Aryn Drake-Lee, estranged wife of Jessie Williams and mother to his two children, hasn’t said much to the press about the divorce or what caused the dissolution of their fourteen-year relationship. Today, she’s telling her side for the first time—revealing to People what starting over has been like for her.
The Grey’s Anatomy star filed for divorce two years ago, and the two are currently tangled up in a highly-publicized custody battle. Drake-Lee, a former real estate agent, says their family uprooted life in New York and headed out West so Williams could pursue his acting career.
“When the divorce process started I had two nursing babies, and I am the one that ran our household for the 14 and a half years that he and I were together in the same house. And for our children, and for the creation of the businesses that we built together when I left my career in New York for us to move to California to pursue his, and then as a result built it…I knew, as the one that was really holding it all together, that I didn’t have a lot of room to fall, even though I was falling.”
She says the divorce showed the true colors of their mutual friends. “It was a blessing in disguise because it was a real slap in the face to see who was around us and why, and at that point it became very clear. And it cleared a pathway for me to make a shift and get back onto a path that was more in alignment with how I wanted to live my life.”
These days, Drake-Lee is channeling her pain into a new venture – a podcast titled BBSARETRASH (Babies Are Trash) which she co-hosts with fellow mom and friend Trian Long-Smith. The premise is all about having deep and honest conversations for and by moms.
“I think a lot of women are still in the place where we’re pretending like we can do everything. And it’s not realistic, and it’s not holistic, and it’s not sustainable,” says Drake-Lee of her new podcast. “I want to empower women to find their voice, to take the mask off so that they can really find the connection and the community that they’re seeking.”
Though she’s resisted being in the spotlight, Drake-Lee is accepting that the time has come to tell her truth. As for the reports about her in the press, she’s not interested in going back and forth.
“Much of what [reports] say is wrong,” she says. “But I’m not interested in a tit-for-tat, because that’s just never-ending. People believe what they want to believe because it’s easy.”
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