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Celebrity Docket - Olsen v. Sarkozy: From Full House to No House


Hello friends and thank goodness it’s Friday! Before we break for the weekend, we have one more matter to deal with. Cue the lights for the Celebrity Docket in the matter of Mary Kate Olsen v. Pierre Sarkozy.

If you are wondering why these names sound familiar, it’s probably because you remember Mary Kate Olsen from her Full House days on television. Or, maybe you recognize the name “Sarkozy.” That’s because Pierre Sarkozy is the half-brother of the former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. Mary Kate and Pierre tied the knot five years ago. Now, it appears the couple is heading to court to litigate their divorce, or, rather we should say trying. It seems that COVID-19 has put a wrinkle in Mary Kate’s litigation strategy.

Earlier this week, Mary Kate apparently tried to file for divorce on “emergency” grounds with the New York State Supreme Court. Allegedly, Pierre decided to unilaterally terminate the parties’ lease for their New York City apartment thereby leaving Mary Kate without a home in the middle of a pandemic (fear not, sources say, she’s in the Hamptons quarantining with friends). From a contractual standpoint, this likely means that Mary Kate was not even on the lease to begin with (red flag, anyone?). Regardless, several celebrity news sources say that Pierre is also demanding that Mary Kate vacate the apartment next week, prior to the termination of the lease. Mary Kate’s attorneys labeled the predicament an “emergency” matter.

According to Mary Kate’s court filings, which were obtained by the news outlet, Page Six, Mary Kate wrote, “This application is an emergency because my husband expects me to move out of our home on Monday, May 18, 2020 in the middle of New York City being on pause due to COVID-19.” At the end of the day, a New York judge reviewed Mary Kate’s filings and ruled that there was no emergency, and therefore, her divorce filings could not go through. This also means that her requests regarding the New York apartment would not be addressed. Now, Mary Kate will have to wait until the court lifts some of their filing restrictions in light of COVID-19.

If Mary Kate lived in the Commonwealth of Virginia, however, she could have filed for her divorce. Now, having the court address her requests regarding the apartment is a bit more complicated. Currently, Virginia courts have restrictions for scheduling non-emergency hearings in light of COVID-19. So, if she wanted the court to hear her request, then she would still would have had to prove that there was an “emergency.” However, beginning Monday, May 18, 2020, Virginia courts are allowing individuals to schedule non-emergency matters. If Mary Kate tried to file to schedule a hearing to stop Pierre from moving her stuff out of the apartment, she would be able to do so this coming week without proving an “emergency” situation exists. In Virginia, we would call this type of hearing a pendente lite hearing, which is when there are certain requests for injunctive relief (where we want one party to be ordered to do, or not to do, something specific). This type of hearing could allow a judge tell Pierre to cease his conduct of kicking Mary Kate to the curb (or, uhhh, the Hamptons). Whether Mary Kate would prevail with her requests is a different story. We’ll stay tuned on the Mary Kate Olsen v. Pierre Sarkozy case and see how the details get played out in court when the time comes...when they can actually file for divorce!

Does this seem like a bunch of wasted time and effort? Or maybe, it seems like a situation where attorneys are padding their vacation funds? We’ll let Mary Kate decide while she packs up her Louis Vuitton luggage collection and relocates to the Hamptons until further notice.

If you are considering filing a divorce matter in Virginia or if you require immediate temporary relief in your divorce matter, give us a call today at 757-226-9425, so we can discuss the unique facts of your case and empower you to make the best decisions for your future.

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