How did Olivia Wilde end up having documents served on stage? : NPR


Director and actress Olivia Wilde holds an envelope reading ‘Personal and Confidential’ as she speaks on stage this week.

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How did Olivia Wilde end up having documents served on stage? : NPR

Director and actress Olivia Wilde holds an envelope reading ‘Personal and Confidential’ as she speaks on stage this week.

Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

The internet is full of opinions about what happened in the latest celebrity drama starring director and actress Olivia Wilde and the former Saturday Night Live former Jason Sudeikis, and yet many questions remain.

Did Sudeikis really ask Wilde, the mother of his children, to be served with custody papers while on stage at the CinemaCon convention?

Do we believe it Ted Lasso star, who is beloved for his kind character, when his reps say he thinks the whole incident was “inappropriate”?

In order to answer those questions, NPR spoke with Bill Falkner, owner of the Las Vegas-based Clark County Process Service, where Wilde was served. (His business did not serve Wilde.)

Falkner admits that processors can go to considerable, and sometimes uncanny, lengths to deliver legal documents on behalf of their clients.

“I’ve seen some weird things,” Falkner, who has worked in the industry since 2015, told NPR by phone.

But, he admits, this incident was more public than anything he has ever seen. (More than 4,000 industry people were reportedly in the audience, watching it all happen.)

The way the Wilde-Sudeikis affair was handled makes Falkner “curious to know what other methods and other attempts were made” to serve Wilde before the drama on stage.

“I’ve never met a client or been involved in a service where that would be the first thing we do,” he explained.

Usually an usher will try to serve a person at their home or workplace.

“It’s like a last ditch effort,” he said of the unusual way Wilde was served.

What exactly happened at CinemaCon?

Tuesday evening, while Wilde was on stage at CinemaCon in Las Vegas to present his new film, don’t worry darling, a man stood up from the audience, walked to the edge of the stage and slid a brown envelope towards her.

As she bent down to grab it, she said something like, “What’s that, a script?”

It certainly wasn’t.

How did Olivia Wilde end up having documents served on stage? : NPR

Director and actress Olivia Wilde examines an envelope marked “Personal and Confidential” onstage at the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas on April 26. A man from the audience had slipped the mysterious envelope towards her. It turns out that she was served with legal documents in an unusually public way.

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Greg Doherty/Getty Images

How did Olivia Wilde end up having documents served on stage? : NPR

Director and actress Olivia Wilde examines an envelope marked “Personal and Confidential” onstage at the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas on April 26. A man from the audience had slipped the mysterious envelope towards her. It turns out that she was served with legal documents in an unusually public way.

Greg Doherty/Getty Images

The envelope was found to contain legal documents “established to establish jurisdiction over the children of Ms. Wilde and Mr. Sudeikis”, Sudeikis’ representatives told the Los Angeles Times.

Wilde appeared unfazed by the contents of the mysterious envelope. Although it might have been a mortifying moment in Wilde’s life, she just kept talking about her movie.

Since the very public outage, Sudeikis reps have said he “had no prior knowledge of when or where the envelope would have been delivered, as it would depend only on the fulfillment service company. involved and he would never tolerate her being served in such an inappropriate way.”

The rules of the serving process

In Falkner’s business, how someone gets papers is up to them, Falkner said.

He said he prefers to consult with clients and their attorneys on delivery, “because if we don’t make clients happy, they don’t come back.”

Rules about when and where a person can be served vary from state to state. Falkner said while some states ban Sunday service and others limit the hours someone can be served, Nevada does not.

How did Olivia Wilde end up having documents served on stage? : NPR

Jason Sudeikis poses in the press room at the Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2021.

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How did Olivia Wilde end up having documents served on stage? : NPR

Jason Sudeikis poses in the press room at the Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2021.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

According to Falkner, who said he’s served his share of famous artists, a loose code of ethics is in place that states a processor should use common sense and not “do things that are inappropriate or cause undue attention or something like that”. But there are no real ramifications for violating that.

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When he finds himself in difficult situations to serve and cannot get close enough to someone to hand over documents, Falkner said he finds it helpful to involve the client as well as his attorney. to discuss new strategies.

“It gives me some cover” and ensures that at the end of the day he will always get paid, Falkner said.

Like the man who served Wilde on Tuesday, Falkner said he was part of a plan to track down someone at a Las Vegas casino.

It usually goes like this: “They say that person is going to be at that place at that time, and then we do some research and find out how much the tickets cost and things like that.” Then he bills the customer, or the customer offers to pay for an entrance ticket in advance.

“And then you just have to try to get as close to someone as possible to serve them.”

In other words, when it seems impossible, get creative.


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