Olivia Wilde slams 'traumatic' coverage of her and Jason Sudeikis's custody battle amid document leak
Just as everyone thought Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis were going the conscious uncoupling route, it seems the two are still at odds over custody and child support. The actress has accused the Ted Lasso star of trying to "litigate her into debt" as their legal dispute continues. In a statement on Friday afternoon, Wilde said the latest documents were leaked to the press and called coverage of their separation "relentless and traumatic."
"The sealed and private documents that were leaked today are the utmost breach of trust and never intended for public consumption. This private family matter, involving young children, has continued to be a tabloid fixture and the press coverage dating back a year has been relentless and traumatic," Wilde's rep tells Yahoo Entertainment. "Olivia only continues to be focused on co-parenting her children and moving past this difficult period swiftly and drama free."
A representative for Sudeikis did not comment when contacted by Yahoo.
The actors sparred over whether a California or New York court should determine custody and child support arrangements for their two kids: son Otis, 8, and daughter Daisy, 6. The Emmy-winning actor has been trying to get the case heard in New York while Wilde wants it in California. On Thursday, a New York judge rejected Sudeikis's petition for a second time and agreed the case should be heard in California, TMZ reported. A hearing was set in L.A. on Friday, but was canceled at the last minute due to the ruling. However, legal papers Wilde filed ahead of the court date made headlines due to some of her claims.
"While Jason can afford to spin his wheels with filing after filing, Olivia cannot," the director's lawyers wrote, according to The Daily Mail.
"Jason seems intent on throwing whatever he can against the wall to see what will stick, and this Request for Order seeking a stay of the California Parentage action is just the latest example," they add.
"Jason should not be permitted to litigate Olivia into debt, and then claim she should be deprived of her right to seek a needs-based fee contribution from him," Wilde's lawyers continue.
"While the details of Jason's finances are presently unknown as he refused to substantively respond to basic discovery, she is aware that he is far wealthier than she is," they claim.
In August 2022, a judge denied Sudeikis's request to have the case heard in New York. Wilde alleged in her filing she was blindsided by her ex appealing the decision.
"We were scheduled to start working with a family therapist in California in mid-January. I thought things were calming down and were going to move forward in a more amicable, respectful fashion," Wilde stated, per The Daily Mail. "Instead I learned on January 10, 2023 that the entire time I was negotiating the parenting time schedule in California, [Jason] was plotting to proceed with the New York Child Support proceeding behind my back."
Celebrity lawyer Chris Melcher, partner of Walzer Melcher & Yoda, breaks down to Yahoo Entertainment what this all means.
"Jason continues to dispute that California has jurisdiction to make a custody decision for their children, claiming that New York is the proper court to do that. It is a losing battle. The law is clear that the state where the children lived for six months before the action was filed has exclusive authority to make a custody determination," Melcher says.
"When Jason raised the issue last year, the New York and California judges conferred. It was found that California is the home state. The dispute should've ended there. But Jason has appealed the New York decision, and is asking the California court to hold off on making a custody determination until the jurisdictional battle is resolved by the New York Court of appeals," he continues. "The California court should go forward and make a custody determination. Jason's territorial appeal only delays the court assessing what's in the best interest of their children."
Melcher notes that an interstate jurisdictional battle, which is what's been happening, "is very expensive." There's a chance a California judge orders Sudeikis to reimburse Wilde for her legal fees.
Wilde and Sudeikis announced their separation in November 2020. The actress publicly moved on with Harry Styles, who starred in Don't Worry Darling, although she's maintained nothing happened between them until her and Sudeikis's nine-year relationship ended. Sudeikis and Wilde's former nanny blew up that timeline in the press; however, the actors were united in fighting back against many of her claims. It seemed as if the exes were getting along well after Wilde and Styles broke up at the end of last year — but the latest filing disputes that.
A source tells Entertainment Tonight that "the fact that [Wilde is] pleading poverty after having a successful career is insane."