Actor Taye Diggs’ ex-wife, Idina Menzel, 52, was a guest on Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s Dinner’s on Me podcast recently. She got candid about a major cause of their divorce, which was finalized in 2014, and it happened to be the fact that their relationship was an interracial one.
The former couple and co-parents met in 1996 on the set of Rent, a beloved Broadway musical. Menzel made her Broadway debut as Maureen Johnson and Diggs, 52, played Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III. The then couple tied the knot in 2003.
Ferguson asked how both of them rising to fame as actors affected their relationship.
“It’s very complicated,” she said before adding that they were “very supportive of each other always, so excited for him. The thing that came into play more and he’s talked about it too is the interracial aspect.” She went on to explain that during their time in theater, they lived in a bubble where people were mostly accepting. However, when they got into the limelight, things changed.
“He’s on the cover of Essence and Ebony and being interviewed by all these Black journalists and I think he had his own stuff to deal with that,” Menzel said. “And it seemed like there was disappointment in the community with him because he was married to [a] white, Jewish girl from some show we don’t even remember, and so, I took that on too. That’s stuff that we had to deal with. It was less about being successful and more about that kind of stuff.”
Menzel also implied that she was in the actor’s shadow at times. “You know, it’s the ‘Can we get a picture of him by himself?’ [when we were on the red carpet together],” she added.
Ferguson then asked how Diggs responded to her success with Wicked as her career picked up after playing in the musical as Elphaba.
“He was relieved, probably [when I got attention for Wicked], and happy and proud of me,” she noted to Ferguson. “He was always so supportive and probably relieved, so he didn’t have to feel like he was overshadowing me in some way or taking up too much space.”
Menzel and Diggs separated in 2013 after a decade of marriage. The actors have one child together, a son named Walker, whom they currently co-parent. Walker is often featured in Diggs’ entertaining videos on Instagram. The co-parenting is going fairly well based on the actor’s comments from a few years back.
“We never make a wrong step because we’re always thinking of Walker first,” Diggs told Us Weekly in July 2020 of their co-parenting relationship. “We both love Walker and want what’s best for him. I think once you do that, it allows for things to be a little bit easier.”
The former All American actor has gone on to date other people post-divorce with the most recent being former Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood cast member Apryl Jones. It’s unclear whether the two are still together but it seems they’ve quietly separated. Menzel married her current husband, Aaron Lohr, in 2017. She referred to Lohr as “the love of my life” in the podcast episode with Ferguson.