Custody Battle Over Instagram-Famous Dog Oscar Leads to Alleged Attempted Kidnapping

Since late 2019, Instagram-famous cavoodle Oscar has been a bone of contention between cruise ship director Mark Gillespie and lawyer Gina Edwards, both of whom claim they have ownership rights to the dog, according to Over this past weekend, it seems, their custody battle reportedly turned physical when Gillespie allegedly snatched Oscar at a Sydney park and attempted to make off with him.

Last year, Edwards and her husband, Kenneth Flavell, sued Gillespie for ownership of Oscar and damages for alleged breach of contract. They also sought to have the court issue an injunction that would prevent Gillespie from making defamatory statements about either of them in the future, according to The Guardian. In turn, Gillespie sued the couple for the return of Oscar, damages for detention of his property and control of Oscar's lucrative social media presence.

"In other words, both parties want the dog," New South Wales district court judge Judith Gibson said of the case, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Gillespie, who is Oscar's registered owner, bought the now 3-year-old dog in 2018 and regularly had Edwards and Flavell pet-sit when he traveled for work. During one such absence, Edwards started an Instagram account for Oscar that rapidly accrued followers, attracting the attention of corporate sponsors and talent agents. In August 2018, Oscar appeared in a production of La Bohème at the Sydney Opera House, according to In October 2019, he "hosted" a "Howl-o-ween," according to The Guardian. It was apparently attended by other influencer cavoodles

When Gillespie returned home, Edwards and Flavell reportedly refused to surrender Oscar. Since then, the would-be owners have been embroiled in a bitter legal dispute.

On Saturday or Sunday, apparently, Edwards was walking Oscar in the dog-friendly Milsons Park when's A Current Affair approached. Seeing the cameras, Edwards reportedly turned and ran, shouting out to her friends to call the police. Then Gillespie appeared and took Oscar, who was reportedly overjoyed to see him, and Edwards began chasing Gillespie around the park.

According to, Edwards shouted "Don't you dare, don't you dare," and Gillespie retorted, "Get away from me. He's my dog."

One of Edwards' friends, a woman who was identified only as "Anne," then reportedly tried to take Oscar from Gillespie, prompting Gillespie to say "Don't touch me" to her.

While Gillespie told that the nine police officers who subsequently arrived to resolve the conflict had permitted him to take Oscar, he returned the dog to Edwards because she was so distressed.

"I decided to be the better person in the situation, but Oscar is much loved and I'll fight for him in court and follow the due process," he said.

Following the incident, Edwards filed an apprehended violence order against Gillespie in an attempt to restrict his physical freedoms, according to

Lola the cavoodle at Oscar's Halloween party
Lola the cavoodle (@lola.the.cavoodle_), who apparently attended Oscar's 2018 Halloween party. Oscar is the subject of an ongoing legal battle between Mark Gillespie and Gina Edwards. Instagram/@lola.the.cavoodle_