Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy divorce: Where did it go wrong?

Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy are splitting after less than five years of marriage. News of their breakup made headlines on Wednesday as the 33-year-old former child actress requested an emergency order to file for divorce amid the coronavirus pandemic. New York courts are not accepting divorce filings except in the case of an emergency.

Olsen reportedly claimed in documents she was being kicked out of their apartment and wanted to protect her property, so she needed to be able to file for divorce. (They share three residences in New York.) Her request was denied as a judge determined “that it is not an essential matter.” Neither Olsen nor the 50-year-old French banker has publicly commented, which isn’t surprising given the pair’s ultra-private lifestyle. The dramatic turn, though, has shocked fans.

Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy were together for eight years. Here they are at a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden in November 2012. (Photo: WireImage)

So, where did things go wrong for the couple? 

Olsen and Sarkozy began dating in 2012 after reportedly meeting at a party. Olsen, who is very reclusive, was drawn to his outgoing personality, a source told Entertainment Tonight.

“They're both very driven, intelligent and hard working, so there was definitely mutual respect there,” the insider says, explaining they were never bothered by their 17-year age gap. “They both have friends that span a wide range of ages and it didn’t seem to be a big deal to them.”

Olsen seemingly confirmed that in a rare interview.

“Everyone has an opinion,” she told the Wall Street Journal in October 2012 of their age difference. “I find it's better to focus on what's in front of you and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

Olivier Sarkozy and Mary-Kate Olsen attend the Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on December 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo: FilmMagic)

Sarkozy, the half-brother of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Olsen hardly ever discussed their romance. However, they made several public appearances together over the years. They regularly attended New York Knicks games and didn’t hide affection for one another. Engagement buzz swirled in the winter of 2014 as Olsen was repeatedly photographed with a ring on that finger, but per usual, she didn’t comment on the speculation. 

“If they are engaged, they haven't announced it to family and friends in France yet, but who knows,” a source in Sarkozy's home city of Paris told E! News at the time. “All we know is that Olivier will want a nice long engagement — he's been through a marriage already and had lovely kids, so he knows what it's all about.”

Sarkozy and ex-wife, Charlotte Bernard, split in 2010 after 13 years together. They share two children, son Julien and daughter Margot.

Their engagement wasn’t that long, though. Olsen and Sarkozy tied the knot on November 27, 2015 in an intimate ceremony at a private residence in Manhattan. Page Six reported around 50 guests were in attendance, including twin sister Ashley. At the reception there were “bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes, and everyone smoked the whole night,” the outlet claimed.

The newlyweds lived together in New York and all seemed well. Olsen spoke about finding a balance between juggling her personal life and fashion empire in another rare interview in 2017. 

“I think we’re lucky [working hard] comes quite naturally for us,” Olsen told Porter magazine. “We don’t need so much time to sit and think and ponder. But then I have a husband, two step-kids and a life; I have to go home and cook dinner. I ride horses on the weekends. You find the thing that helps you relax and if you don’t have it, look for it. Or you get burned out and then you’re not productive.”

Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier and Margot Sarkozy attend the 2018 Glasswing International Gala at Tribeca Rooftop on April 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo: WireImage)

Olsen and Sarkozy continued to step out together at various events in New York. In April 2018, the couple even brought along Margot Sarkozy to the Glasswing International Gala. Their last public sighting together appears to be from May 2019 when they attended the Longines Global Champions Tour in Spain. One year later, their split would make headlines.

Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy during Madrid-Longines Champions, the International Global Champions Tour at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid on May 18, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo: Getty Images)

Olsen alleged in documents that her estranged husband was trying to kick her out of their New York apartment, and that he terminated their lease without her knowledge. The fashion mogul signed a divorce petition on April 17, but New York courts are not accepting divorce filings due to COVID-19, except in cases of emergency. Her request was denied on Thursday with New York courts spokesperson Lucian Chalfen telling Yahoo Entertainment, “We are only accepting essential/emergency matters for filing.”

"The original filing was rejected by the New York County Clerk because they did not follow the essential matter procedure," Chalfen explained. "They refiled under the essential matter procedure and the matter was referred to the ex-parte judge, a New York State Supreme Court Judge. He determined that it is not an essential matter, so they can’t file anything at this point."

According to People, Olsen’s career put strain on their marriage.

“She's super career focused and he's very French and wanted her to be more available,” a source told the magazine. “You can't control a girl who has been on the billionaire track since her 20s.”

The divorce is “brutal,” according to Entertainment Tonight, while an insider tells E! News it’s “heated.”

“It's gotten very ugly between them,” E!’s insider claims of Olsen and Sarkozy’s current dynamic. “She's done with constant drama.”

Olsen’s publicist has not responded to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.

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