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‘It’s About D**n Time!’: Jesse Williams Returns to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, Reveals More Details About Why He Left Series

Jesse Williams can’t seem to stay away from “Grey’s Anatomy” for too long. Fans of the long-running show were in for a treat when Williams returned to reprise his role as Jackson Avery and pull double-duty as director of the Nov. 3 season 19 episode, “When I Get to the Border.”

Williams joined the medical drama that airs on ABC in 2009 during season six. However, after 12 seasons, he marked his departure midway through season 17 in 2021; he was not gone for long as he made an appearance during the 400th episode the following season. He also previously directed four episodes of the show.   

Jesse Williams returns to “Grey’s Anatomy” as Jackson Avery and episode 1905’s director. Photo: ijessewilliams/Instagram

“I knew that as I designed my exit, the next thing I did had to be terrifying. I needed to get out of my comfort zone,” Williams told The New York Times about his decision to leave the series.

Online, the actor heralded his recent return to the show that jumpstarted his career with a series of behind-the-scenes photos from his days on set. “Barely in the hospital at all — lots of location scouting and critical stories…,” he wrote on an Instagram post after the episode aired.

His fans were quick to flood the post, raving about his temporary return to “Grey’s.” “It’s about D**N time!!…Welcome back,” wrote one enthusiastic follower. Others commented, ”We need more Jackson Avery! Come back to Grey’s!” and “Oh we are getting that japril spin-off next fall!!” 

And more than a few fans gushed over the actor’s appearance. One of which read, “I tell you, you get finer with age cuz i wasn’t on the bandwagon at first, but whew.”

Since leaving the show, Williams has starred in “Take Me Out,” a Broadway play about a baseball player who comes out as gay. The gig marked his theater debut and his first time having to do a scene that required frontal nudity

But, on a personal note, Williams has also found himself embroiled in an ongoing custody and child support battle with his ex-wife Aryn Drake-Lee. Together the couple shares two children: a son, Maceo, and a daughter, Sadie. According to, in September, the TV star successfully had his monthly child support payments lowered to just over $6,000. He argued that since his “Grey’s Anatomy” departure, his income took a hit and that payments should be reduced by $30,000.

Last month, Williams landed another victory in court when a judge granted him consecutive days with his children while he returns to the Broadway stage for another season of “Take Me Out.”

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