Jesse Williams Speaks on Controversial Divorce, Takes Haters to Task
Jesse Williams plays a doctor on Grey’s Anatomy.
Which is appropriate.
Because the actor carves his critics up with surgical precision in a new video titled “Footnotes for 4:44.”
The 35-year-old star – who is embroiled in a custody dispute with estranged wife Aryn Drake-Lee – opens up about his divorce in this 11-minute piece of footage, which went viral this week in promotion of Jay-Z’s new album.
Williams is featured in the video with such big-time celebrities as Chris Rock, Will Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Anthony Anderson, Aziz Ansari; all of whom discuss relationships, love and the pressure that comes with being in the public eye.
Although he never refers to Drake-Lee by name, Williams addresses infidelity rumors in the visual piece, telling his side of a painful story and lashing out at haters in the process.
“I was in a relationship 13 years, 13 real years, not 5 years, not 7 years, 13 years and all of a sudden mother f-ckers are writing think-pieces that I somehow threw a 13-year relationship… in the trash because a girl I work with is cute.”
Williams cites his split as “the most painful experience I’ve had in my life like with a person I’ve loved with all of my heart.”
Williams met his estranged wife when he was a teacher.
He explained to USA Today in 2010 that Drake-Lee “stuck with me through thick and thin.”
But this love story did not have a happy ending.
In June, Williams and his lawyer alleged that Aryn has refused his request for more time with the couple’s two kids, Maceo Williams and Sadie Williams.
In court document obtained by E! News, Williams said the following last month:
“Aryn restricts my time with the children and decides when, and for how long I may have them.
“She has rejected, without any reason, each and every request I have made to have the children sleepover at my residence.
“On the few days that I have the children, Aryn has insisted that my time with the children be limited during the week to approximately two and half hours per day, despite my requests for more time, including overnights with the children.”
As a result of his ex-lover’s actions, Williams told a judge he is “requesting a court order for a joint physical custody parenting plan.”
The actor is one of Hollywood’s most outspoken stars.
He received a tremendous amount of praise and made many positive headlines last summer after giving an inspiring speech at the BET Awards.
You can watch his speech in its entirety at the opening of this article.
In response to Williams’ June statement and accusations against Drake-Lee, a lawyer for Aryn told E! News the following:
Protecting the privacy and well-being of their children is of paramount importance to Aryn Drake-Lee Williams.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Williams has chosen to draw public attention to this difficult time and transition for their family.
Aryn is solely interested in the best interests of their children, supporting a healthy relationship with both parents, and protecting the children’s privacy.
Therefore, she will not comment any further on Mr. Williams’ unilateral and unfortunate public allegations.