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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Maddy Mussen

Royal divorce lawyers and Rebel Wilson allegations: inside Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen's divorce

For as long as their relationship has existed, Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen have been considered an “unlikely” Hollywood couple. Their pairing often sat below headlines such as ‘Top 10 weird celebrity couples’ and ‘Ten famous couples you didn't know were an item’, despite the pair having been together since 2002.

But for all the raised eyebrows, the couple always seemed to make it work. Until last week, when sexual harassment allegations surrounding Baron Cohen’s behaviour towards actress and former co-star Rebel Wilson made headlines. Then the couple went public. “In 2023, we jointly filed to end our marriage,” said a statement posted to Fisher’s Instagram. “We have always prioritised our privacy, and have been quietly working through this change.” The couple share three children and, true to their professed love of privacy, their names are unknown.

The timing of the pair’s statement about their divorce — which comes after they filed privately last year — combined with the Wilson allegations has raised more than a few questions. So we’re here to answer them. This is the full breakdown of Fisher and Baron Cohen’s not-so-sudden divorce.

Rebel Wilson accused Sacha Baron Cohen of mistreatment on set

Rebel Wilson and Sacha Baron Cohen in The Brothers Grimsby (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Last week, with the world still unaware of the couple’s divorce, headlines about Rebel Wilson’s new memoir suddenly turned the spotlight onto Sacha Baron Cohen.

Wilson said that while on set with Baron Cohen she had felt “completely disrespected, which led to me treating myself with even more disrespect by eating in an extremely unhealthy way.”

Behind the scenes footage obtained by the Daily Mail appeared to show Wilson consenting to a sex scene, but the actress hit back at the outlet, saying: “'It is an a**hole move to release footage of one part of that disgusting episode while leaving out everything that preceded it,”

In response to the allegations, a representative for Sacha Baron Cohen said: “While we appreciate the importance of speaking out, these demonstrably false claims are directly contradicted by extensive detailed evidence, including contemporaneous documents, film footage, and eyewitness accounts from those present before, during and after the production of The Brothers Grimsby.”

Isla Fisher is rumoured to have consulted a divorce lawyer in 2022

(Getty Images)

As speculation swirled over the timing of Fisher and Baron Cohen’s divorce announcement, sources told The Sun that it was, in fact, a long time coming. Perhaps even longer than first thought. “Isla has known for some time the marriage was over, and after some difficult conversations with Sacha, made the decision to consult a divorce lawyer. This was back in early summer, 2022,” the source claimed.

Her rumoured choice of divorce lawyer is also quite a tough operator, having previously worked for Sir Paul McCartney and Princes Charles and Andrew during their divorces.

“Fiona Shackleton was recommended by mutual contacts, and Isla was put in touch with an associate at the office,” The Sun’s source added. “It was also suggested she seek out a lawyer in the US, where the couple have a home. Fiona is an incredible lawyer, and utterly fearsome in both reputation and ability.”

(PA Archive)

In Fisher and Baron Cohen’s statement disclosing their divorce, the couple make things seem very amicable between them — weird sports analogies aside. “After a long tennis match lasting over twenty years, we are finally putting our racquets down,” the couple shared in a joint statement on Fisher’s Instagram, alongside a picture of them wearing tennis outfits. “In 2023 we jointly filed to end our marriage. We have always prioritized our privacy and have been quietly working through this change. We forever share in our devotion and love for our children. We sincerely appreciate your respecting our family’s wish for privacy.”

Fisher side-stepped questions about their Valentine’s Day plans this year

(Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

In accordance with claims that Fisher and Baron Cohen wanted to give the divorce some time to settle in privately before going public with the news, is an interaction that aired just a few weeks ago. Fisher was quizzed on The Kelly Clarkson Show about her Valentine’s Day plans and avoided confirming whether she and Baron Cohen had any plans this year, but added that Baron Cohen always gets her a Valentine’s Day card.

“Every year, Sacha does give me a card that’s like, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day from…’ and then there’s like a giant question mark,” she said, “As if anyone else would send me [one], as if I have any other Valentine’s. I’m a mother of three.”

To make matters even more wince-inducing, an unknowing Clarkson proceeds to call the pair “couple goals.”

Isla Fisher allegedly led the divorce reveal because she was ‘embarrassed’ by the allegations against Baron Cohen


According to The Sun, sources have claimed that Isla was “starting to get embarrassed” about the claims in Wilson’s memoir, which acted as “a catalyst” in her decision to announce the split.

“[...] She felt as though it was the right thing to do to inform everyone of their decision,” the source claims.

Another source’s sentiment differs, claiming, “They went to great lengths to keep things 'business as usual' on social media so as to control the narrative in a way they both felt comfortable with. This decision wasn't taken lightly and they remain incredibly close. There's still a lot of love there.”

The couple have asserted that their divorce and statement were both joint decisions.

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