Mary-Kate Olsen intended to keep her blockbuster divorce documents a secret, but the coronavirus shattered her privacy. The papers, filed on May 14 were meant to be sealed, as is usual in such sensitive matters, legal sources familiar with the situation told The Post. However, with New York State Supreme Courts closed, they went into an e-filing system — meaning they were not automatically sealed.
For Mary-Kate, who cherishes privacy above everything, having her divorce go public has been “extremely difficult,” according to a fashion source who has worked with her.
But when the child star-turned-fashion designer asked for an emergency divorce petition earlier this month — declaring that she was “petrified” of being forced out of her home by husband, Olivier Sarkozy, amid the pandemic — the news, of course, spread like wildfire.
Mary-Kate, 33, is described as “very strong” by friends, but sources told The Post that she was pushed into filing the papers after Olivier, 50, ended not just their marriage but also the lease on their $29,000-a-month Gramercy Park apartment.
She claimed in court documents that, “My husband expects me to move out of our home on [May 18] in the middle of New York City being on pause due to COVID-19.” But a judge ruled the filing wasn’t an essential matter and would have to wait. She has moved to the Hamptons but may well get the matter settled soon, as courts are opening this coming week.
Emails added to the court documents by Sarkozy reveal that Olivier has requested building management for permission to move his things out, but so far been denied because of the pandemic lockdown. “The apartment is just sitting there,” a source who knows Olivier said.
While the petite millionaire, who found fame as a baby alongside her twin, Ashley, in the ’80s sitcom “Full House,” is out east with her sister and friends, Olivier remains in Manhattan with family.
“Mary-Kate is okay,” said the fashion source. “But it would not have been her decision to end a marriage and move during a pandemic.”
And, insiders say, it’s not going to get any easier from here.
“[Olivier] seems like a fun guy when you meet him but he is a shark. Very tough,” said another Olivier source based in Paris. “He’s not somebody you want to go up against. His divorce from [his first wife] got very messy for a while and they really went after each other. Don’t underestimate him if it gets messy with Mary-Kate.”
As for what led to the breakdown of the marriage, a New York society source said Olivier had “completely changed” toward Mary-Kate, adding: “Even his view of the marriage had changed, which surprised people who knew them.” According a report in People, Olivier wanted a stay-at-home wife — something Mary-Kate, who has forged a huge fashion empire with her sister, would never be.
It’s a bleak end for the couple, although their romance always struck some as a strange pairing. Olivier is 17 years older, and, at six-foot-three, towers over his five-foot-tall wife. He is the half-brother of former French President Nicholas Sarkozy; she once co-starred in the movie “Passport to Paris.” He comes from the universe of finance — he’s now the Managing Partner/Founder of Further Global Capital Management LP — while Mary-Kate is embroiled in the bohemian fashion world. She and Ashley started their label The Row in 2006, followed by the offshoot Elizabeth and James.
“Olivier is not somebody you want to go up against.”
– A Parisian source on Olivier Sarkozy as he divorces Mary-Kate Olsen
But the couple were smitten when they started dating in 2012. Mary-Kate sparked engagement rumors two years later when wearing a vintage Cartier ring valued at $81,000. In August 2015, the couple were spotted at billionaire Ron Perelman’s annual Hamptons fundraiser for the Apollo Theater. Perched on Olivier’s knee, Mary-Kate beamed as she whispered into his ear, all while surrounded by some of the richest and most powerful people in the US.
One guest noted: “I thought it was an odd coupling. She’s very, very quiet. He’s outgoing.”
Later that year, the two wed at a home in Manhattan in front of some 50 guests, who were offered what Page Six described as “bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes” — a detail that’s since become legend in gossip circles.
Michael Pagnotta, who was Mary-Kate and Ashley’s publicist for 10 years, told The Post: “I never found their relationship strange. The girls grew up around older, successful men from a very early age because they were so young when they started in [show] business. Both Ashley and Mary-Kate were used to dealing with older, decisive people who became very influential in their lives and careers and who they saw as peers. I can understand why Mary-Kate would be with a guy like him.”
Before getting together with Olivier, Mary-Kate dated David Katzenberg, the son of Dreamworks co-founder David Katzenberg, and Greek playboy Stavros Niarchos. Meanwhile, this will be Sarkozy’s second divorce, after a very public split with Charlotte Bernard, the mother of his two kids, in 2010.
She and Olivier got into a messy fight over their prenup. Afterward, Charlotte, who lives in NYC, penned the book “Men Are Like Melons: A French Woman’s Guide to Surviving Divorce and Finding Love in the Era of the App.” According to the book’s publicity campaign, “There’s an old French saying: Men are like melons. Out of ten, you’ll find one that’s good.”
Charlotte and Olivier share son Julien, currently a student at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Their daughter, Margot, is three years younger.
This past week, reports surfaced that Mary-Kate and Olivier split because of her desire to have children, but the fashion source is skeptical and said, “I’m not so sure about that. All I know is that Mary-Kate loves Olivier’s kids.”
As with his marriage to Charlotte, Olivier also signed a prenup with Mary-Kate. According to the court documents, she has asked for a judge to uphold it and for Sarkozy to pay her medical and dental bills.
But Mary-Kate is hardly hurting for money. “The Olsens have as much money as Sarkozy does, maybe more,” said the fashion source. “Both of the girls have a lot of confidence in themselves and in business. Mary-Kate is very strong, both she and Ashley are. These girls are nothing like you expect them to be. Mary-Kate will survive.”
But, even though Sarkozy hasn’t lived in France for decades and isn’t that close to his half-brother, he is still very much a Frenchman at heart.
“He sees himself as the alpha male,” the Paris source said. “He will get even more French as he fights her. They can turn cold very fast on their wives once the relationship is over.”
— Additional reporting by Dana Kennedy