Nearly four months after the incident, Olivia Wilde has broken her silence about being served Jason Sudeikis’ custody papers while on stage at the CinemaCon industry convention.
The strange moment occurred in April while Wilde was presenting her latest directorial effort, Don’t Worry Darling, starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles. Someone walked up to the stage and handed Wilde a manila envelope marked “Personal and Confidential.” Reports initially stated the contents were a script, but it was later revealed they were child custody papers from her ex-fiancé, Sudeikis.
“In any other workplace, it would be seen as an attack. It was really upsetting,” Wilde told Variety in a new cover story. She went on to say that the incident was especially scary because of what amounted to “a huge breach in security.” “The hurdles that you had to jump through to get into that room with several badges, plus special COVID tests that had to be taken days in advance, which gave you wristbands that were necessary to gain access to the event — this was something that required forthought.”
In a statement, Sudeikis claimed to have “had no prior knowledge of the time or place the envelope would have been delivered as this would solely be up to the process service company involved and he would never condone her being served in such an inappropriate manner. ” The documents “were drawn up to establish jurisdiction relating to the children of Ms. Wilde and Mr. Sudeikis,” eight-year-old Otis and five-year-old Daisy.
Wilde noted that receiving the papers in public at an industry event “distracted from the work” of everyone involved in the film. “But, you know, sadly, it was not something that was entirely surprising to me. I mean, there’s a reason I left that relationship,” she said.
As upsetting as the incident was for her, she said that it was even more “deeply painful” that it involved her children. “The only people who suffered were my kids, because they’ll have to see that, and they shouldn’t ever have to know that happened. For me, it was appalling, but the victims were an 8- and 5-year-old, and that’s really sad,” Wilde said. “I chose to become an actress; I willingly walked into the spotlight. But it’s not something my children have asked for.”
Perhaps because of this, Wilde has decided to push back her next project. She’s set to direct Perfect, a 1990s-set biopic centered on Olympic gold medalist gymnast Kerri Strug, with Thomasin McKenzie attached to star. The script has gone back into a re-development phase as it’s updated to reflect elements of the USA Gymnastics sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the sport and the nation. Wilde has decided to use the opportunity to take a formal break from Hollywood.
“It became clear to me that this year was a time for me to be a stay-at-home mom,” she says. “It was not the year for me to be on a set, which is totally all-encompassing. It was time for me to pause and devote myself to the kids when I have them.”
Wilde and Sudeikis were together from 2011 to 2020, getting engaged in 2013 but never marrying. They announced their split at the end of ’20; at the time, it was reported they’d broken off the engagement at the start of the year, though Sudeikis later stated they didn’t officially call it quits until November. Wilde has since been dating Styles, whom she met when she cast him to replace Shia LaBeouf (who had reportedly been fired for poor behavior) in Don’t Worry Darling.