Attorney to the stars Raoul Felder is defending the Manhattan Supreme Court’s decision to deny Mary-Kate Olsen’s request to speed up the end of her marriage during a pandemic.
Mary-Kate Olsen’s request to submit an emergency divorce filing is “an abuse of the court” system at the time of a public health crisis, a top New York divorce attorney is saying. Raoul Felder tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY why he thinks Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Katz was absolutely right to deny the former child star her wish to officially start divorce proceedings against her husband, Pierre Olivier Sarkozy, 50. “That was entirely predictable,” Felder says, speaking a day after the May 14 ruling. “My own view of the world is that it’s an abuse of the court to try to even tell the court it’s an emergency.”
The celebrity lawyer’s reasoning is simple. The courts are closed, because the state is on a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He believes they should only be focused on urgent cases and a 33-year-old actress trying to divorce her husband because she claims he’s trying to kick her out of their NYC apartment doesn’t fall under that category, in his opinion. “We’re in the middle of a plague here,” Felder says. “We have children who are being brutalized, abandoned; there’s somebody foreclosing on a house, who is trying to toss somebody out of a house. This is just two rich people arguing over a divorce case and there’s other people who are waiting in line to try to get to court when they need it. You’re just thumbing your nose at them.”
Mary-Kate initially tried to end her four-and-a-half-year marriage to Sarkozy on April 17, according to a TMZ report, but she was denied. By then New York was already on lockdown and the courts were not accepting divorce filings, because they are not deemed essential during a health crisis. But, on May 13, she filed an emergency affidavit arguing that her application was “an essential matter.” “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,” Mary-Kate said in the affidavit, according to PEOPLE. “I am petrified that my husband is trying to deprive me of the home that we have lived in and if he is successful, I will not only lose my home but I risk losing my personal property as well.”
The Full House star also alleged that her husband is “trying to force” her out of their Gramercy Park apartment by his “failure to renew the lease.” Neither Mary-Kate nor Sarkozy have responded to HollywoodLife’s request for comment.
Felder argues that, even if Mary-Kate’s allegations are true, her husband cannot kick her out of their home. “She ought to read the newspapers,” says the lawyer, whose previous celeb clients include the late Johnnie Cochran and former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. “There’s a moratorium on evicting people [because of the coronavirus]… He can’t do it, by operation of law. The governor issued an order.”
Felder is even more baffled by this case because, Mary-Kate (who reportedly has a prenuptial agreement) is staying with her twin sister, Ashley Olsen, according to an E! News report. “How many different ways do you spell nonsense and how many different ways do you spell being spoiled?” Felder says, later adding that she “should just suck it up,” because “they didn’t do this pandemic just to hurt her.” “She’s going to have to stand in line to get to the courts like everybody else when they open up.”