Jesse Williams addresses divorce, cheating rumors
The 'Grey's Anatomy' star talked about his relationship in JAY-Z's 'Footnotes for 4:44' short film
Williams, 35, joins JAY-Z, Chris Rock, Will Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Anthony Anderson, Aziz Ansari and other celebrities for chat about relationships. Without mentioning his ex by name, the father of two subtly referenced cheating rumors and revealed how difficult the split was.
“I was in a relationship 13 years, 13 real years, not 5 years, not 7 years – 13 years,” Williams said. “All of a sudden motherf—ers are writing think-pieces that I somehow threw a 13-year relationship
“Like, the most painful experience I’ve had in my life like with a person I’ve loved with all of my heart – that I threw a person and my family in the trash because a girl I work with is cute.”
Williams filed for divorce on April 11, according to documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Williams wed his longtime girlfriend Drake-Lee, a real estate broker, in Los Angeles in September 2012. At the time, they had been dating for over five years. They first met while Williams was working as a schoolteacher in New York.
“If you knew the couple they were back in Brooklyn, when he had dreads and a backpack and she was grinding doing real estate, you wouldn’t believe it,” a source, who thinks the pair’s relocation to Los Angeles contributed to tensions in their relationship, previously told PEOPLE.
“[Aryn] thought everyone was so different from their friends back in New York, and not as genuine,” says the source, who adds that the couple was in the middle of adding a second wing to their L.A. home when news of the divorce broke in April.
Adds the source: “And Jesse was never really around because of work and she was always just with the kids. Still, we didn’t see this coming.”
According to TMZ, Williams and Drake-Lee are feuding over their children’s custody agreement. The actor has asked a judge to step in, claiming his former partner only lets him see the children less than three hours per day and doesn’t allow sleepovers.