In late April, Olivia Wilde attended Cinema Con in Las Vegas, which is an industry event where directors and actors hype their films to theater-owners and studios. Wilde was there to give a presentation for Don’t Worry Darling, which she directed. While she was on stage, a woman stood up from the audience and handed her an envelope. Olivia accepted the envelope, not realizing what it was. As it turned out, the woman was a process server and Olivia was served with legal papers related to custody and residency of her two children. Jason Sudeikis’s lawyer had hired the process server, although no one was quite sure if Jason made the call to have Olivia served on stage. We also weren’t sure if Olivia knew that Jason was trying to serve her with a legal filing. Now, months later, the Daily Mail ran an exclusive look at the fallout after Olivia was served. Jason and Olivia’s split has gotten very spicy.
Olivia Wilde has accused ex Jason Sudeikis of intentionally trying to ’embarrass’ and ‘threaten’ her when she was awkwardly served with custody papers on stage at a live event in April. The actors had continued to co-parent and share custody of their kids since their 2020 split, alternating one-week periods of ‘parental access’, while they both split their time between New York, Los Angeles, and London. But those arrangements became no longer viable in April this year, when the pair had a disagreement about where they would be raising their children permanently, prompting Sudeikis to file a custody petition.
In her motion to dismiss the action, Wilde said the two had initially agreed to send their kids back to school in Los Angeles for the upcoming school year since Sudeikis was due to wrap up the final season of Apple TV series Ted Lasso which had required him to be in London.
‘Recently, however, Jason decided that he wanted to go to New York for the next year while he is not working, and wanted the children to be with him there during this time off,’ the actress said in the filing. ‘When I did not agree, since the children have not lived in New York for several years, Jason filed these papers.’ Wilde, who began dating Styles in January 2021, argued that the children have spent most of the last four years in LA or in London, even attending schools in the two cities.
Wilde referenced the embarrassing [Cinema Con process server] incident for the first time in her court motion, slamming her ex for his ‘outrageous legal tactics’ and delivering the documents ‘mid-speech.’ ‘Jason’s actions were clearly intended to threaten me and catch me off guard. He could have served me discreetly, but instead he chose to serve me in the most aggressive manner possible,’ she said in the documents. ‘The fact that Jason would embarrass me professionally and put our personal conflict on public display in this manner is extremely contrary to our children’s best interests. Since Jason has made it clear that we will not be able to work this out for our children’s sake outside of the court system, I filed a petition for custody in Los Angeles.’
“Jason’s actions were clearly intended to threaten me and catch me off guard”…? Catch her off guard, yes. Embarrass her, yes, indeed. But threaten her? I don’t know. As for the custodial and residency issue, Sudeikis has traveled a lot in recent years, spending months at a time in the UK, filming Ted Lasso. After being New York-based with Jason for years, Olivia moved back to LA in 2020 and she seems happy there, with space for the kids to run around and a private yard and a pool. I honestly don’t completely blame her for saying “I’m going to live in LA, you can visit.” As for Jason’s declaration, well, it’s full of interesting stuff too:
In his declaration to the court, Sudeikis said that while he, Wilde, and their two kids had been living in London since December 2021, he intended to return to his ‘permanent home’ in Brooklyn when filming for Ted Lasso concluded in July. He said he hoped that his ex and their children would also return to New York so they could continue their current custody arrangement. Sudeikis said he now believes those plans are ‘unlikely to occur’ after Wilde ‘insisted upon’ living with their kids in LA and asked him to join them during a discussion over custody in April. She also disclosed her future plans to move to London, where she has been living with former One Direction star Harry Styles, 28, at the end of next year.
‘For better or worse, I am a New Yorker,’ Sudeikis said, adding that it was in the kids’ best interests to grow up in Brooklyn. He also claimed he had been ‘reluctant’ to serve Wilde because he continues ‘to care deeply for her’, but said he was spooked by two particular statements during their conversation. ‘First, Olivia said that if I did not reside full-time in Los Angeles, she would allow me to spend time with Otis and Daisy on weekends and during vacation periods – thus depriving me of my right to parent the children during important periods of their lives…,’ Sudeikis said. He continued: ‘Second, Olivia said that she intended to relocate with the children to London following the close of school in 2023.’
Sudeikis, ‘fearful’ that she would ‘take Otis and Daisy’ from him, said he then asked his attorney in that moment to serve the summons and petition to Wilde knowing shew was scheduled to travel to LA the next morning. The actor claimed he had always hoped she would be served in a ‘benign manner’ and requested service take place at Heathrow Airport, rather than boyfriend Harry Styles’s home, where she is currently living.
‘I did not want service to take place at the home of Olivia’s current partner because Otis and Daisy might be present. I did not want service to take place at the children’s school because parents might be present,’ Sudeikis said.
The actor goes on to say that the process server was ultimately unable to serve Wilde at the intended location that day due to a series of logistical mishaps. He said he would only learn Wilde would be ultimately served in public days later when the incident made headlines. Sudeikis claimed he was ‘deeply upset’ at the turn of events and later found out that Wilde’s whereabouts were tracked down thanks to a tweet speculating her appearance at CinemaCon.
An attempt was made to serve Wilde at her hotel in Las Vegas where the event was held, but after that failed, the server ‘noticed Olivia at the Warner Brothers Panel and proceeded to serve the Summons and Petition upon Olivia.’
Sudeikis said he continues to ‘feel great distress at the manner in which service was made. I understand that the process server had only done her job; however, I deeply regret what happened. Olivia’s talk was an important event for Olivia, both professionally and personally, and I am very, very sorry that the incident marred her special moment,’ he added.
Yeah, I buy that “serving Olivia at Cinema Con” wasn’t Jason’s call and he didn’t like the way it went down. I just don’t think a client would dictate to their lawyer or to a process server “see if you can serve her the paperwork while she’s on stage at a big industry event.” That’s insane. And Olivia’s making plans to move to London full-time with Harry Styles? And take the kids there next year? Well…I understand why Jason isn’t happy. This is a really messy custodial dispute.
Oh, and this narrow part of the custody issue is over – these declarations were about which family court had the jurisdiction. Sudeikis filed in New York, and the New York court said no, the kids are not New Yorkers, this should go to an LA County family court.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.