Jesse Williams‘ estranged wife Aryn Drake-Lee is opening up for the first time about her divorce and how she’s creating a new life for herself. More inside…
It’s been a tough two years for Aryn Drake-Lee after her husband Jesse Williams filed for divorce. All of their divorce drama has been playing out in the media with spousal and child support allegations and more. They tied the knot in 2012 and called it quits in 2017. They’re battling over their two young children Sadie, 5 and Maceo, 3.
Now, Aryn is building a new life for herself and she’s opening up for the first time about her uncoupling from the "Grey’s Anatomy" star.
In an interview with PEOPLE, the 39-year-old former real estate agent reveals she has found solice by connecting with other moms like herself who are going through the same situations she’s dealing with.
“I think a lot of women are still in the place where we’re pretending like we can do everything. And it’s not realistic, and it’s not holistic, and it’s not sustainable,” says Drake-Lee. “I want to empower women to find their voice, to take the mask off so that they can really find the connection and the community that they’re seeking.”
Aryn is creating her own lane in an effort to help support moms everywhere. She has teamed up with her mom-friend Trian Long-Smith and they have launched their new podcast, BBSARETRASH (Babies Are Trash). Yup, that’s the title.
“It’s tongue in cheek in that when you are in the hard moments, that’s when you learn and that’s when you grow. We’re not over here trying to pretend like everything is cool and cookies and rainbows. That’s not at all what time it is.”
After Jesse filed for divorce, Aryn was left with trying to figure out life as a single mom of two nursing babies.
“When the divorce process started I had two nursing babies, and I am the one that ran our household for the 14 and a half years that he and I were together in the same house. And for our children, and for the creation of the businesses that we built together when I left my career in New York for us to move to California to pursue his, and then as a result built it…I knew, as the one that was really holding it all together, that I didn’t have a lot of room to fall, even though I was falling.”
She said it hurt when people chose sides after they split.
“I was in a place where I needed the support that was going to help to ground me. Most everybody I had spent the eight years here in LA with all went with him,” she explains of feeling shut out.
However, she’s looking at the bright side of things.
“It was a blessing in disguise because it was a real slap in the face to see who was around us and why, and at that point it became very clear. And it cleared a pathway for me to make a shift and get back onto a path that was more in alignment with how I wanted to live my life.”
She continued, "Hollywood and I bump heads. It was never my value system, and it was never something that I was striving for,” she says. “It never felt comfortable for me because of how superficial it was. And then that all became abundantly clear when everybody went left.”
The negative headlines about her divorce in the media hasn’t always been factual, at least, according to Aryn.
“Much of what they say is wrong,” she says. “But I’m not interested in a tit-for-tat, because that’s just never ending. People believe what they want to believe because it’s easy.”
Last week, Jeese – who’s rumored to be dating actress Taylour Paige – and Aryn faced off in court where he argued he should not have to pay her $200,000 for the upcoming trial.
The site reports:
The judge heard both sides and made a tentative ruling that Williams — who looked “visibly upset and frustrated” in the hearing — will have to pay the attorneys’ fees to his ex but did not make a final decision on the amount.
As The Blast first reported, Aryn Drake-Lee recently went to court requesting her ex pay her lawyer $100,000. Her powerhouse lawyer, Gary Fishbein, filed docs also seeking an additional $100,000 for a forensic accountant used to prepare for the upcoming divorce trial, which is set to go down later this year.
Jesse has been trying to get the judge to deny this request, saying he has already paid her $270,000 for her legal bills since the start of the case.
The actor argued Aryn is capable of contributing more toward her own fees, pointing out he pays her $100k a month in support alone. He accuses her of using her support to buy artwork and not pay her lawyers.
During the upcoming trial, Drake-Lee is expected to argue for no reduction in the support the “Grey’s Anatomy” star pays her per month. He has been battling her to try and lower it down from the current $100,000 a month, saying it’s way too high. She also believes Williams owes her close to $1 million in retroactive support.
Jesse Williams currently pays her $100k a month in support ($50k for child and spousal). This number was based on his average monthly income of $521,000.
As of now, the former couple shares joint legal custody with a flexible physical custody agreement in place to accomodate Jeese’s filming schedule. Aryn has been fighting for a more consistent schedule, requesting Jesse submit his "Grey’s" shooting schedule weekly.