Jesse Williams Addresses Divorce, Cheating Rumors on Jay-Z’s ‘4:44’ Footnotes Video


Jessie Williams and Aryn Drake Lee
Jessie Williams and Aryn Drake Lee attend The Mistake Room 2015 Biennial Gala in Los Angeles, California. Donato Sardella/Getty Images

Jesse Williams seemingly addressed his divorce and cheating rumors while appearing in Jay-Z’s “Footnotes” video for his track “4:44,” which dropped on Tidal on Monday, July 10. 

The Grey’s Anatomy star, 35, joined the 47-year-old rap mogul and several other stars to discuss relationships. Without mentioning his ex by name, Williams spoke out about his longterm relationship with Aryn Drake-Lee.

“I was in a relationship 13 years, 13 real years, not five years, not seven years, 13 years,” he says in the video, “and all of a sudden motherf–kers are writing think-pieces that I somehow threw a 13-year relationship — like the 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.” 

Williams filed for divorce in April after four and a half years of marriage. Since then, the actor has been going through a public custody battle with Drake-Lee for the former couple’s daughter, Sadie, 3, and son Maceo, who was born in October 2015. In June, Williams and his attorneys claimed in court documents that the real estate agent was declining his requests to spend more time with the children.

“Aryn restricts my time with the children and decides when, and for how long I may have them,” Williams claimed in the documents obtained by Us Weekly. “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-a-half hours per day, despite my requests for more time, including overnights with the children.”

Drake-Lee’s lawyer Jill Hersh responded in a statement to Us. “Protecting the privacy and well-being of their children is of paramount importance to Aryn Drake-Lee Williams,” Hersh told Us. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Williams has chosen to draw public attention to this difficult time and transition for their family.”

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