“Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis had “no prior knowledge,” according to his personal team, that his former fiancée, actor-director Olivia Wilde, would be served custody papers as she stood onstage in front of a packed audience at CinemaCon in Las Vegas Tuesday.
So how common is it for someone to get served while in the intense glare of a public spotlight? A legal expert spoke to TODAY on the topic.
“This is a relatively drastic step to serve her while she’s presenting,” family law attorney David Glass, who is not representing either star, said about the incident.
Wilde received the papers from a process server, a person hired to personally deliver official legal documents related to court cases. But according to Glass, there’s often no need for a process server to become involved in cases like these.
Although Wilde, who shares 8-year-old son Otis and 5-year-old daughter Daisy with Sudeikis, was interrupted as she was introducing the trailer for her new film, “Don’t Worry Darling,” at Tuesday’s event, Glass noted that, ordinarily, attorneys make arrangements to accept such papers.
Sources close to Sudeikis told NBC News on Friday that they had no statements on behalf of the actor’s attorneys or the process service company.
While the circumstances behind the need for a process service in the case of Sudeikis and Wilde are unknown, the question remains as to why Wilde was served in such a high-profile way.
To that point, in general terms, Glass explained, “The rules for process servers are relatively limited. Process servers are allowed to go anywhere the public is allowed to go and to try and hand these papers to one of the parties. They’re not allowed to go into private residences. If you live in a private gated community, they’re not allowed to go in."
Still, though they’re allowed to hand over papers publicly, Wilde’s situation, in which she was handed a manila enveloped marked “personal and confidential” as fans and press looked on, was far more public than most people ever face.
“It’s highly unusual and intrusive," Glass said. "And likely to get back to the children on the elementary school playground."
When news first broke about Tuesday’s incident at CinemaCon, sources close to Sudeikis told NBC News via email that “papers were drawn up to establish jurisdiction relating to the children of Ms. Wilde and Mr. Sudeikis.”
The message continued, stating, “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.”