Kevin Costner made no secret of his heartache after his ex-wife, Christine Baumgartner, blindsided him by filing for divorce after 18 years of marriage in May 2023. “This is a horrible place to be,” he said following a court appearance in late August as the two engaged in a bitter, four-month legal battle. “It feels so bad.” The ordeal, a source exclusively tells Closer, “was a torturous end” to Kevin and Christine’s relationship. “It was hell for him.”

Months later, the dust has finally settled. And Kevin, 69, is happy to be focusing on his epic four-part Western film series, Horizon (the first and second installments will be released this summer) and his blossoming new romance with Jewel after he and the 49-year-old “Foolish Games” singer got together in December.

“As difficult as Kevin’s divorce was, it hasn’t robbed Kevin of his positive outlook,” says the source. “He’s back to doing the work he loves and Jewel has been a beautiful surprise. He’s even starting to think he might be open to getting married again.”

Messy Split

Kevin was shocked when Christine left him over accusations he’d put his work before her and their three children (they share Cayden, 16, Hayes, 15, and Grace, 13; he has four other kids from two other relationships). The Oscar winner dramatically cut back on his filming schedule for his smash hit Paramount series, Yellowstone, and eventually quit the show entirely but it was too little too late for Christine.

“Kevin’s family means everything to him and he provided for them well,” says the source. “Christine had every luxury in the world, and Kevin thought she was content with that.” They went to war in court. A judge had to order Christine — who has moved on romantically with financier Josh Connor, a former neighbor and friend of Christine and Kevin’s — to vacate their $145 million Santa Barbara compound after she initially refused to leave.

They bickered over everything from who would get certain kitchen utensils to how much he should pay in child support (she requested $248,000 a month; a judge set the amount to $63,209). Kevin accused Christine of withdrawing money from his bank account and charging $95,000 on his credit card for her divorce attorneys, violating their “ironclad” prenup.

Laser Focused

Since reaching a settlement in September, a weight has been lifted. Horizon is a labor of love he’s been trying to get made for 30 years. “I just had to make it, and I had to look to myself financially to do it — which is not the smartest thing,” he’s said of having to take out a loan on his Santa Barbara spread to fund the project. (Kevin’s son Hayes plays a younger version of his father in the first film.) “It’s very exciting for Kevin to finally see the movie come together,” says the source.

Ready to Wed?

Another bright spot has been finding love with Jewel. The two were spotted cuddling during a tennis fundraiser in the British Virgin Islands in early December. “Kevin wasn’t expecting to find someone so soon,” says the source, noting that the Dances with Wolves actor loves how down-to-earth the Alaska-raised singer is, especially compared to his ex-wife. “Christine was all about having the best of everything, but Jewel isn’t into fancy clothes or jewelry.”

While the smitten star is thinking of taking the new step, pals are urging him to enjoy the moment. “They would prefer that Kevin takes things slowly,” says the source, “but at the end of the day if he’s happy, they’re happy.”