Olivia Wilde gets candid about custody battle with ex Jason Sudeikis: 'There’s a reason I left that relationship'

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Olivia Wilde isn't mincing words when it comes to her custody battle with ex Jason Sudeikis.

The Don’t Worry Darling director addressed being served legal papers onstage at CinemaCon in April in a new interview with Variety. She described it as "vicious" and suggested the Ted Lasso star was trying to "sabotage" her as she was in the middle of a presentation to sell her film to movie theater owners from around the world. But Wilde — who shares Otis, 8, and Daisy, 5, with Sudeikis — added that she wasn't surprised.

Olivia Wilde, director of the upcoming film
Olivia Wilde — pictured after being served at CinemaCon in April — gets candid about her custody battle with ex Jason Sudeikis. (Photo: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

"It was my workplace," said Wilde, who was with Sudeikis for nine years until late 2020 — and then started dating Don't Worry Darling star Harry Styles. "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."

"I hated that this nastiness distracted from the work of so many different people and the studio that I was up there representing," said Wilde, who took the envelope from the process server and cooly continued her presentation. “To try to sabotage that was really vicious. But I had a job to do; I’m not easily distracted... But, you know, sadly, it was not something that was entirely surprising to me. I mean, there’s a reason I left that relationship."

For his part, Sudeikis said at the time he "had no prior knowledge of the time or place" Wilde would be served, as it was up to the process serving company. Further, "He would never condone her being served in such an inappropriate manner." A New York judge has since dismissed Sudeikis’s petition, which asked for Otis and Daisy to reside with him in New York. (Before Wilde and Sudeikis split, they had been splitting their time between London and Los Angeles after leaving New York.)

Wilde said "the only people who suffered" from the CinemaCon debacle "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. I chose to become an actress; I willingly walked into the spotlight. But it’s not something my children have asked for. And when my kids are dragged into it, it’s deeply painful."

Jason Sudeikis, left, and Olivia Wilde attend the Independent Filmmaker Project's 29th annual IFP Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday Dec. 2, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, pictured in 2019 were together for nine years and have two children. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Invision)

Wilde also spoke about their custody arrangement, saying they split custody with the exchange taking place every week. She said when she's with the children — in London, where she's based — she's devoted to them 24/7, making them breakfast and tucking them in at night.

"They are my world," she said. "They are my best friends."

Wilde just wishes she had more privacy as her family continues to transition into its new form.

"The last two years, my family has gone through this kind of restructuring and a revolution that should be a totally personal experience," she said. "And it’s not. The most painful element of it has been women shaming me for making a decision that was for my own health and happiness."

Wilde was dishy in the interview, also talking about why she fired Shia LaBeouf — who came with no shortage of baggage — from Don't Worry Darling. Styles was his replacement playing opposite Florence Pugh.

“I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work," Wilde said of LaBeouf. "His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances."

After LaBeouf was fired, FKA Twigs filed a lawsuit against LaBeouf, her former partner, for sexual battery.

"A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behavior,” Wilde said. “I find myself just really wishing him health and evolution because I believe in restorative justice. But for our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive. Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported."

And while there has been no shortage of rumors about discord between Wilde and Pugh, the House alum heaped praise on her, saying she "had been blown the f*** away by" Pugh in the 2019 film Midsommar. "I loved the film, but I loved her. I was just like, ‘Well, she’s extraordinary. She’s clearly the most exciting young actress working today.'"

It should be noted, Pugh declined to be interviewed for the story. There's been speculation Pugh felt Wilde and Styles's romance overshadowed the project. Pugh herself was critical that her sex scenes were so prominent in the first film trailer.

"There has been a lot out there that I largely don’t pay attention to," Wilde said of the rumored drama."But the absurdity of invented clickbait and subsequent reaction regarding a nonexistent pay disparity between our lead and supporting actors really upset me. I’m a woman who has been in this business for over 20 years, and it’s something that I have fought for myself and others, especially being a director. There is absolutely no validity to those claims."

Wilde also was tightlipped about her romance with Styles, which sparked on the set as her relationship with Sudeikis ended. They were first spotted together holding hands in January 2021.

"I’m not going to say anything about it because I’ve never seen a relationship benefit from being dragged into the public arena,” Wilde said. "We both go out of our way to protect our relationship; I think it’s out of experience, but also just out of deep love."

She did criticize the way their relationship has been covered — and the double standard she sees. She's judged for dating a younger man, as Styles is 10 years her junior, and she's labeled as an absent mom when she's out with him.

"When people see me not with my kids, it’s always 'How dare she,'" Wilde said. "I’ve never seen anyone say that about a guy. And if he is with his kid, he’s a f***ing hero."

Wilde and Styles addressed the "hateful energy" toward their relationship in an Rolling Stone interview earlier this week: