Olivia Wilde says trolls accuse her of being ‘terrible mother’ when she’s photographed with Harry Styles

·4-min read

Olivia Wilde has spoken out about the “horrendous” judgement and criticism she’s faced from trolls about her parenting abilities since ending her relationship with Jason Sudeikis.

The Don’t Worry Darling director, 38, who shares children Otis, eight, and Daisy, five, with Sudeikis, ended her relationship with the Ted Lasso star in November 2020, after more than a decade together.

Wilde has since been romantically linked to Harry Styles after they met on the set of her upcoming psychological thriller, in which the pop star stars. The pair appeared to confirm their relationship in January 2021, when they were photographed holding hands.

In the months since she and Sudeikis separated, Wilde, who has been living part time in London with Styles, has been photographed with the singer and without her children on a number of occasions. According to Wilde, moments like these have frequently been followed by criticism online, where she has faced accusations that she is neglecting her son and daughter.

Wilde addressed the comments during a new interview with Vanity Fair, in which she revealed that she has been judged for separating from Sudeikis and for being a “terrible mother”.

“I’ve had women judging me for separating from Jason. There are people who feel entitled to hurl horrendous insults at me and my family. Telling me I’m a terrible mother. Threatening me and my kids or saying I should lose my children,” Wilde said.

According to the House star, the criticism stems from trolls assuming that, when she is photographed with Styles, she is neglecting her children. However, as Wilde noted, she and Sudeikis have joint custody, and when her children are with their father, she continues to “live [her] life”.

“When they are with their father, I trust him to be a great parent. So when they’re not with me, I continue to live my life. But the judgement I’ve seen from people for living my life…” she said.

The criticism is not confined to internet trolls either, as Wilde recalled a moment in February 2021 when talk-show host Wendy Williams condemned the actor on-air for leaving her family.

“You don’t throw away your kids and your fiancé,” Williams said at the time, before adding: “When your children grow up, Olivia, you’re going to look like the worst mother who ever done it.”

While reflecting on the moment, Wilde said that she was left heartbroken, not because of Williams’ comments, but because of the cheering from the audience in response to the talk-show host’s words.

“It broke my heart, not because I care deeply about the opinion of Wendy Williams, but the applause from the audience made me sick,” Wilde said. “I was like: ‘Why are these women finding pleasure in this moment? Is it because it somehow makes them feel better about their lives, judgements and choices without ever wondering why I might have made those choices?’”

As for how she handles the constant criticism, the 38 year old said that she employs the words of Michelle Obama, who said: “When they go low, we go high,” and reminds herself that just a small group of people really know what goes on in her private life.

She told Vanity Fair that she also reminds herself that her self-worth is in “no way” connected to public perception, “because that’s just a losing battle”.

In addition to the vitriol she faces, Wilde also spoke about the impact on her children, with the director referencing the incident when she was publicly served legal papers regarding the former couple’s joint custody details while on stage at CinemaCon.

According to Wilde, who told the outlet that she has been “very up front” with her two children about her and their father’s relationship, she wouldn’t have spoken about the incident if it hadn’t been public, as she would have wanted to protect her son and daughter.

“If that experience hadn’t been public, I never would have spoken of it, because I never would want my kids to know that happened. Unfortunately, they will know that happened,” she said, while questioning at one point: “Haven’t the kids been through enough?”

Elsewhere in the interview, Wilde addressed the speculation that her relationship with Styles overlapped with her relationship with her former fiancé, who she was engaged to for seven years. According to the director, the rumours she cheated on Sudeikis with Styles are “complete horses**t”.

“The complete horseshit idea that I left Jason for Harry is completely inaccurate,” she said. “Our relationship was over long before I met Harry.”