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Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee’s divorce and custody drama has been dragging on since 2017. Wow, it was like a completely different world back then. Jesse has been making headlines for, ah, other things, lately, but the settlement stuff has quietly been simmering behind the scenes this whole time. They reached a custody and support settlement in 2019, but Jesse last year petitioned for a support reduction due to his changed income after willingly leaving the comfort of network TV for Broadway. (Though he was in an episode of Grey’s last season and is scheduled to be in at least one this season according to IMDB and Sarah Drew).
Now Jesse’s asked for an emergency hearing over custody due to his upcoming second run of Take Me Out in New York, while Aryn and the children are based in LA. He says she’s violating the court order and causing emotional damage; she posted on Instagram that she’s going to be silent no more and has receipts.
As RadarOnline.com first reported, this week, Jesse asked for an emergency hearing after Aryn refused to agree to let their two children fly out to New York to see him while he performs on Broadway in the hit Take Me Out.
Jesse said Aryn would not agree which led to him running to court. He explained, “I recently agreed to perform in the second run of Take Me Out starting in October 2022 and ending in January 2023. The play is set to start in October 2022 and run through at least January 2023. I am returning to New York in early October to start rehearsals. I asked Aryn to honor the Court’s prior order so I can continue to spend quality time with our children while I am in New York. Aryn refused.”
The actor claimed Aryn’s violations of the court order had caused both him and their children emotional damage.
Hours after RadarOnline.com broke the story, Aryn posted a photo of herself on the beach. She didn’t hold back writing, “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? 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?”
She continued, “I don’t think so! Neither do any of the parents who actually parent on a routine basis. 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 included the hashtags “I have stayed quiet for far too long” and “receipts seasons.”
The couple — who were together for 13 years – were married from 2012 through 2017. The split was incredibly bitter with both sides accusing the other of playing dirty.
The couple reached a settlement in 2019 where Jesse agreed to pay $40k a month in child support. However, last year, Jesse went back to the court pleading for the amount to be reduced. He said the amount was based on his income when he starred in Grey’s — when he was pulling in over $6 million per year.
Jesse said his income had dropped drastically since he left the show. He pointed to his Take Me Out weekly paycheck of only $1,600.
Aryn said Jesse was selfish for leaving Grey’s and only looked out for his own best interest. She said his child support payments should not be axed. However, a judge recently sided with the actor and cut the payments down to $7k.
Jesse will be performing in New York from October through January. And he wants the kids to come out for four days each month; he wants to see his children. But the position Aryn shared in her Instagram post makes perfect sense: flying across the country for just a four-day trip is A LOT. It’s a lot for adults (I can’t do it unless forced to for work) and it’s certainly a lot for children that young. It’s a lot even before factoring in that the kids are expected to attend school on the other side of these trips. Surely there is a compromise to be made, perhaps over the Thanksgiving and winter holiday breaks that are longer than a weekend?
But even giving Jesse the benefit of doubt — that he just wants to see his kids — it’s hard to take his side after he left Grey’s Anatomy of his own accord and now the child support is reduced to less than 25% of what it was before. I can understand wanting to leave your job, but dude you have kids to provide for. Step it up. I’m sure that’s why Kevin McKidd is still on the show. Aryn’s post sounds like she’s reached the end of her rope and she’s alluding to a lot more than we’ve heard when she says Jesse expects things at his convenience, at the children’s expense. I want to like him because of his activism and he was on Grey’s and all that, but he pulls this crap and makes it impossible.
Photos credit: Getty and via Instagram
I’m with Aryn on this one. He should be making the sacrifices not the kids (and not her in this situation. She’d be the one having to pack them up and get them through security and all that). He needs to be going to see them. If his schedule doesn’t allow that, then it doesn’t allow for him to be fully present with them in NYC then either. The kids don’t need to go through the stress of all that traveling, jet lag, and school worry for them not to spend all their time with him.
I wouldnt want that for my kids. Why doesnt he take it on him and flyer out for his kids for a total of 4 days? Judges should look out for the kids’ best interests as well.
Broadway is dark on Mondays. He can fly out after the Sunday matinee each week or the 7pm show on a red eye, be present for his kids all Monday and Tuesday morning, then fly back to NYC for his Tuesday night show. He has to make the sacrifice, not the kids.
So the kids should lose 2 days schooling every week then ? And his kids are in school to he would have them 2 hours a week
The societal expectation that the entire family unit revolves around the father’s desire for ego is nailed here. The kids are expected to revolve around his desires, the mother is supposed to revolve around the kids….this stuff is archaic & not conducive to produce happy families or healthy adults (just look at us, lol)
She may be right about it being a lot on the children. But the way understand there is a court order. She can’t just decide that she kids won’t see their dad for four months even if her argument is reasonable.
So, did she try to negotiate something different with him and the talks went nowhere? I can understand that he feels in the right to ask the court to please make his children available to him.
Maybe they need the court to decide because apparently neither of them can behave like the adult in this situation.
How is she not being adult here? She just laid out a very clear explanation for why his request was asinine and self centered. If he wants to see his kids (and he thinks twice monthly weekend travel is no big deal), he can gef his ass on a plane and go see them. HE made the choice to take a 3 month job across the country from where his children reside and go to school. HE should bear the brunt of that decision.
And court orders can be tweaked and adjusted as needed – just look at how his child support was lowered.
Jesse’s behavior around this makes me wonder how much of his “activism” was just him posturing for attention. Activism is about making things better for others – particularly the most vulnerable in our communities. Jesse doesn’t seem to prioritize the most vulnerable people in his own family.
Yeah this isn’t a “both sides” situation as much as some people want to make it.
He’s not acting in his kids’ best interest, period. He’s being selfish. And honestly, I think this guy is so petty that he may have taken the Broadway gig *just* to spite Aryn by denying her the 40K child support.
Yep. And Grey’s is a big ensemble show and he’s like, the 6th or 7th lead. He wasn’t exactly putting in House in House levels of screen time.
Jesse left his role at Grey’s Anatomy out of spite. No actor leaves a high paying gig to frollic on stage for $1700 per week. He simply refused to pay Aryn anymore money and wants to hurt her. While $7000 per month is still generous why should small children be pulled out of school to please his selfish butt.
He’s trying to portray her as an alienating parent but she needs to navigate strategically with him. She needs a valid reason to refuse those flights, then go to court.
Chyler leigh left the show and had 2 years off from acting ,so did a lot of the others
Almost every main character on Grey’s Anatomy has left at this point. It is in its 19th season!!! I have issues with Jesse wanting his kids to cater to him, but I see no reason to bash his decision to leave, as most of the other cast he has worked with are GONE!
I wish I could see the actual court documents but the way his petition was worded “I recently agreed to perform in the second run of Take Me Out starting in October…” sounds like this job was not contemplated when the prior custody order was made. So maybe it was reasonable for them to fly cross-country over summer break, for example, but now they’re back in school and he’s not back in LA as was previously expected.
It’s absolutely unreasonable to expect little kids to fly roundtrip cross-country every other weekend (I’m guessing that’s the 4 days a month). There are maybe 60 hours between when kids get home from school Friday and go back to school Monday morning. It takes 20 hours of traveling to get from LA to NY and back when you factor in driving to and from the airport and the time it takes to get through security, and kids that age need at least 30 hours of quality sleep over the course of 3 nights (5 hours upright on a noisy plane is not it). So that leaves them with 10 groggy hours with their dad – if he’s not working while they’re there? If he’s not, why isn’t he flying to LA? If he is working that’s even more idiotic and self-centered.
I see it as a two-way petty situation:
He chose a faraway city to pursue a theatre career, and now he wants the kids to red eye every weekend.
She wants him to keep paying her 40k alimony, but she’s not working even if the kids spend all day at school.
He wants to see the kids, but he’s not making any arrangements to fly himself to LA.
She wanted him to stay on a job he hated so she and the kids could keep on a $6M/year lifestyle.
… And so on…
On the kids’ best interest; I think they need a mediator since they seem unable to work out anything that puts them first.
Two-way petty situation perfectly fits here, I agree. Neither of them is acting very maturely here, from what I can see.
She was receiving $40k a month, so she wanted to keep the $480,000 lifestyle her kids were accustomed to in LA, where they moved for his career & who said she doesn’t work…even if the kids spend ALL day in school (ps- 9-2 with sooooo many days off school)?
I think she is a realtor. She may still work.
She doesn’t strike me as the typical
Hollyweird wife. She supported his career. And I LOVE that she isn’t diving into the plastic surgery/media part of being a Hollywood ex. She is real and lovely.
Do not play with Aryn. I do not see petty. I see a Black woman who is trying not to ruin his career, but he KNOWS that, so he pushed.
In the Black community, a lot of women sacrifice themselves to protect their partners from racism. That is what I see, but he took advantage of her desire to keep his career going. She was still protecting his dumb ass.
No more. She is smarter than he his, and she is calling him on his crap.
I DO NOT believe she is petty. She is responsible, and behind the scenes must be very hard when you have a media personality as a former spouse who can put out a spin.
Christina, I think you are exactly right. Aryn goes to the same farmers’ market I do. It is not a trendy market, where celebs go to get their pictures taken (every celeb knows the two farmers’ markets that always have paps), it’s just a market where local farmers sell their stuff. She seems incredibly normal, and her children are well behaved. That’s all I’ve got, as far as being a character witness, but she cannot possibly be a typical Hollywood wife!
I wonder if the kids were attending school virtually when the order was made. Because that much travel seems unreasonable when they have school to attend.
I agree that trips like those for the children are difficult but it won’t be forever. And to keep fighting it when the judge has approved it is probably unwise. I feel for her and the children, there is something about Jesse that seems calculated there. I could be wrong though.
He’s entitled and lazy here and has no consideration for his children. Does he think he’s some medieval Lord wanting to see his children presented to him when he orders for it? He can fly there himself. Working mothers are (unfairly) expected to work with and around their children’s schedules. Maybe he can think about that.
It sounds like there is a custody agreement already in place that allows him to see his children four days a month when he is residing far away and that the children are required to come to where he is. He’s not acting like a “medieval lord giving orders” – this is something the court literally ordered in a custody agreement.
I do family law and it’s pretty standard to have in a custody agreement provisions for visitation and access for when the non-custodial parent lives more than 150 miles away and whether the non-custodial parent is supposed to come to where the children are or visa versa.
Now do I think the mother has a point that this will be too hard on the children? Absolutely. And the proper procedure is for her to move to have the order changed based on a substantial change in circumstances, not to just refuse to comply with the order like it sounds like she is doing.
And should the father see that the order in these circumstances is unreasonable such that he should be willing to voluntarily change the order or have an informal agreement with the mother that he will come to the children instead? Absolutely.
But that would require both parents to be reasonable and unfortunately in bitter divorces like this, both sides tend to want to dig in their heels rather than work together for the best interest of the children and avoid conflict. Tale as old as time.
Yes, he didn’t have a choice but to bring it as an emergency order or it would have been scheduled too late to make a different by January.
I still think he is a prick and that the court will side with her for the sake of the kids.
Exactly, Alexandra. Precisely.
What a prick.
When someone engages in public activism but will not sacrifice for or put the well being of their children first? I can only see that “activism” as performative. He wants to look good, and it makes him look awful. HE should have negotiated a reduced performing schedule and HE should be making that red eye trip himself.
THIS. All day, every day. He made the choices.
I don’t get why is is bad he left his job? $7k per month is still extremely luxurious to support 2 children, more than most people have! Is there something I’m missing?
As for the visits, does he perform every single day? Can’t he fly to LA to visit his kids?
He made $6Million per season on Grey’s. Here’s the thing: $7000 is a lot for you, as you’re not accustomed to that lifestyle.
It’s bad when dudes quit jobs in order to reduce their child support liability.
EXACTLY. It’s what, 80% reduction in monthly support??? That’s a LOT. And presumably, she has a house, car payments, tuition if her kids are in an expensive private school to cover etc etc.
It’s a lot less, but still quite wealthy. He’s required to reasonably provide for his children, but he’s not required to stay in a job that he dislikes in order for them to have an even more privileged lifestyle.
Being a semi-successful, working actor is very expensive and can be risky. Being in entertainment is a big payoff for many, but the successful ones make enough to pay for flights.
We see the Kardashians on vacation all the time, and Mindy Kaling show us her house, but they run businesses. Mindy is more behind the scenes. But Jesse works for other people, so he is spending money to make money.
Why can’t he just go see his kids?
A lifestyle supported with 40k goes to 7k and you don’t get the issue? What kind a math are you used to doing. On their father’s whims 2 kids familiar home life gets upturned. LA is expensive .
7k a month is nothing in LA. Heck, it’s nothing in all major cities.
I am in Toronto and could happily live off of 7k a month from a divorce here. I don’t have kids though and only have my dog.
Did I miss the reason that he can’t fly to them for these random weekends?
Because he’s a selfish pendejo.
I don’t usually “both sides” issues like this but in this case, both are being petty and not putting their kids first. Actors leave high paying roles all the time. Allegedly, she kept demanding increases in child support even after he left Grays (the 40k was after she’d previously taken him to court again for an increase). 40k/month is a lot for 2 kids who were preschool at the time. Kevin Federline just recently got his cp from Britney increased to $20k/mo for their 2 teenage boys. I don’t think she understood that she was getting a lot.
I don’t like people using kids as bargaining chips and/or sledgehammers. She’s still angry he cheated and left her after she worked and supported him for all those years while he pursued his acting career. I don’t blame her. But I wish more women would realize that the amount of child support can be subject to change and isn’t always guaranteed. The judge reduced the amount and told her to get a job. I was shocked it was reduced that low but should he get another high paying gig, she can go back to court for an increase and will more than likely get it bc 6k is bs. But ignoring custody agreements is a good way to alienate any judge. Neither parent seems to be willing to compromise but he should definitely fly out to see the kids. I think he just doesn’t want to deal with her. I hope they get their act together and start prioritizing those girls.
For all these years is a joke right /s
He was a teacher in NY ,moved to LA so at the most it was 2 years between Beyond the Break and Sisters of the Travelling Pants to him being on Greys
Unless you are saying he was funded by her during college or when he was teaching
He should take the damn red eye himself. I don’t know the ins and outs of this divorce, and don’t really want to, but that’s an easy call.
Every flight is a potential COVID exposure. Who would do that to their children on a regular basis?
This, right here. Most people I know who caught covid this year, myself included, got it after flying. Combo of omicron with no mask policies. Kids can’t wear n95 or kn95 so you’re asking them to get on a plane four times a month with a surgical mask. And it’s not like he’d be caring for them if they catch it or disrupt his life. By then they’d be back in LA. Jesse is a piece of work. He should be the one flying back and forth.
I don’t believe in receipts season unless she wants to just…post the receipts. Stop blackmailing people, stop pretending to protect them. She obviously hates his guts, so just out with it.
Either you tried to make reasonable accommodations for him to see his children or not. If he has to work in New York to pay child support, it’s time to figure out how he can see his kids per the custody agreement, even if he is paying less.
Jesse seems pretty messy himself, so I can understand if she is tired, but I hate when people take it to the gram when the dispute resolution happens in court.
Maybe she is taking to the gram because he has the bigger platform (more followers and link to media houses) and he is using his bigger profile to dog her.
@lemon thing is, he didn’t have to come to NYC to work. He quit a very lucrative job to pursue his dreams, as is his right. But every decision has consequences. And he especially knows this bc it’s the second round for him. He intentionally left a job to go after one that’s clear across the country from his children. He knew visitation would be difficult. And someone said upost about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those are not time off for Broadway. He knew this so he knew visitation would be during the school term. It seems very selfish to me.
I’m with her on travel arrangements, there is no way children that age should spend their nights on a plane.
Re child support though, that’s life. He was paying a large amount, he can’t be expected to be tied to a job forever. income determines CS.
I agree that he should be the one to make an effort to see his kids, but I think there’s nothing wrong with him leaving Grey’s. Was he supposed to stay until the kids turn 18? 7k is still A LOT of money!
I agree! Long time Grey’s Anatomy fan here – the show is now in its 19th season!! Almost ALL of the main actors have left (besides the characters of Meredith, Bailey and Webber). Even April Drew (who played opposite of Jesse William’s character as his love interest) left.
I don’t think Jesse should be criticized for leaving and moving on, the show isn’t going to last that much longer IMO. That being said, I don’t think it’s fair expecting to make his kids fly back and forth on a red eye like that, compromising their health and well-being. And yes, the drop in child support is substantial, but hell $7K is still A LOT. Does she work, and if she doesn’t…. why not? These kids are like middle school aged apparently. And just violating a court order certainly isn’t wise in my opinion.
Clearly, he and his ex-have a lot of acrimony, but putting the kids in the middle isn’t the solution. Hopefully they can both come to a place where better agreements can be made. Like Jesse coming to see the kids, or arranging holiday visits, and other time off school, etc.
I don’t have an opinion on what job he should be working but I think she’s entitled to her feelings about child support dropping from $480k/yr to $76k/yr. In NYC private school tuition per kid is around $30k and I assume LA is similar. That’s not even figuring in the cost of a mortgage payment, car payments, gas, health and car insurance, food, clothing and lessons. Up until April of this year she could be a full-time mom and now she has to suddenly resurrect a real estate career that was put on hold to support her husband’s career and their young kids (her kids are 7 and 8 years old not middle school). I’m not saying this isn’t something mothers worldwide have to do with less support but it doesn’t mean she has to be happy about it!
No one is saying she doesn’t have a right to be upset about the reduction in child support. No one likes suddenly getting less money, regardless of the circumstances. As others have said here, I don’t think she works, so I have an issue with someone complaining about a lack of child support, and THEN they refuse to work. I was a single mother from the time my daughter was 5. I received child support BUT I also worked full time. I never had some illusion I would live on only the child support I was given (I didn’t even ask for alimony).
I only mentioned her kids’ age because they are not so young, they don’t attend school. So even at 7 and 8, they are in school during the day, much like my daughter was when I worked raising her.
Fact is, it seems both of these people are taking out their bitterness on one another though the child support/custody issues. That is sad, IMO, and the kids are ones who will ultimately suffer.
Yeah, I see no issue with him leaving Greys. Yes it paid very well, but at some point that show will finally end and it had long been a dead end in terms of setting him up for future work. He left when there was still a little bit of interest in him. A few more years, not so much.
The kids are still young, so long term it’s smarter to want him to try and build a career outside of Greys. 40K to 7K is a big drop, but it’s a lot better than 40K to 0. Lots of actors who overstay their welcome on long running shows end up basically forgotten by the industry and unable to book anything much once it ends.
As I understand it (and, see username, I’m not a lawyer), wouldn’t it be up to Jesse to make sure he is a reasonable distance from his children’s permanent living ‘area’ when it is his turn to have parenting time? Legally speaking, at least, the burden would be on him if he decides to leave that reasonable distance area. But I know that Hollywood people are different so maybe they have something specifically in their custody arrangement?
Logically thinking yes but many parents don’t see it that way. Back when Angelina was filming the second Malignant Jolie got the ok to take the kids overseas. Half way though her filming Pitt changed his mind and had the kids fly from the UK to LA for his visitation. Mind you Pitt had no overnight supervised visitation and he was not filming anything at that time, so the kids only saw for a couple of hours before flying back to the UK in a day or two
Does she work or is $7000 what she and the kids are living on? That’s a big drop from $40,000 a month.
No, but she apparently used to be a real estate agent in New York. Jesse said in court documents that she could get a job, and I can’t say I disagree with him. Her kids are school age now. Get licensed in California and accept that he’s not making millions anymore.
I suspect the custody agreement also requires him to pay tuition and healthcare for the children, which is standard for the non-custodial parent who makes more money She also would have received a big property settlement in the divorce, so she likely lives in a house that is paid for.
$7000 is not a lot of child support, IMO, for the children of a famous, working actor in CA. But that $7,000 is not having to cover things like tuition, healthcare, and rent.
I think it’s okay that he left a job on Grey’s to pursue his dreams. And she should get a job, too. The children are still going to be well-cared for.
She worked her ass off and supported him for YEARS while he tried to get acting jobs. He finally got the gig at Grey’s and that’s when he was able to support them instead. He then cheated with Minka Kelly and left her with a young child and a baby/toddler, and expected to give her very little of *his* money. He’s an ass and a cheat.
I agree with Aryn: it’s receipts time.
If he keeps using media against her, and slants the story, she has a right to call him out if he doesn’t stop.
He has the right to do whatever he wants, but the kids will remember. They don’t understand now, but they eventually will.
It happened to my kid. When they grow up, they do the emotional math. In the end, kids see and act accordingly as adults.
I hate the idea that he should have stayed at Grey’s because SHE wanted 40k a month. That’s her ask, not the kids. It’s not as though he’s still get GA pay cheques. He loses out, too. She’s veering into Alice Evans territory.
It wasn’t “her ask.” It was the court’s order after a forensic accountant determined he has an “extraordinarily high income.”
Yup: California courts force you to update the financial records all the time. I couldn’t prove that my abuser made money, and I filed taxes and all of my financials constantly. I’m so glad that crap is over.
The himpathy is working overtime I see
Since when is the onus on the children to foster & maintain a relationship with the parent?
How backward is that thinking?!
He can jolly well let his understudy do 4 performance a month while he flies red eye to see his kids.
Also, if he’s too busy for that, how much time is he actually spending with them over the 2 days? Who cares for them? Who sees to their needs? These aren’t older kids! These kids need parenting, not a half absent father who willingly moved across the country.
And before any @ me, this isn’t a normal “guy got transferred in his job” situation: this selfish man moved by design & now his kids pay it.
He’s treated is family horribly, & all the activism only highlights that he DOES know the difference & is making the choice to behave as is.
I agree with her that a red eye fly to New York and back and then right back to school would be tough on the kids, but she can’t just violate a court order. I’m sure he wants to see his kids but during these runs, don’t actors perform every day? It would probably make more sense to skip the October visit and then fly the kids out for a portion of their Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations, but I’m not the judge and these two apparently hate each other too much to figure it out themselves. There’s something about Jesse I’ve never liked, but she’s not doing herself any favors with the receipts post.
We keep forgetting that the kids might want to see their Dad too and are probably excited to do so. I know I would. It was also court ordered and that’s the way of custody. A lot of us might not like the arrangements but both parents need to see the kids. It is healthy for them.
About the payments, he might have done it deliberately or not. However, we all want to grow in different ways in our career. He has a right to do that and it does not make him a villain. I am sure if it were a woman doing the same thing, there will be more support for her. It was reduced, it happens, as alimony and child support is based on income. That’s the law.
Those two don’t get along and probably cannot stand each other. When that is the reality each one will try to one up the other. That’s the reality of a messy divorce. If they were in love and getting along she will fly them out. So the saga continues.
I mean, we have no idea what the kids want. Yeah I could see them being excited to see their dad but kids get excited about a lot of things that aren’t necessarily good for them. It’s the job of the parents to set those boundaries.
Kids love their parents, so of course they want to see their dad, but it isn’t appropriate or healthy for the kids to sacrifice to see the parents.
He is a PARENT. He needs to respect that they are his children, minors who can’t make those types of decisions now. Instead, he is broadcasting that his kids want to come and she is a the harpy who said, “NO!”
Yes that is why he should be flying out to LA to see them and not the other way around.
Yep. Or facetiming. Or traveling when the kids have breaks from school. Expecting the kids to do this reeks of him punishing his ex-wife through his kids
he’s the one that chose to quit his job in the city where his young children live. he’s the one that chose to take a new job 3,000 miles away from those same young children. those were HIS CHOICES, not his children’s choices. he should be the one who travels back to see them, not the other way round. selfish awful man.
Yes that part that has me wondering. You have two young kids and you take a job that is so far away then you know you need to make arrangements to have your visitation. I know a judge ordered it but I’m with her. He should get himself an understudy. Off topic but didn’t this happen with Kelly Clarkson. She had to put her two kids on a plane to see their dad once a month in Montana because he moved from where she works? Maybe they fly private I kinda hope so although I don’t agree with private planes usually.
Imagine wanting to do that to your kids. I will never understand parents putting their needs before their kids. POS.
1. I think those kids are too young to be on a red-eye flight on a regular basis. It’s just too much to ask of them.
2. The obvious answer, mentioned by a few others above, is to work something out for the thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. These two are too high-conflict to do that, so getting the court involved is smart and necessary.
3. I can’t shade Jesse for leaving Grey’s. He needs to have something else to put on his resume if he’s going to have a post-Grey’s career.
4. I’ve worked as a mediator in family court cases. In my experience, if the primary residential parent loathes the other parent, they will very often engage in some alienating behavior. It’s just human nature. So while I agree with Aryn about the flight issue, I am troubled by the tone of her post. She doesn’t seem to value the role Jesse plays in her kids’ lives, and that will cause issues down the line.
I don’t see anywhere in her post that hits that she dose not value the role Jesse plays in the kids lives. Her problem seems to be that the she and the kids are taken on the burden and not Jesse. He should be the one flying out to see them.
But, does Jesse value his role in his children’s lives? He opted to leave a high paying job to take a very low paying job 3,000 miles away from those children. That was a selfish and self-indulgent choice. He is so far up his own ass that he cannot see the absurdity of asking her to take her two young children on a red-eye to see him during the school year. He was not contractually obligated to do a second run of the show, he chose to do it. As the show was not relocating to LA, he knew he would be in NY and what that meant.
People are saying we shouldn’t drag him for leaving Grey’s but I think we should. His ex put her life on hold and put aside her career aspirations in order to support his dream of being an actor. She worked so to support their family while he was a struggling actor. When he got on, she left the workforce to take care of their children as they planned. As such, she lost out on years of professional experience. She will be re-entering the workforce without experience commensurate to her age so his proclamation that she can “just get a job” hides the full picture.
Many people stay in jobs they hate, even at the expense of their physical and mental wellbeing, to support their families. Jesse left his well paying job because he was bored. It is grossly irresponsible of a man with a wife and two young children to willingly leave a job paying $6 million dollars a year for a job paying $1,650 a week. Sorry, but leaving a high paying job so that you can spread your creative wings is for someone who has no responsibilities or dependents. His ex already sacrificed for him and now he is asking her to do more by being the primary caregiver who has to fly the children across the country to see him and then get them back on schedule when they get home. Please. Miss me with the “she hates him so she’s turning the kids against him” nonsense. He chose to be away from his children and is making her out to be the bad guy for it. He makes her hate him by acting the way he does.
Exactly @nyc212 well said.
It’s exhausting to see women contorting themselves to excuse male behavior and cast aspersions on the woman in the guy’s life, the one who actually knew him and bore his kids.
I think it was Laineygossip that started the term “HIMpathy” — it’s all over the comments on this post.
And it’s really unsettling to see if from people who say they work in family law, custody disputes, mediation.
Angelina jolie is on record saying the courts don’t really give children a voice. That violence in families is somehow smoothed out in a bUT aLL sIdES aRE rEspoNsIbLe take that benefits the man in the more powerful position. And this was white, beautiful, mega-celebrity AJ who still had to be extremely careful in court with Pitt.
You think it the courts were fair in reversing a monthly allocation that was already decided? How does this mom who was an unknown real estate agent stand a chance?
I think he should be the one to fly out . He can also let his understudy go on on every other Sunday so he can leave Saturday and have that time with his kids. However, he is NOT required to stay in a job that he doesn’t want to stay in so a lifestyle can be maintained . Would you stay in a job you didn’t want to be in for that? If you’re married that’s a discussion, the fact of the matter is, right or wrong he didn’t need her permission or input to quit Grey’s. This is an actor’s lifestyle ( that’s why it’s hard to marry one) some times it’s fat city and other times your skint.
No, he doesn’t “need” her permission, but if he wants to co-parent successfully and amicably, he absolutely should value her input. He’s not doing this alone, ya know? This affects her as well.
She doesn’t get a say in where he works, or how long he works there. Do you know how divorce works? That’s not part of the deal, if it was amicable, they probably would have had a discussion but it isn’t so they won’t.
He’s not responsible to her as a partner, sure, but it does say something about him if he was willing to let her spend years supporting him as one and then lose years of earning potential raising his children if he didn’t include that in the consideration of his financial choices after the divorce. It tells you his idea of paying it forward mainly applies to himself and his goals.
I know this because I grew up with a father who was the same way. Do I think my father should have made all his decisions going forward about his ex-wife? No. But as an adult, do I have a clearer vision of which parents understand what the position of parent actually entailed? Clearer than glass:
I’m with her on this regarding the kids’ travel, especially during the school year. There are a number of holidays in that time frame, they can go see him then, but it’s too much to expect of small kids on a weekend. Unfortunately he chose to work on the other side of the country from his children.
I’m also questioning his $1600/week check – Broadway actors are all in the Equity union, and the MINIMUM weekly pay is $2000/week (pre tax so yeah probably $1600). I find it HIGHLY doubtful he was getting the absolute minimum, considering he was the star of the show and has name recognition, and that this is the second run which he likely renegotiated for.
He’s considered a “featured player” , that was his designation for the Tony’s. He is not a Broadway star, this is is his first time doing this kind of stage work. He’s not getting top dollar. Jesse Tyler Ferguson is a co-star and he’s probably getting more money since he has done more stage work. People like Patti Lupone , Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick etc., can demand a huge salary upfront, when it’s your first show, they don’t care if you were a side actor on a TV show that’s been around too long. You don’t get to make those kinds of demands, shoot you’re lucky you’re not paying them to let you work. He’s taking a gamble, that could pay huge dividends for him in his career if casting directors think he’s capable of more than just being the cute guy on Greys. Yeah, he’s still a jerk for not organizing himself around his kids but he’s gonna get what he gets.
Yeah since Williams also executive produced it, I’m laughing at his “salary” claims. He might be making money on a delayed back end deal.
He is said to be “starring” in it as well.
Are people on glue? This man can leave his job for another one. He made millions for years. Surely they have enough saved up to live off. He is now bringing in 1600 a week. Damn thats close to what I make. That combined with the previous millions his kids are quite comfy. Also thats what happens when parents divorce. She can’t violate the order because her kids gonna be sleep. I agree with Aryn that its stupid to do that to the kids but he their parent as well and the courts have final say. (I loathed ole Jesse boy btw)
These two remind me of Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde. Wasn’t he making a case for having the kids with him in NYC while Olivia was arguing the kids hadn’t lived there in awhile and to keep them in LA? I know it’s different because Jesse Williams is only relocating temporarily to NYC for a few months (at least I hope for his kids’ sake) but it just reminds me of how parents don’t think about how their choices will affect their kids. Jesse deserves to follow his “Broadway dreams” if that’s what he wants. He also can’t just do that without thinking that flying out his young minor children across the country twice a month for 12 hour flights round trip (about six hours each way) wouldn’t be detrimental to their well-being. His kids shouldn’t have to suffer because he’s temporarily living his Broadway dreams.
The kids could fly out for Columbus Day and Veterans Day which are 3 day weekends during that time span. But he has to perform Friday-Sunday nights, how much time would he be spending with his kids anyways? He’d have to get a nanny/childcare while he’s at the theater. Seems really pointless.
I don’t know what this whole “four days in a month” thing is about. He’s on a bway schedule, he will have 8 shows a week with mondays off, and that’s it. That’s not quality time w kids and certainly not worth them flying out on a red eye to see their dad for one jetlagged day and miss school. Silly. It’s a 3-months contract and he’s already played the role, he has nothing to gain. Waste of time to take her to court. Go be naked on stage, dude, enjoy yourself. The production probably wouldn’t happen without him, bway is so star-oriented now.
I totally missed the article that Kevin mckidd is divorced again!! He needs to stay on Grey’s to pay for all of his pricey divorces. Eek. I wonder if he is still paying the first wife? Sounds like his 2nd wife was a midlife crisis.
I suspect that Jesse did alot of cheating and his now ex is a bitter betty. I agree with everyone though that red eye flying young kids regularly is insane and unhealthy. He should come to them. But as in the case of Brendan Fraser or Hulk Hogan, sometimes I think women married to famous people think they are owed the same lifestyle after the divorce. If it were me, I would take a one time payout and move on with my life(even if I have to downsize my life) rather than fight tooth and nail for the lifestyle.
1) the himpathy in these comments is rather gross. She should X for the kids, she must Y with her life .. but gosh he’s free to change jobs and express his creativity! She can’t expect him to be shackled to that cushy 6M/yr gig forever! Man’s gotta go stretch his wings! What a bitch for not letting him fly!
And the kids? Well they’ll adjust and the parents (meaning onus is on the mother) should work it out.
I saw maybe 2 comments pointing out that HE could fly to see the kids if he missed them so much. Damien Lewis, Hugh Laurie and dozens of other British actors flew from LA to UK to see their families, choosing to provide and not upend their children’s lives.
2) scroll through the embedded insta to see the video of that little girl getting out of the car. Is that child big enough to sit in the front seat? Shes tiny. Shouldn’t she be in the back in a car seat or very least a booster? If this is the parenting that’s put on social… Jesus, no wonder the mom says he thinks the kids are a vanity project for his ego.
There’s no “himpathy”, it’s common sense and the only one who’s going to suffer during this tit for tat mess is the kids. No, your ex doesn’t get to shackle you to a job to maintain a certain lifestyle. Yes, he’s the jerk for not working himself around his kids instead of the other way around. He’s paying 7k a month in support and she probably got a lump sum payment. She’s not starving. You don’t get to control the other person after a divorce, even if you are the injured party. He’s entitled to make decisions that he thinks will be best for his career in the long run, even if it means taking a lesser salary.
“you don’t get to control the other person after a divorce”
Funny you should say that but only apply it in one direction.
Who has to deal with exhausted kids who are falling behind in school after the constant red eye flights? Who has to rearrange her life in order to make these adjustments around his decision?
No one said she’s starving. No one even said this is about her directly – it’s about the obvious fact that the welfare of the children will be on her shoulders since he’s clearly not concerned about it.
Also can’t help noticing that in this divorce cases, other women really pile on the woman if she’s not as attractive or famous as the guy. She gets zero benefit of the doubt, he gets plenty. Again, himpathy.
I agree with Mel here and I always ponder a few different things with these stories. If I were the one with the money (non celeb just gobs of money)and the man tried to sock it to me with alimony, would we feel the same here? Would he deserve to take me for a lot of what I am worth especially if I did something to him say cheated or even simply if I was the main breadwinner? If not, then there is a double standard here.
I also have seen 2 men in my life recently get horribly cheated on by their wives and two of these men did nearly all of the childrearing and heavy lifting towards the end, while the wife went out and slept with men half their age and partied at bars, had suggestive tiktoks etc. We are appalled when men do it, but for women, sometimes we justify this behavior and excuse it. They need to relive their youth! They did it for so long, it is now the man’s turn to feel the pain of childrearing. IMO, there is no justification man or woman for childish immature behavior.
And finally, I stated this above, but I personally find it upsetting for revenge alimony or demanding a certain lifestyle. I don’t care if I was married to a celeb and thrust into a different world, no one is deserving of a lifestyle continuation full stop. Sure the children deserve some stuff, but what if say daddy lost his job, became a has been etc, there would have to be a decrease in lifestyle then, no child needs 50k a month to live (referencing Brenden Fraser divorce here). If I divorced a rich man and moved to another small town to start over, I would take a one time payment and be done with it rather than perpetuate drama and drag the kids through hell in the process. I would create a healthy, emotionally stable environment for them. Things are just things, they aren’t the core of one’s soul and don’t create loving, nurturing individuals, they just create more stuff for you. Also, revenge never makes anyone feel better and it only makes you feel worse ultimately, same thing with bitterness as well.
Now the flying back and forth for the kids is harmful and idiotic; I agree 100% with everyone above on that one. He should go to them or get them for long periods like summer.
Where did I say that it was okay for him to make the kids fly? He should fly. All I said is that an ex doesn’t get input into your career decisions unless you choose to ask. An ex doesn’t get to tell you where you can or can’t work. That is all. I have no dog in this fight and I’m not picking sides when I don’t personally have any insight into their issues. As I said , speaking from common sense.
I agree that the idea of flying the kids cross country for 4 days during the school year or anytime for that matter is too taxing on them and an unreasonable demand. However, I don’t think he was wrong to leave his job. He didn’t quit Greys to be unemployed and not support his kids. He’s pursuing other avenues, he has done small movie roles and is on Broadway. 7k a month of child support is still a lot of money and while I don’t know the details of their divorce settlement the monthly support is in addition to medical and eduction costs which I am sure he also pays in full. He may be lacking in being father of the year, but I think you can deny that his ex often puts pettiness over the children as well.
It seems as though Jesse’s wife or ex-wife is violating a Court order. No one should be encouraged to violate Court Orders. As a divorce attorney, I would never advise my Client to do so.
Laying her reasons out on social media for violating a court order is stupid and what opposing counsel will definitely use against her. I would.. I doubt her attorney would encourage her to do so. I would not.
I wish the children the best and hope that the parents get it together.
I doubt she’s been an angel, and airing this kind of dirty laundry on the internet is questionable to me when kids have so much access, but the circumstances kind of speak for themselves. His family was located in L.A. for a reason (his job), which he then decided to quit…and then chose a position on the other side of one of the largest countries in the world where he makes significantly less. The choices speak to the priorities.
The number of divorced people I meet who think it’s okay to up and move a significant distance is ridiculous. The divorce gave you freedom from the romantic entanglement, not the legal ones to the kids. Sorry, but kids lock you in for eighteen years. That’s the price of having them. And it’s always the kids who get stuck in the middle when adults fight like this.
@veronica S Agreed! It boggles my mind how selfish people can be with children involved. I have heard so many people in their 40s desperate to relive their youth they feel they missed out on because they had kids and got married young. So many people are jealous I am free to do what I wish at 41, when all I want now is to settle down. But my drinking and partying days are well over, all of that was in my 20s and they dont understand why I dont need to drink and sleep with randoms anymore. I dont need that attention and I also dont like how drinking makes me feel. Just two totally different paths in life.
My ex bf (we are still friends) was telling me how his 46 year old ex was cheating on him, putting on suggestive tiktoks (I saw them, it is all public, discussing all kinds of sex acts) and she has her eldest kid who is in his 20s who could stumble on it! She admitted to him that having back to back husbands and 4 kids total made her miss out and now she wants to sleep with 20 somethings, lost a bit of weight, and wants to experience what she feels she missed out on. What boggles my mind is those were her choices she made and now the poor kids have to suffer (youngest are like 7 and 9). I know men who never married, sleep around and we may judge them, but at least they didn’t cheat on anyone and drag kids into such a situation. I realize men do what she did alot too, but her behavior is not justified either just because she is a woman.
I just want to see people be responsible all around, men and women. If you have kids, be in their lives. You may have had to make sacrifices, so be it. Those kids should be your priority, not partying. If you aren’t willing to be responsible, don’t have kids, don’t get married. It really is simple. If you want a certain life, you have to grow up or you risk messing up your kids. I have seen so many adults messed up from absent mom’s or dad’s well into their 30s, 40s, and 50s. And then the cycle perpetuates. Very sad all around.
I don’t care about the child support but the flying back and forth for small
Kids seem like a nightmare. It would cause me great anxiety as an adult let alone as a small child.
He’s been leaking details for years. He has made her out to be bitter and vindictive( and she may be) but, He’s definitely doing things for himself and trying to judge her and influence opinions of her with the court of public opinion.
With that said, her rationale seems to have the kids best interest at hand, however you have to get the court to change the visitations… especially if the kids have to miss school. ..Who’s flying with these young children?
He sounds really self absorbed.
How is he leaking details ? The Cali courts are open to the press to they go and dig there noses in
I feel for her and a whole lot more for the kids But she violated a court order. There have been judges in the recent past that have JAILED parents who didn’t obey a visitation/custody order. Instead of filing for a hearing, she just refused to follow it. Not a good move. (And we know she didn’t file for a new hearing because he filed for a new hearing).
Her reasonings are sound. But she should have presented them to family court and not social media.