The Affair’s Sanaa Lathan Admits She Was ‘Shocked’ by Ruth Wilson’s Exit

Sanaa Lathan and Ruth Wilson
Sanaa Lathan and Ruth Wilson Phil Caruso/SHOWTIME (2)

Still confused by Ruth Wilson‘s mysterious exit from The Affair? You’re not alone. Sanaa Lathan, who joined season 4 of the Showtime drama as strong-headed Jenelle Wilson, was also in the dark.

“I’m a fan like the rest of the world and I knew my story line. I was just as shocked as the rest of the world,” Lathan told Us Weekly at the Los Angeles premiere of Nappily Ever After on Thursday, September 20. “She is a great actress.”

Lathan, 47, also added that she will be back for the fifth and final season of the series, which will be very different with Wilson gone.

Wilson’s character Alison Bailey was murdered at the end of season 4, but the reason for Wilson leaving the show is the real mystery. Showrunner Sarah Treem told The Hollywood Reporter at the time that Wilson wanted to leave the show and that they shot all her scenes first. However, the actress, 36, later revealed in an interview that she was “not allowed to talk about” why she chose to depart but shot down any claims that it had to do with equal pay.

Following her statement made on CBS This Morning, Showtime released a statement about her exit: “We can’t speak for Ruth, but heading into season 4, everyone agreed the character’s story had run its course. Ultimately, it felt like the most powerful creative decision would be to end Alison’s arc at the moment when she had finally achieved self-empowerment. The impact of her loss will be felt as the series concludes next season.”

The Golden Globe winner went on to tell the New York Timesthere is a much bigger story” behind her decision and urged the paper to ask Treem for more information.

Season 5 of The Affair does not yet have a premiere date. In the meantime, Lathan is focusing on her new film, in which she had to shave her head for.

“It was terrifying leading up to it, and then there was a sort of like exhilarating freedom and liberation that happened,” she told Us. “We, you know, as women, put so much time and energy into our hair, and it’s really nice to not have to think about that. And I was very surprised, every ex-boyfriend of mine literally called me up and was like, ‘Can I come rub your head?’ So that was very surprising.”

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