Tensions have been high between Jesse Williams and his ex-wife Aryn Drake-Lee in the years following their divorce.
After meeting in New York City while the Grey’s Anatomy alum was working as a schoolteacher, the couple tied the knot in September 2012. “She’s been with me through all different facets of my career,” Williams told USA Today about Drake-Lee in 2010. “She’s stuck with me through thick and thick and thick and thin. We know each other in and out.” They welcomed daughter Sadie in January 2014 and son Maceo in August 2015.
The Little Fires Everywhere alum filed for divorce in April 2017, and their split quickly became contentious. In June of that year, Williams claimed that Drake-Lee had rejected his request to spend more time with the kids.
“Aryn restricts my time with the children and decides when, and for how long I may have them,” Williams alleged in court documents obtained by Us Weekly at the time. “She has rejected, without any reason, each and every request I have made to have the children sleepover at my residence.”
The filing continued: “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-a-half hours per day, despite my requests for more time, including overnights with the children.”
The real estate agent’s lawyer Jill Hersh responded in a statement to Us, arguing that Drake-Lee’s priority was “protecting the privacy and well-being of their children. … It is unfortunate that Mr. Williams has chosen to draw public attention to this difficult time and transition for their family.”
In August 2017, Drake-Lee requested sole legal custody of their children, alleging that Williams had been unfaithful. The actor’s rep denied the allegations in a statement to Us at the time, arguing that “these are matters for the court to decide.”
“Jesse has been working tirelessly to maintain his bond with their children and it is important to note that the dramatizations made in Aryn’s declaration are a one-sided account made with a specific goal in mind,” the statement continued.
The pair’s divorce was finalized in October 2020, after three years of legal battles. In court documents obtained by Us at the time, the pair agreed to share joint legal and physical custody of their children and their assets were divided between them. Still, the pair continued to argue over the amount of time they spend with Sadie and Maceo.
Following the split, Williams was linked to Friday Night Lights alum Minka Kelly, New York City sports anchor Taylor Rooks and Zola actress Taylour Page.
Keep scrolling to learn more about Williams and Drake-Lee’s contentious divorce: