Kevin Costner Involved In South Dakota Supreme Court Case


Kevin Costner is currently facing another legal battle in the midst of his divorce drama.

The “Yellowstone” actor is currently being hit from all sides as he feuds ex-wife and now a South Dakota sculptor.

According to court documents, Kevin Costner might end up having to pay a sculptor from South Dakota for some previous work if the state Supreme Court decides in her favor. Costner hired the artist, Peggy Detmers, from Rapid City in 1994 to sculpt bronze statues of buffalo and Lakota warriors on horseback for a Deadwood resort that was going to be called “The Dunbar,” after Costner’s character in his well-known film, “Dances with Wolves.”

Detmer’s was promised $300,000 and royalties for any reproductions of the statues that were going to be part of the resort, but “The Dunbar” project did not end up coming to life. Detmers first sued Costner in 2008, only asking that Costner be forced to sell the sculptures and split the profits. This definitely sounds like a reasonable request, but the state Supreme Court did not rule in her favor in their next court battle (2012) due to Costner promising a new attraction called Tatanka which was going to be built on the same property as “The Dunbar.” The statues would stay on that site or be sold per their written agreement and the 2012 Supreme Court ruling in Costner’s favor.


In 2021, Detmers sued again because Costner put the project property up for sale. The sale notice specifically noted that the statues would be “relocated by seller.”

Detmers argued that even if Costner sold everything but the statues, that would still be a breach of the contracted where Costner promised to display the sculptures on that site. She requested a judge to either release the copyright from the statues so she would be able to display, reproduce and turn a profit, or to force the sale of the sculptures and split the profits.

A Lawrence County judge once again ruled in Costner’s favor. The judge agreed when Costner stated that the 2012 Supreme Court decision resolved all contractual disputes. But, Detmers refused to back down and accept the ruling. She took the actor back to court in March and in August finally got her wish that the case would go to trial at Lawrence County’s circuit court.

“Peggy is pleased with the decision confirming her rights in the display of the sculptures she spent six years creating,” Detmers’s attorney Andy Damgaard told Artnet News.