Scarlett Johansson and Romain Dauriac: How the Notoriously Private Pairing Erupted Into a Public Divorce Battle

Exes are fighting for custody of their 2-year-old daughter

By McKenna Aiello Mar 09, 2017 1:00 AMTags

So much for keeping one's personal life, well, personal. 

In the last 24 hours, we've seen the nuances surrounding Scarlett Johansson and Romain Dauriac's split depart from what many assumed would transpire peacefully and privately to remarkably public and contentious. After the Ghost in the Shell star released a statement responding to reports she had filed for divorce from the father of her 2-year-old daughter, claiming she will "never, ever comment" on their split, Dauriac responded Wednesday with his own take. 

The art curator tells E! News in a statement, "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 to go back, as uncomfortable as it might be, to the negotiating table."

Romain continues, "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."

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The outbreak in back and forth between Scarlett and Romain comes down to a custody agreement for Rose Dorothy Dauraic. Romain's attorney Hal Mayerson claimed both parties were in the midst of private negotiations when Johansson enlisted the Manhattan Supreme Court to aid in processing an official divorce. In his words, Mayerson argued, "[Scarlett is] 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."

After marrying in 2014, the now-exes began splitting their time between New York City and Dauriac's native Paris—an added layer to the husband and wife's demanding schedules they seemed, at least outwardly, to have a strong handle on. 

In a 2016 interview with Cosmpolitan, Scarlett said "moving to Paris" was the best decision she's ever made. "We're both street rats," she explained of their dynamic. "Being a New Yorker is a part of your personality, and he grew up in the heart of Paris. Just surviving the urban jungle is character building."

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Then speaking to Playboy for their March/April 2017 issue, seemingly before news of their breakup surfaced, Scarlett praised Romain for sacrificing a life in Paris for the sake of their family: "[Moving] was a huge transition for both of us, and certainly for him—moving here, committing to the States. But I think my husband has embraced America, and New York in particular, in this really endearing way."

"I guess now we're kind of committed to living here because with our daughter we have to commit to someplace," she added.

And to make this certain celebrity split even more confusing, a smiling Scarlett and Romain posed hip to hip at an art exhibition in NYC on the same day news of their separation surfaced. Sure, any resentment between the two dissipated in the months between a reported summer breakup and their latest public appearance, but how could things sour so quickly?

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From Scarlett and Romain's track record alone, we'd venture to say an answer to this question would never come from their mouths. Since her first marriage to Ryan Reynolds, Johansson has prided herself on fiercely guarding the public and media from peeking in. 

"I'm such a newbie at this," ScarJo told Australia's Daily Telegraph two years ago. "I always really hate it when actors or people in the spotlight make giant grandiose statements about parenthood because it's so, so personal. And I don't profess to know anything more about parenting than anybody else."

With this, we direct your attention to Johannson's latest statement, which simultaneously demands privacy but also—in a move so unlike her typical image control—exposes her divorce drama in a vulnerable way. 

She shared with E! News, "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. 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."

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And that's not say Scarlett's relationship with fame isn't allowed to evolve and change. After all, she reflected on coming to terms with the fact that, no matter how many precautions, she'll never fully be able to shield Rose from being Scarlett Johansson's daughter.

The 32-year-old told Parade of isolating her family, "At some point, you have to take your life back and say, 'You know what? If I feel like picking up my dry cleaning and if someone's going to photograph me doing it, so what?' Part of being with your kids is making them feel as safe and normal as you can."

Maybe Scarlett suddenly flipping the switch is her way of doing exactly that—taking back her life. But as both Johansson and Romain have already proven, it won't happen without a fight.