Aryn Drake-Lee is an American real estate broker who is best known as the ex-wife of Hollywood actor Jesse Williams, renowned for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC Television series 'Grey's Anatomy'. She has worked for real estate agencies such as Webb and Booker and William B. May, and is currently an Associate Real Estate Broker at Brown Harris Stevens. She is valued as a skilled communicator thanks to her ability to talk fluently in French and Spanish. Along with her husband, she had developed the ‘Ebroji’ GIF Keyboard App. She likes to keep a low profile despite her past long-term relationship with the actor. However, the former couple went through an ugly divorce after their 13-year-old relationship ended in early 2017, which was thoroughly covered by news outlets.
Rise to Stardom
While still attending Barnard College at Columbia University, Aryn Drake-Lee began her professional career in Harlem under the tutelage of Webb and Booker, the largest black management company in the country. She then worked at William B. May as a real estate agent before joining Brown Harris Stevens as Associate Real Estate Broker. According to Brown Harris Stevens, she is one of the most successful brokers in their Park Slope office. Nevertheless, it is her relationship with actor Jesse Williams that gained her media attention after he moved to Los Angeles and established himself as an actor.
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Aryn Drake-Lee was born on December 12, 1981 in Chicago, Illinois, United States to mixed race parents. She attended the French American International School, an independent bilingual school in San Francisco, California, where she learnt to speak French and Spanish, apart from English. She later graduated from Barnard College in New York City under Columbia University.
Relationship with Jesse Williams
Aryn Drake-Lee first met Jesse Williams when he was working as a history teacher in a high school in New York City. This was even before he made his big screen debut with the 2008 movie 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2'. According to 'Page Six', she had been the main breadwinner until Jesse Williams bagged the breakthrough role of Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC Television series 'Grey's Anatomy'. She also didn't hesitate to move from New York to California after his acting career took off. After being together for over half a decade, they finally got married on September 1st, 2012 in an intimate ceremony in Los Angeles. In December 2013, she gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Sadie Williams. The couple then welcomed a son named Maceo Williams in October 2015.
Controversies & Scandals
Aryn Drake-Lee's troubled relationship with Jesse Williams came to the fore front after it was revealed in early April 2017 that Williams had filed for divorce. Reportedly, he did not want to pay spousal support and had asked the judge to grant him joint physical and legal custody of their two children. Remembering how she had supported him when he was a struggling actor, friends claimed that they split because he now wanted "to be the hot single guy in Hollywood".
In late June 2017, the fight got ugly after Jesse's lawyer claimed that despite him being "an active, involved, hands-on dad", Aryn doesn't allow him to spend enough time with his kids. He was subsequently spotted with his 'The Butler' co-star Minka Kelly in Paris for a video game shoot, sparking dating rumors. The two were again spotted coming out of a theatre in Los Angeles in early July 2017. He soon opened up to his divorce and cheating rumors by stating that he had put 13 years into the relationship and it was the most painful experience for him to see the relationship fall apart. He also added that it was stupid for the media to think that he would throw "a person and my family in the trash because a girl I work with is cute". Interestingly, the day after his claim, a source close to him confirmed that he and Kelly were dating for a few months.
On August 15, Aryn pushed for sole custody of their children citing his violent temper and requested the judge not to allow his girlfriends to be near their children. In September 2017, the court allowed both of them joint custody of their children and, according court papers acquired by 'E! News', Jesse was asked to pay her $160,000 for temporary spousal support and to cover her legal fees. In June 2018, it was revealed that he paid her $50,695 per month in spousal support and that she had requested for an increase. According to a July 2018 report by 'Us Weekly', he now pays $100,000 a month in child and spousal support to Aryn.