Olivia Wilde—not to mention the crowd she was addressing at CinemaCon Las Vegas in April—was shocked when she was interrupted in the middle of presenting the trailer for her upcoming directorial project, Don’t Worry Darling, by a stranger who handed her a manila envelope marked “personal and confidential.” First thought to be a script, it was later revealed that she had been served child custody papers from her former partner, Jason Sudeikis, who she had two kids with before they split up in 2020.
Wilde opened the envelope onstage but went on with the show.
Sudeikis said at the time that he had no idea where or when Wilde would be served, and that he wouldn’t have approved of it, but Wilde herself has not indicated whether she buys that story. Until now.
Wilde is still heated about what happened, she tells Variety.
“It was my workplace,” Wilde said. “In any other workplace, it would be seen as an attack. It was really upsetting. It shouldn’t have been able to happen. There was a huge breach in security, which is really scary. 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 forethought.”
An attorney familiar with the service process tells LAMag that although the rules vary by court jurisdiction, “It’s hard to believe that [Wilde] couldn’t be served more privately. [The process server] could have waited outside the theater. Imagine the other ways she could have been served—like outside an exit. This was just to embarrass her, to make a public statement, and to put her off balance.”
Wilde isn’t the only star to get served in a public or otherwise embarrassing way. In fact, it’s common for process servers to catch their target wherever they can find them.
- Tyga got served at his sneaker release party in 2015, according to VH1. Overdue on payments on a mansion he was renting, his landlord came calling. The process server got it done by posing for a photo with him and getting an autograph before slipping him the papers.
- In 2013, Ciara was served at her own show at the L.A. Pride Festival. Believing the papers were from a fan looking for an autograph, she soon got wise and threw the paperwork back into the crowd. The problem? A lawsuit over a dispute from Los Angeles nightclub Hit Factory, which alleged she was a no-show for a performance.
- Kim Kardashian, then known as Kim Kardashian-Humphries, was served at her home in 2012 via a subpoena inside a Nordstrom gift box to Kanye West sent to Kim’s house. Kris Humphries, in the midst of a divorce to Kim, was convinced that she was having an affair with West.
Getting served didn’t just interrupt Wilde from her own work, she said, but the work of everyone on the film.
“I hated that this nastiness distracted from the work of so many different people and the studio that I was up there representing,” she said. “To try to sabotage that was really vicious. But I had a job to do; I’m not easily distracted.” She added, “But, you know, sadly, it was not something that was entirely surprising to me. I mean, there’s a reason I left that relationship.”
Since the episode, a judge sided with Wilde, denying Sudeikis’ petition asking that their two children, Otis and Daisy, eventually come to live with him in New York. Custody is now split, with the kids shutting between Wilde and Sudeikis week to week.
“They are my world,” she said. “They are my best friends.”
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