces. But that wasn’t the point.

“What this piece represents is the people’s artist,” Nelson said. “This isn’t an institution that’s telling you that Bob Ross is great. It’s not some high-brow gallery telling you that Bob Ross is great. This is the masses, the population in the world that are saying that Bob Ross is great.”

The first season of “The Joy of Painting” was filmed in Falls Creek, Virginia, and the painting from Ross’ first show was sold months later to raise funds for the local PBS station. A volunteer at the station bought the painting for an undisclosed price and hung it in her home for 39 years until getting in touch with Nelson, who has bought and sold more than 100 of Ross’ works.

Nelson bought the painting last year and then gave it a “not for sale” price of $9.85 million, said publicist Megan Hoffman.

Hoffman said the asking price is far more than any other Ross painting has sold for, but “A Walk in the Woods” is unique and Nelson isn't looking for a quick sale. She notes that Ross' popularity has soared in recent years, with 5.63 million subscribers to a YouTube channel featuring his shows.

“Ryan would prefer to take it out, tour it around to museums and things like that so people can enjoy it and appreciate it,” Hoffman said. “He will take offers but he's not in a hurry to sell it.”

Pat Sajak, left, and Vanna White, from "Wheel of Fortune," attend a ceremony honoring Harry Friedman with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Nov. 1, 2019, in Los Angeles. Sajak is taking one last spin on “Wheel of Fortune,” announcing Monday, June 12, 2023, that its upcoming season will be his last as host. Invision via AP


Vanna White is not giving up her puzzle board when Ryan Seacrest takes over for Pat Sajak as host of “Wheel of Fortune.” In fact, she will be there for his first two seasons.

Sony Pictures Television announced Tuesday that White has extended her contract with the game show — taking her through the 2025-26 season. Her contract was expiring at the end of the current 41st season, which Sajak announced earlier this year would be his last.

White and Sajak have worked together since 1982 when “Wheel” began airing in syndication.

Confirmation of White's contract extension was announced while Seacrest was taping an upcoming interview segment for “Sunday Today with Willie Geist."

Seacrest called it “great news” and said that he has “been excited to work with her" and “can't wait.”

He will make his “Wheel of Fortune” debut next fall.

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