Gray’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams had an interesting journey leading up to his acting career. Part of it was that he fell in love with Aryn Drake-Lee. They later married, had children and then divorced. Here’s how they met and what the two of them are all about.
So how did Jesse Williams meet his ex-wife Aryn Drake-Lee?
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This former couple met when Williams was a teacher in New York. Williams taught high school and middle school students. He dated the real estate agent for five years before they married in 2012.
“I was a teacher when I met her, so she has been with me through all different facets of my career. She’s been with me through thick and thin and thick and thin,” he told USA Today.
“We know each other inside and out, and she was very happy to move here,” he continued. “She loves California and was tired of the weather on the East Coast.”
Essence spoke with the actor about his teaching career and how acting is still a part of his passion. “I’ve always been obsessed with history and teaching history,” he said. “I thought there were ways to tell stories that could have great value to communities that are constantly being told they came from nothing.”
Later they had two children named Maceo and Sadie. The former couple then separated after five years.
Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee were ordered to attend a “High Conflict” parenting class.
– jesse Williams. (@iJesseWilliams) January 6, 2018
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The divorce was finalized in 2020, but they continue their custody battle. Entertainment Tonight reports that they have been ordered to attend “High Conflict” parenting classes called “Between Two Parents.”
Divorcing parents are taught conflict resolution tactics in six online sessions. The goal is for the children to be less stressed. This came after Williams asked to change her previous custody agreement, which was then denied. Williams and Lee currently have legal and joint custody.
Williams has since dated other women. He dated Minka Kelly while he was going through a divorce. He is now dating Zola star Taylour Paige. Williams gained notoriety for playing Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy. Executive producer/showrunner Krista Vernoff announced he was exiting after 12 seasons.
“Fingers crossed for new horizons.” #GreysAnatomy @sarahdrew pic.twitter.com/aMNec3bnpn
– Grey’s Anatomy (@GreysABC) May 7, 2021
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“Jesse Williams is an extraordinary artist and activist. Watching his evolution over the past 11 years both on and off screen has been a true gift,” Vernoff said, according to Deadline.
“Jesse brings so much heart, such depth of caring and so much intelligence to his work,” she said. “We will miss Jesse terribly, and we will miss Jackson Avery – he played him perfectly for so many years.”