Jesse Williams is asking for a reduction in his hefty child support payments. The actor, who starred on Grey’s Anatomy for twelve seasons, currently pays $40,000 a month to his ex-wife Aryn Drake-Lee. Williams left the show in 2021 and, as a result, wants to re-negotiate that amount.
“I am requesting the Court reduce the child support to a reasonable amount I can afford given the significant reduction in my income and the now fluctuating nature of my income,” he said in court documents, per Page Six. “…The child support of $40,000 per month ($480,000 per year) which commenced October 1, 2019, was based almost entirely on my ‘Grey’s’ episodic fees which was my then primary source of income.”
According to the court documents, Williams said that he is currently making $1,668 per week for the Broadway show Take Me Out which is a bump down from his Grey’s paycheck. Page Six reported that the actor was making a total of $6.2 million and $183,000 in residuals from the ABC drama.
“Child support was also based on my other sources of income which included my ‘Grey’s’ residuals for shows I appeared in during the marriage, and after Aryn and I separated, as well as sporadic income from occasional smaller acting, endorsement or appearance work,” Williams explained. “All of my additional sources of income were/are far less than my former episodic fees from ‘Grey’s.’”
Williams and Drake-Lee finalized their divorce in 2020, with TMZ reporting that Drake-Lee got the family’s residences in LA, Brooklyn and Oakland, and Williams kept the $936,810 he made on Grey’s since the couple’s separation. The former couple agreed to share joint custody of their two kids — Maceo, 6, and Sadie, 8 — with the understanding that the two would confer over what images of the children were posted to social media.
In 2021, a judge ordered Williams and Drake-Lee to attend “high-conflict parenting classes,” according to TMZ. The six-session online program offered “strategies for reducing conflicts in co-parenting relationships.”
Williams opened up about his decision to leave Grey’s Anatomy last year, explaining in a statement to Deadline that he will “forever be grateful” for the opportunity.
“The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always,” he said. “I am immensely proud of our work, our impact and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends.”
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