Actor Jesse Williams’ Ex Talks About Pressure of Lengthy-Distance Parenting on Youngsters
Aryn Drake-Lee, the ex-wife of former “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams, is voicing her frustration over sharing custody of her children with a long-distance former spouse.
In an emotional Instagram post on Sept. 15, the California-based real estate broker asked her followers if they thought it was healthy for two young children to be taken out of school to fly “cross country” to see a parent.
“Is it good for the health and wellness of a 7yr and 8yr old to be taken out of school on a regular basis to fly cross country overnight on a red eye to be on the ground for two days?” she wrote alongside a selfie.
“Is it reasonable for them to return dazed and confused and then be expected to pick right up and survive at school the rest of the week? I don’t think so! Neither do any of the parents who actually parent on a routine basis, ” she continued.
Drake-Lee, who never mentions Williams by name, concluded her post by writing, “There’s a name for the condition of an adult who expects their children to indulge, caregive and service that adult’s desires at the childrens’ expense.”
She added two hashtags spelling out the phrases “Receipts seasons” and “I have stayed quiet for far too long.”
TODAY has reached out to Williams’ rep for comment on Thursday but has not heard back.
Drake-Lee and Williams married in 2012 after dating for more than five years. The former partners share a daughter, Sadie, 8, and a son Maceo, 6.
After Williams filed for divorce in April 2017, the pair began a series of court battles over the custody of their kids and Williams’ child support obligations, court records show.
In March 2021, a judge ordered the exes, who share joint legal and physical custody of Sadie and Maceo, to attend a “high-conflict parents” to program in an effort to help them better navigate their co-parenting relationship, court records show .
A judge with the Los Angeles County Superior Court also granted Williams request to tailor his custody schedule while he was in New York appearing in the Broadway play “Take Me Out,” court records show.
However, in June, Williams filed a legal petition to request that Drake-Lee not block or interfere with his custodial time with their kids, according to court records. He also asked the court to force Drake-Lee to submit the necessary paperwork so that Maceo could obtain a passport.
Drake-Lee responded to Williams’ filing by submitting to the court an email she sent to Williams’ lawyers assuring them that her son’s passport renewal was in process. She also stated she was already following a judge’s orders regarding Williams’ allotted time with the children. In her submitted email, Drake-Lee accused Williams of “harassing” her and throwing “tantrums” during their interactions.
“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,” she wrote.
**Drake-Lee’s post on Sept. 15 seems to be in response to Williams’ most recent custody request. The actor, who is slated to return to New York to star in the Broadway play “Take Me Out,” wants his children to fly from Los Angeles to stay with him for four consecutive days each month, court records show.**
Drake-Lee previously opened up to People in May 2019 about the toll that her contentious split with Williams had taken on her and the former couple’s children.
“When you start spinning, the children start spinning, so even if you’re looking at them and you’re telling them everything is fine, they know it’s not fine because they can feel it’s not fine,” she told the publication at the time.
“I talk to them on their level,” she added. “It’s also okay for the children to see me crying, to see that I’m having a hard day today. Because that lets them know that when they have those hard days, there’s also room for that.”
Samantha Kubota contributed.