No one knows what really goes on in a marriage, much less a divorce, so we have to take the latest news about Jaime King and Kyle Newman’s messy divorce and custody battle with a tablespoon of salt. The latest development is that writer-director Newman accused King of drug and alcohol abuse and is requesting full physical custody of their children, 7-year-old James and 4-year-old Leo.
Since the couple filed for divorce in May, their court filings and public statements have revealed a bitter, traumatic split. King initially filed a domestic violence prevention petition, accusing Newman of verbal and emotional abuse, according to People. She alleged that he had lied to family members and co-workers that she had a drug and alcohol problem and even forced her to go to a rehab facility, where she tested negative for drugs and alcohol. He, meanwhile, has cited her alleged addiction issues, accused her of using drugs while pregnant with Leo, and of driving under the influence with both children in the car.
Newman’s latest court filing states that King has failed and missed scheduled alcohol tests, and he wants her to have only supervised visitation during alternating weekends and one night a week.
“I have been the children’s primary caretaker since their birth and the children have spent the large majority of 2020 in my sole custody,” dad Newman says in court documents People obtained.
King’s rep disputes all of this, calling it a “false narrative.” Complicating all of this is the fact that these aren’t two regular people living in the same town doing office jobs. Both of them have had to travel to TV and movie shoots far from home during the pandemic. King was in Canada shooting the second season of Netflix’s Black Summer and now has the boys with her on location in Puerto Rico for a movie. Newman is now the one in Canada directing a movie.
“Jaime’s utmost priority has been the well-being of her children and she will continue to pursue this privately for their sake,” her rep told People. “She wishes Kyle only the best on set in Ontario where he is currently filming as well as successful sales of his newly released Dungeons and Dragons cookbook. She looks forward to harmonious co-parenting of the boys when everyone is back home in Los Angeles.”
(Is it just us, or does that mention of his D&D cookbook look like shade?)
Again, we have absolutely no idea who is telling the truth here. But from a parenting perspective, none of this looks good to us — unless both King and Newman have somehow been able to hide their fight from their kids entirely.
“It’s dangerous and damaging to children to use them in any way pinning one parent against the other,” Dr. Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent, told SheKnows in a recent interview not related to King and Newman. “The more loving parental thing to do during a separation and divorce is shield, guard, and protect your child with privacy and do everything possible to keep adult business between the two divorcing partners.”
Walfish does not know King or Newman, but as someone who has seen famous actors in her practice she said that peaceful co-parenting is particularly beneficial to people with their kinds of schedules.
“If you’re talking about celebrities, then comes the reality of shooting filming schedules and there are times when one parent is more available than the other,” she said. “And this is another reason why working collaborative co-parenting is so helpful and a goal for children, because what needs to be kept front and center always is the best interests of the children.”