Tuesday, April 9

Jesse Williams’ Child Support Payments to Ex Get ‘Significant’ Reduction After Grey’s Anatomy Exit


Stefanie Keenan/Getty Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee

Jesse Williams will be paying his ex-wife, Aryn Drake-Lee, a reduced amount for child support.

According to court documents filed on Thursday and obtained by PEOPLE, Williams’ monthly child support payments have been “temporarily modified” to $6,413.

Prior to the filing, the 40-year-old actor — who shares daughter Sadie, 8, and son Maceo, 6, with Drake-Lee — was paying his ex-wife $40,000 in child support each month.

The modification was made after Williams reported “a significant change of income” in documents filed on Dec. 20, 2021, just six months following his May 2021 departure from Grey’s Anatomy. Williams left the hit ABC medical drama after 12 seasons as Dr. Jackson Avery.

Currently, the actor is starring in the Broadway production of take me outwhich reportedly pays him $1,668 per week, according to TMZ.

Attorneys for Williams and Drake-Lee did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Jessie Williams

Jessie Williams

Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Jesse Williams on Grey’s Anatomy

RELATED: Jesse Williams and Ex-Wife Aryn Drake-Lee Settle Child Custody Dispute

Williams and Drake-Lee, 40, wed in September 2012 after more than five years together. The actor filed for divorce in April 2017. Since then, the pair have weathered a series of court battles regarding custody of their children and Williams’ child support.

In June 2018, Williams was ordered to pay more than $50,000 per month in child support in addition to the $50,695 per month in spousal support that he had paid Drake-Lee since January of that year. Months later, the actor filed an appeal to fight the order, claiming he pays too much.

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By October 2020, Williams and Drake-Lee had finalized their divorce, with documents obtained by PEOPLE at the time showing that the exes would share joint legal and physical custody of their two children. Williams was also ordered to pay his ex-wife $40,000 in child support every month, as well as over $100,000 in two spousal support payments.

Then, in April 2021, the former couple was ordered by a judge to attend a “high conflict parents” program as they navigate their co-parenting relationship.

Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee

Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee

John Shearer/Getty Images Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee

Most recently, Williams and Drake-Lee settled their child custody dispute in March, which stated they will continue to share legal custody of their two children. The judge also recommended that the exes seek co-parenting counseling, as “both seek a great deal of fine-tuning in their custody and visitation orders, much of which a court is not as well equipped to handle.”

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Amid the ongoing disputes with her ex, Drake-Lee spoke to PEOPLE in May 2019 about the toll the fraught divorce and custody battle had taken on her family, including her 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 said at the time.

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“I talk to them on their level,” Drake-Lee 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.”


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