Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words definitely hurt Jesse Williams.
The 35-year-old actor, who is currently involved in a public custody dispute with estranged wife Aryn Drake-Lee, has opened up about his divorce in the very revealing Footnotes for 4:44, a new offering by Jay-Z and Tidal, released earlier today.
In the 11-minute video, Jesse joins Jay, Chris Rock, Will Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Anthony Anderson, Aziz Ansari and more for candid discussions on relationships, love and the pressure that comes with being in the public eye.
While not referring to Aryn by name, Jesse subtly addresses cheating rumors in the visual piece and how it affects him.
In the impassioned cameo, Jesse says, “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–kers are writing think-pieces that I somehow threw a 13-year relationship—like thee 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.”
In 2010, the Grey’s Anatomy actor told USA Today, “I was a teacher when I met her, so she’s been with me through all different facets of my career. She’s stuck with me through thick and thick and thick and thin. We know each other in and out.”
But sadly, the love did not last…
In June, E! News reported that Jesse and his attorney’s alleged that Aryn has refused his request for more time with the two children, Maceo Williams and Sadie Williams, that they share.
“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,” Jesse alleged in court documents obtained by E! News. “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.”
He added, “I am therefore requesting a court order for a joint physical custody parenting plan…”
Subsequently, Aryn’s lawyer released the following statement to E! News: “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.”