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Jesse Williams’ Ex-Wife Accuses Former Grey’s Anatomy Star Of Bullying And Harassment Amid Custody Battle

Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery on Grey's Anatomy.
(Image credit: ABC)

There still seems to be a lot of tension between former Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams and his ex-wife Aryn Drake-Lee regarding the custody agreement for their two children. The former couple, who divorced in 2020 after nearly five years of marriage, is now going back and forth in the courts over the Tony Award nominee’s time with the kids, as well as getting a passport renewed for their son Maceo. But Drake-Lee said she’s already addressed Williams’ concerns, and she accused him and his lawyers in an email of "bullying me, harassing me and having tantrums.”

Jesse Williams won a previous legal battle against Aryn Drake-Lee after the court allowed his monthly child support payments to be significantly decreased due to his change in income after leaving the hit ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. The most current issue arose after a judge granted requests made by the Take Me Out actor, ET reports, asking that his time with his children remain intact, and for his ex-wife to sign off on their son’s passport renewal. In response, Drake-Lee filed an email she’d sent Williams’ lawyers that suggested a history of intentionally complicating her situation. She said in the email:

There is a clear history of purposely made false statements coming from both your client, my ex‐husband, as well as from your Law Office and the attorneys involved. Bullying me, harassing me and having tantrums when you don’t get what you want at the very last minute. This is a repetitive pattern, seemingly quite by design. Creating as much chaos as you possibly can, and then blaming me for it.

Aryn Drake-Lee went on to say in the email that she had only received the document from Jesse Williams that was required for the passport two weeks ago, despite having been paid for since October 2021, and that her ex-husband had been told multiple times that the renewal “is in process.” As for the Grey’s Anatomy actor’s custody arrangement, Drake-Lee said:

The judge already ruled on his time with the children while away in NY for the play [Take Me Out] for the month of June. I am already following her [the judge's] orders.

She said the requests from Jesse Williams and his lawyers each week are causing “serious interruptions” to her work efforts, especially because their requests have often been previously addressed “with orders already in place.”

This latest court struggle comes after the actor’s child support payments were reduced in April from $40,000 a month to $6,413. The reduction was made due to Jesse Williams making significantly less money on Broadway’s Take Me Out than he did starring as Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy.

However, Aryn Drake-Lee didn’t agree with the decision. Ahead of the court’s ruling, she argued that it was Jesse Williams’ choice to leave the “coveted, high-paying position,” and his wanting to pursue a different path shouldn’t mean he can “shed his family responsibilities.” Williams’ Broadway debut proved to be a success, as he was nominated for a Tony Award, with the play winning one for Best Revival and his co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson also taking home a trophy.

While he may not be on Grey’s Anatomy anymore, Jesse Williams made a guest appearance on the Season 18 finale, thrilling fans with the confirmation that his character had reconciled with Sarah Drew’s April Kepner, keeping spinoff hopes alive. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what new and returning shows are premiering soon.

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.