Scarlett Johansson and Romain Dauriac want the best for their 2-year-old daughter. The problem is, the former couple—who split last month—can't seem to agree on what that entails.
Less than 24 hours after it was reported that Scarlett had filed divorce papers—and that she and Romain would be fighting for custody over Rose Dorothy Dauraic—the actress broke her silence. "As a devoted mother and private person, and with complete awareness that my daughter will one day be old enough to read the news about herself, I would only like to say that I will never, ever be commenting on the dissolution of my marriage," she told E! News in a statement. "Out of respect for my desires as a parent and out of respect for all working moms, it is with kindness that I ask other parties involved and the media to do the same. Thank you."
In 2013, Scarlett and Roman began dividing their time between New York City and Paris. "My job takes me all over the place, so I don't even know where I live," she joked in Playboy's March/April issue. Scarlett assumed they were "kind of committed" to living in the U.S., since their daughter would soon be starting school, and they had "to commit to someplace."
But plans change.
Speaking to E! News Wednesday, Romain's attorney explained why the Paris-based popcorn shop owner is fighting back. "Under the laws of the United States, thankfully men and women are treated the same in reference to custody," Hal Mayerson said. "There are many cases where the fathers do a lot of traveling, and if they were to raise this same issue, you would you laugh. You can't hide behind a suit or a dress—it's what's in the best interest of the child."
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Hal argued that Romain "is the primary custodial parent," adding, "He wants her to be involved with her daughter, desperately, but you can't have schedules switching all the time. How do you explain that to a child? She's allowed to have her career, and there will be a certain degree of flexibility—but not to suit her schedule or Mr. Dauriac's. It will be one that suits the child."
As for Scarlett's desire to keep the custody battle in the family, Hal said, "People should have respect for their privacy, but she filed in the court system. She did. If she wants to continue to fight in the court system, she can't blame Mr. Dauriac for doing anything. She raised the issue."
Hal seemed confident he'll secure a victory for Romain. "If the court decides it's in the best interest of the child to be flying on a plane or changing their schedule all the time then I'm going to find a new business," he told E! News. "It's not fair to the kids or to the other parent."
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Romain told E! News, "It is indeed unfortunate, especially for our daughter, that Scarlett filed in court and made our personal differences so public. I would implore her to withdraw her action promptly and go back, as uncomfortable as it might be, to the negotiating table. We are the parents of a lovely daughter whom we will continue to co-parent for many years and share her joys and sorrows as only a parent can."