Justin Hartley's wife suspects he's lying about separation date to protect lucrative secret deal: report

Justin Hartley's estranged wife was reportedly blindsided by the separation date listed in his divorce filing,but her legal team has a pretty compelling theory.

Chrishell Stause and the "This Is Us" actor got engaged in July 2016, just two months before the NBC show debuted and quickly became a massive hit. They wed in October 2017, and according to Stause, they remained committed until just a few weeks ago — which makes it odd that Hartley cites July 8, 2019 of their date of separation.

The date raised eyebrows because Stause and Hartley have made public outings as a couple multiple times since their supposed mid-summer separation: On July 31, the two smiled for dozens of photos together at an event for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and in September, they were by each other's sides at the Emmy Awards. They also hit a Golden Globes Ambassadors party on November 14.

Stause now suspects that Hartley signed a lucrative deal sometime shortly after July 8 and "she believes he just doesn't want her to get a piece," according to TMZ.

PHOTOS: Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause in recent months

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Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause in recent months
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Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause in recent months
US actor Justin Hartley and wife US actress Chrishell Stause attend the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Annual Grants Banquet at The Beverly Wilshire, in Beverly Hills on July 31, 2019. (Photo by Lisa O'CONNOR / AFP) (Photo credit should read LISA O'CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JULY 31: (L-R) Chrishell Hartley and Justin Hartley attend the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Annual Grants Banquet at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on July 31, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: (L-R) Justin Hartley and Chrishell Hartley attend the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: (L-R) Justin Hartley and Chrishell Hartley attend the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Chris Sullivan, Justin Hartley, Chrishell Stause and Lauren Ash join Moet & Chandon at the HFPA and The Hollywood Reporter’s Celebration of the 2020 Golden Globe Ambassadors at Catch on November 14, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 05: Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley arrives at the 10th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Los Angeles at Will Rogers State Historic Park on October 05, 2019 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 05: Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley arrives at the 10th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Los Angeles at Will Rogers State Historic Park on October 05, 2019 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
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Notably, Stause has a powerful advocate on her side: Her lawyer, Samantha Spector, was highlighted in The Hollywood Reporter in 2018 as one of Hollywood's top divorce lawyers; she counts Amber Heard and Jenna Dewan among her high-profile clients. (Heard divorced Johnny Depp in 2017 and Dewan recently finalized her divorce from Channing Tatum.)

The attorney is asking Hartley to pay Stause spousal support, which he does not want to do, TMZ reports.

Hartley and Stause share no children. Hartley has one child from a previous marriage.

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Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause together
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Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause together
PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 05: (L-R) Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley attend the 10th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Los Angeles at Will Rogers State Historic Park on October 05, 2019 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Veuve Clicquot)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause arrive at the Walt Disney Television Emmy Party on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JULY 31: Chrishell Hartley and Justin Hartley attend the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Annual Grants Banquet at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on July 31, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 09: Actors Chrishell Stause (L) and Justin Hartley (R) attend the Los Angeles Confidential Magazine Impact Awards at The Line Hotel on June 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 02: Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley at Critics' Choice Real TV Awards, portraits by TAP The Artists Project, June 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage for The Artists Project )
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07: Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley attend Washington Wizards v New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on April 7, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 23: Chrishell Hartley and Justin Hartley attend Netflix's "Selling Sunset" launch party on March 23, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images for OPPENHEIM GROUP)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Chrishell Stause (L) and Justin Hartley attend the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 26: (L-R) Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley attend Entertainment Weekly Celebrates Screen Actors Guild Award Nominees sponsored by L'Oreal Paris, Cadillac, And PopSockets at Chateau Marmont on January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 13: Chrishell Hartley and Justin Hartley attend the 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 06: Actors Justin Hartley (L) and Chrishell Stause (R) attend the FOX, FX and Hulu 2019 Golden Globe Awards after party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 06, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 06: Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause attend the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Actors Chrishell Stause (L) and Justin Hartley (R) attend the 2018 GQ Men Of The Year party at Benedict Estate on December 06, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic,)
US actor Justin Hartley (R) and wife US actress Chrishell Stause attend the 9th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Los Angeles, California, on October 6, 2018. (Photo by LISA O'CONNOR / AFP) (Photo credit should read LISA O'CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley attend the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 31: Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause attend Premiere Of Paramount Network's "American Woman" - Arrivals at Chateau Marmont on May 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Actor Justin Hartley (R) and Chrishell Stause attend the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
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