Since releasing his introspective new album 4:44 earlier this month, there has been a lot of chatter about the topics behind Jay Z’s different songs, from racism and hip-hop culture, to turning to financial literacy to uplift the community and, of course, love. The latter topic was spoken about in depth by not just Jay Z, but a myriad of other famous men in “Footnotes for 4:44,” a clip that accompanies the short film for the album’s title track and explains the story behind it. We know “4:44” is an apology letter of sorts to Beyoncé for not just past infidelity but also Jay Z’s missteps with love in general over the many years they’ve been together. But in “Footnotes,” the celebrity men get real about their relationships, past, present and future, and how their upbringing impacted how they view and show love. The men in question include Will Smith, Chris Rock, Michael B. Jordan, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Paul, Anthony Anderson, Mahershala Ali, Meek Mill, Aziz Ansari and many more. One person’s reflections in particular in the video have people talking and that’s actor Jesse Williams.
For the first time he opens about his divorce from Aryn Drake-Lee in the 11-minute clip, addressing rumors that his marriage ended because he chose to step out with actress Minka Kelly, whom he collaborated with on a video game/movie project recently and also worked with on Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
“I was in a relationship for 13 years,” he said in the video. “Thirteen real years. Not five years, not seven years — 13 years. And all of a sudden motherf–kers are writing like think pieces that I somehow threw a 13-year relationship — like, the most painful experience I’ve had in my life with a person I loved with all of my heart — that I threw a person and my family in the trash because a girl I worked with was cute.”
Mind you, his statements don’t say outright that such rumors are or are not true, but they do make it clear that there is a lot more to the dismantling of a more than decade’s long relationship than people will ever understand.
But in an interesting twist of events, Williams was spotted out with Kelly on Monday:
Telling from the hats and the hood on his head, they were hoping to go incognito. So much for that.
But if you want to see the interviews and the full “Footnotes for 4:44” clip, you have to go to Tidal. It’s definitely worth a viewing.