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

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.