Kevin Costner ‘Optimistic’ About the Future as Romance With Singer Jewel Heats Up: ‘He’s Living It Up’

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Kevin Costner made quite a splash when he hit the red carpet at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on April 9. Dressed sharply in a black three-piece suit paired with matching cowboy boots, the 6-foot-1 69-year-old looked half his age as he flashed his famous megawatt smile for the cameras while promoting his upcoming passion project, the Western Horizon: An American Saga. What a difference a year makes.

Last spring, the Yellowstone actor was blindsided when his wife of 18 years, Christine Baumgartner, filed for divorce. The couple spent months battling it out over custody of their three children (Cayden, 16, Hayes, 15, and Grace, 13; he has four other kids from two previous relationships) and his estimated $400 million fortune before reaching an agreement in September.

"Kevin did not expect things to turn so nasty with Christine," a source exclusively tells In Touch. Slowly but surely the heartbroken A-lister picked himself back up, and now has a new lease on life — and a hot new romance with musician Jewel. "Kevin's looking and feeling good," says the source. "And he's optimistic about what the future holds."

kevin costner
kevin costner

It was time for a fresh start for the star, who struggled after the demise of his marriage. "Kevin still has a few broken parts left after his messy divorce, but he's ready to leave the worst year of his life behind," says the source.

The actor has experience in the divorce department, having split from his first wife, Cindy Silva, in 1994 after 16 years of marriage. (She got a reported $80 million in the split.)

"He was very sorry to lose the comfortable family life he spent years building with Christine, but it's not like he hasn't done this before," notes the source. "This is his new reality, and he knows he'll be OK."

Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner
Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner

Falling for Jewel was an unexpected — but very welcome — surprise. The two were reportedly introduced by their mutual pal, British business magnate Richard Branson, and were first pictured together at a charity event on the billionaire's private isle in the British Virgin Islands in December 2023. The Oscar winner may have broken a few hearts by settling down again so soon, but the source says Jewel "has been the silver lining for Kevin in all this, it's helped him to rebuild after the divorce and get back to a healthier mindset."

The pair have kept things low-key, but the 49-year-old "Who Will Save Your Soul" singer recently opened up about their relationship, telling Elle magazine that her boyfriend "is a great person."

The Alaska-raised artist seemed taken aback by the public fascination with them as a couple, adding, "It is intense for sure." The Grammy winner, who hit it big in 1995, experienced her own breakup from ex-husband, rodeo cowboy Ty Murray, in 2014 after six years of marriage (they share son Kase, 12).

"Jewel's been through divorce too, though not in such a public way as Kevin," reveals the source, adding, "The media interest in her romance with Kevin isn't something she's used to, but she's handled it remarkably well."

According to the source, Jewel isn't caught up in the fame game. "She's not someone who caters to the spotlight. She can turn it off. Her focus is on keeping her life as normal as possible. She sees Kevin for the sensitive, caring soul he is."

Friends say the actor/director got his mojo back when the unlikely duo started dating. "In the months since they connected in the Caribbean, friends have seen a change in Kevin," dishes the source. "He's in the groove again. He even looks younger!"

He's back on top professionally as well. After presenting new footage at CinemaCon from Horizon — the two-part movie he directed, produced, cowrote and stars in (part 1 premieres June 28; part 2, August 16) — Costner promised the crowd it will be a box-office success.

"There's something in me that wanted to make this movie, and I never make one that I think won't blow up," assured the Academy Award-winning Dances With Wolves director. Indeed, he put more than his heart and soul into the films, which mark the acting debut of his son Hayes. In 2023, the star revealed he'd mortgaged his ranch to self-finance some of the $100 million film, which costars Sienna Miller and Sam Worthington.

"Kevin didn't set out to win any Oscars with Horizon, but it would be nice to be recognized for all his hard work. Horizon was his passion project," says the source. "He's proud of it and excited to share his vision with the public."

Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner

He's happiest in work mode. After famously leaving the megahit Yellowstone, he even hinted that he'd be up to rejoin the cast for the Western's final season. The first installment of the fifth outing premiered in late 2022, while the second half has yet to begin production. (It was reported he wouldn't return amid rumors he'd made an enemy out of show creator Taylor Sheridan over scheduling issues and creative differences.)

"I'd like to be able to do it, but ... I'm not sure how it's being worked out," he said in a recent interview. "I've loved making that series. I made five seasons of it. Maybe this will circle back to me," he said, adding, "If it does, and I feel really comfortable with [it], I'd love to do it."

The source says there's a lot more Costner wants to do career-wise, even if it means ruffling feathers. "Kevin has no regrets about falling out with Taylor," says the source. "He's of a mind that you have to follow your dreams, and if people get in your way, then you go around them."