It was supposed to be a day for Olivia Wilde to shine a spotlight on her highly-anticipated psychological thriller “Don’t Worry Darling.”
But when the director, producer and star took the stage in front of a packed audience at CinemaCon in Las Vegas this spring, things took an unexpected turn as she was suddenly handed an envelope containing custody papers.
It marked a shocking moment for the mother of two, who’d split from her former fiancé, “Ted Lasso” actor Jason Sudeikis, nearly two years earlier — a moment she’s now speaking out about in a new interview.
“It was my workplace,” the 38-year-old told Variety of the incident. “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," she continued. "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.”
And being served in such a public way meant the impact didn’t simply affect her. The act itself generated headlines that far eclipsed the topic of her CinemaCon visit.
“I hated that this nastiness distracted from the work of so many different people and the studio that I was up there representing,” she continued. “To try to sabotage that was really vicious. But I had a job to do; I’m not easily distracted.”
Shortly after the incident, sources close to her ex told NBC News, “Mr. Sudeikis had no prior knowledge of the time or place that 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.”
But in her interview, Wilde seemed to imply otherwise, noting that being served onstage "was not something that was entirely surprising" to her.
"I mean, there’s a reason I left that relationship," she added.
A spokesperson for Sudeikis declined to comment following the Variety interview, but reiterated Sudeikis was not aware Wilde was going to be served at CinemaCon.
Ultimately, Wilde said that it wasn't her or the cast and crew of "Don't Worry Darling" who truly suffered from what happened on that stage.
“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," she said.
Wilde and Sudeikis currently share custody of son Otis, 8, and daughter Daisy, 5.
"For me, it was appalling, but the victims were an 8- and 5-year-old, and that’s really sad," she explained. "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.”
CORRECTION (Aug. 25, 2022, 7:45 a.m.): An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Wilde was served custody papers at ComicCon. She was served at CinemaCon.