Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis's former nanny is suing the pair for wrongful termination. The woman, Ericka Genaro, claims she suffered severe anxiety and stress amid their tumultuous 2020 breakup as she felt forced to "pick sides," and when she asked for a three-day leave of absence for her mental health, was abruptly fired. Genaro made headlines last year when she talked to the press about allegedly witnessing Wilde leave Sudeikis for Harry Styles.
Genaro began working for the actors in 2018 as their live-in nanny to care for couple's two young children. According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, Genaro started experiencing anxiety in Nov. 2020 when Wilde "abruptly" left the home. The actress's "sudden absence" had "an adverse consequence" as Genaro claims Sudeikis started leaning on her more for support.
"Although this shared trauma created a bond between [Genaro] and Sudeikis, [Genaro] became increasingly anxious and stressed with Sudeikis' tendency to seemingly require [Genaro] to stay up at night after the kids were put to bed to talk, whereas that dynamic did not occur before Wilde's absence," the lawsuit reads. "The subject matter of these late-night conversation with Sudeikis naturally evolved to speaking about Wilde which [Genaro] felt compelled to engage in despite creating extreme anxiety to her as she ostensibly felt she had to 'pick sides' between the parents of the children she was ostensibly the primary caretaker."
Yahoo Entertainment reached out to reps for Sudeikis and Wilde, but did not immediately receive responses.
Genaro claims the pressure of "being the primary caretaker of the children" and "filling in" for Wilde "became debilitating." She alleges her anxiety from the situation in the household "became close to unbearable" in the weeks after Wilde left. Genaro felt compelled to talk to the filmmaker.
The lawsuit details an alleged meeting in which Genaro confided in Wilde how Sudeikis's "late-night conversations" caused her stress. Wilde was directing Don't Worry Darling in Palm Springs, Calif. at the time. Genaro felt a "sense of relief" after the seemingly private conversation — until she learned in Dec. 2020 that Wilde relayed everything to Sudeikis. Genaro claims Sudeikis confronted her and used the information against her to get her on his side. The next two months, Genaro's "anxiety and stress did not get any better."
Wilde and Sudeikis agreed to go to group therapy with Genaro "because of her position within the family dynamic." With the help of her therapist, she detailed "her physical pain, anxiety and stress." In Feb. 2021, Genaro apparently informed Sudeikis she could not continue as their nanny, but would stay on up to five months to transition a new caretaker. Around this time, Genaro's therapist referred her to an osteopath, who recommended she take a three-day "radio-silence" break from communicating with the actors to alleviate stress.
Within hours of Sudeikis learning about Genaro's requested medical leave, the Emmy-winner supposedly demanded they speak and he "terminated her on the spot." Genaro claims she was thrown out of the house and told to go to a hotel, per the lawsuit, and was unsuccessful in getting any support from Wilde. She believes the firing "was because of her disability of anxiety/depression, and for seeking the reasonable accommodation of a three day leave of absence for same."
Genaro has filed a discrimination complaint with the Civil Rights Department for the State of California. She's seeking an unspecified amount in damages for wrongful termination, lost earnings and deferred compensation, among other losses of employment benefits.
"Ms. Wilde and Mr. Sudeikis really stepped in it by firing my client when she needed a 72-hour break from the emotional chaos their split created, as prescribed by her physician," said Ron Zambrano, Genaro's attorney. "Employees are most vulnerable when they need time off to care for themselves. Laws are in place for just that reason, to afford them peace of mind to take that time without fear of losing their jobs."
In October, The Daily Mail published a pair of interviews from Genaro, although her name was not made public at the time. She blew up the timeline of Wilde and Styles's romance and claimed the actress left a heartbroken Sudeikis for the musician. (Yes, she's the source of the infamous salad dressing spat.) At the time, Sudeikis and Wilde came together to dismiss many of the woman's claims.
"As parents, it is incredibly upsetting to learn that a former nanny of our two young children would choose to make such false and scurrilous accusations about us publicly," they said in a statement at the time. "Her now 18 month long campaign of harassing us, as well as loved ones, close friends and colleagues, has reached its unfortunate apex. We will continue to focus on raising and protecting our children with the sincere hope that she will now choose to leave our family alone."
Wilde and Sudeikis are still at odds over custody of their two children, 8-year-old son, Otis, and Daisy, 6. However, they were spotted hugging last month after a dramatic few years. A source told Yahoo Entertainment they are working on "amicably" co-parenting.
"Olivia and Jason just want what's best for the kids," the insider explains, confirming tension between the two has eased in recent months since Wilde split from Styles. "Their children will always be their first priority."