Is Jesse Williams gay? Jesse Williams is an American actor, director, activist, and also a producer. He portrayed Dr. Jackson Avery in the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy from 2009 to 2022.
He has also acted in movies like The Butler (2013) and The Cabin in the Woods (2012). In the computer game Detroit: Become Human (2018), he provided Markus with voice acting and motion capture.
Both the Tony Award-winning revival of Take Me Out (2022) and the Academy Award-winning short Two Distant Strangers (2020), in which he also received a nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play, were executive produced by him.
On the internet, there have been speculations that Jesse Williams is gay. So, is Jesse Williams really gay? Or are these rumors just baseless? Let’s go right to it and read the article to get the truth about the actor’s sexual orientation.
Is Jesse Williams Gay?
No, Jesse Williams is not gay. Jesse Williams is often mistaken as gay due to his compelling portrayal of a gay character in Broadway’s Take Me Out and his insightful interview with Entertainment Weekly.
In the interview, he eloquently discussed the intricacies of his character’s experiences, emphasizing the unique nature of each human connection and the shared themes of discrimination and abuse of power.
While he acknowledged the overlap between various forms of oppression, including sexism, equal pay, racism, and orientation, he separated his character’s complexities from his own identity.
In truth, Jesse Williams’ past dating history, which exclusively involves women, provides clear evidence of his heterosexual orientation.
Despite his powerful performances and thoughtful reflections, it’s important to distinguish between his on-screen roles and his personal life.
Who Is Jesse Williams Currently Dating?
Jesse Williams is currently dating Ciarra Pardo as per Just Jared. Rumors fueled when Jesse Williams and Ciarra Pardo were spotted together for the first time in June which seemed to be a date night.
On Saturday evening (June 17), the Grey’s Anatomy actor, 41, was photographed dining with Ciarra at Santa Monica, California’s Giorgio Baldi.
After lunch, they drove out from the restaurant with Ciarra seated in the driver’s seat. Although it’s unclear how long Jesse has been seeing Ciarra, he’s known her for a very long time.
According to Radar Online, he referred to her as his “longtime girlfriend” in court records as part of his custody dispute with his ex-wife Aryn Drake-Lee back in February 2022.
We first witnessed them together in New York City in December 2022, when Jesse was appearing on Broadway in the play Take Me Out.
Jesse Williams’ Dating History in Detail
Aryn Drake-Lee (2004-2017)
According to reports, Williams and broker Drake-Lee first spoke when she was a student in New York in the middle of the 2000s. The pair wed in September 2012 after being together for more than five years.
Sadie, their daughter, was born in December 2013; Maceo, their son, was born in October 2015. They started a production firm called FarWord in 2012 as a result of their romantic and professional relationship.
The “The Cabin in the Woods” star spoke candidly about meeting Drake-Lee and their enduring friendship in a 2010 interview with USA Today. He said:
“I was a teacher when I met her, so she’s been with me through all different facets of my career. She’s stuck with me through thick and thick and thick and thin. We know each other in and out.”
Sadly, after five years of marriage, the couple divorced citing irreconcilable reasons. Williams divorced in October 2020 after filing for divorce in 2017, according to court records acquired by People.
The ex-couple had joint custody of their kids, but since their divorce, they have engaged in a number of legal disputes as Drake-Lee fought for sole custody because of Williams’s demanding filming schedule.
Thankfully, their custody disagreement was resolved in March 2022, and they still share custody of their kids (although coparenting counseling was suggested for the ex-spouses to handle post-divorce challenges).
Minka Kelly (2017-2018)
While working on the video game “Detroit: Become Human” in January 2017, Williams and Kelly became friends. People revealed their relationship in July 2017 after early dating rumors.
However, because of how close their relationship was to Williams’s divorce from Drake-Lee, the two were frequently the target of infidelity rumors.
In JAY-Z’s “Footnotes for 4:44” graphics, the “Secret Headquarters” actor finally seemed to put the matter to rest by addressing the cheating rumors. He claimed,
“I was in a relationship 13 years, 13 real years, not five years, not seven years — 13 years,” he said. “All of a sudden motherf*ckers are writing think-pieces that I somehow threw a 13-year relationship.
Like, the most painful experience I’ve had in my life like with a person I’ve loved with all of my heart — that I threw a person and my family in the trash because a girl I work with is cute.”
Williams and Kelly maintained a very secretive relationship for the duration of it, apparently divorcing in January 2018. Neither party has ever explained the cause in public.
Taylor Rooks (May 2018)
Taylor Rooks, a sports journalist, and Williams first raised dating rumors in May 2018 after they were seen getting close over the Memorial Day holiday in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at one of Kevin Hart’s comic performances.
Williams and Rooks’ relationship was officially verified by Us Weekly in May 2018. It’s unknown when they ended their relationship because they kept it so private, but it would have happened before Williams moved on with another person in May 2019.
Taylour Paige (May 2019-2021)
In January 2019, photos of Williams and actor Taylour Paige together at the Sundance Film Festival generated the first dating speculations.
When the two went to the Frieze art exhibition in New York City in May of that year, they confirmed their burgeoning connection.
Later that month, they made their red carpet debut at the Ozwald Boateng Harlem runway show, which further cemented their relationship.
It’s interesting to note that when Paige made an appearance on “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2016, Williams and the “Zola” star had previously collaborated professionally before they started dating.
The couple opened up about their romance in a joint interview with GQ in February 2021, spilling numerous swoon-worthy details. The pair talked openly about their diametrically opposed personalities and how that boosted their friendship.
Williams and Paige apparently split up approximately midway through their more than two-year relationship as their public and social media appearances together decreased.
Even on Instagram, the couple stopped following one another and at one point erased their photos of one another, thus confirming their breakup.