Hollywood has seen some weird stories over the years, but what happened last week was incredibly weird, even by movie business standards. Nothing seems to have fully prepared people for the spectacle and social media backlash that followed after Olivia Wilde was mysteriously handed custody papers on the CinemaCon stage.
Wylde, who has two children with Jason Sudeikis, to whom she was previously engaged, gave a speech to give theater owners a trailer for her upcoming film, the psychological thriller Don’t Worry, Darling. The convention marked Wilde’s first major introduction to the industry for the film she directed, which starred Florence Pugh and Harry Styles. Here’s another catch: Styles also happens to be Wilde’s real beau, which means almost all of the members are names in bold.
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“This is for me?” asked Wild, bewildered, as she was suddenly handed a manila envelope on stage by an unidentified man who appeared to be the server of the process. Having resolved the issue on the spot, Wilde did not flinch and continued her presentation, where the first frames of the film were shown.
Sudeikis said he didn’t know his ex would be getting custody papers at CinemaCon.
“Documents have been drawn up to establish jurisdiction over the children of Ms Wild and Mr Sudeikis,” the source said in a statement. Diversity. “Mr. Sudeikis did not know in advance either the time or place of the envelope’s delivery, as it depended solely on the technology service company, and he would never put up with her being treated in such an inappropriate way.”
How could it be possible for an A-list star not to know that the mother of his A-list children would be handed documents in the middle of a highly publicized work event? Does that make any sense?
“This is extremely unlikely. While a lawyer is not required to consult with a client before deciding how and when to serve, this is usually done locally to avoid such appearance errors,” says family law specialist David Glass. Diversityadding that while Sudeikis did not know it was “possible”, it is not “likely”.
Adding to the mystery is that neither CinemaCon nor Warner Bros., the studio that distributes Don’t Worry Darling, is announcing their lineup ahead of time. This means that members of the public would not have known that Wilde would be attending the convention, so the process server would have received prior knowledge of Wilde’s whereabouts in order to show up at the exact time of her presentation. Tickets to CinemaCon, a trade (non-fan) event, cost over $1,200. Would the process server really pay this price for its participation in the event without clearing it first?
“A family law attorney will usually consult with their client about where and when the other party can be found and how they will be served,” adds Glass.
The lawyer, who also has a PhD in psychology, explains that it is usually the lawyer, not the bailiff, who comes up with the method of service and then sends the documents to the bailiff. “Usually the lawyer will give you a few ideas about where and when to file, a photo, maybe a description of the car, and instruct the process server how you want it to be done,” says Glass. “It’s extremely rare for a process server to do research on its own and figure out how to serve it.”
Given that Sudeikis and Wilde are public figures who have handlers on their payroll (who work to avoid similar public mishaps), the expert says it’s even more unlikely that there would have been no consultation or outreach. “Celebrities have business managers, agents and, in this case, a lawyer,” says Glass. “They’re all tasked with protecting their client.”
Upon contact with Diversity, A spokesman for Sudeikis declined to comment on the story. Wilde’s rep did not respond to the comment.
Glass says that service of custody usually takes place at a time when the children are not around, so perhaps when the parent involved is at home, at work, or at the gym. But there would be no need in a public place, unless there is a special reason for making such a statement, or it Only a place where you can find a person.
“It’s a relatively simple process and this type of service is generally not needed unless the person has shied away from service for some time and it was the only way he or she could be helped,” says Glass.
This doesn’t seem to be the case for Wilde, who hasn’t been much in hiding lately. She is regularly photographed by the paparazzi and was spotted at Coachella last month watching Styles perform.
Sudeikis says he didn’t know ahead of time about the situation. But regardless of his awareness, this story has now burst into the public sphere. This means that it will undoubtedly be brought to the attention of the judge. Diversity’A legal expert says this could affect the court’s decision in a custody dispute, though many other considerations will also be weighed.
“One of those factors is how the parties treat each other and whether each parent supports the other parent in his or her role. Here, the Sudeikis team didn’t do that,” says Glass.
“Unfortunately, since both children are of primary school age, they can learn about it from friends who learned about it from their parents or through the Internet. It’s a bad start for a custody case where kids need to be shielded from everything possible,” adds Glass. “Hopefully the parties agree on custody, decide how they will share their two children, and keep the rest of this case under wraps from the press.”
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