Idina Menzel says marriage to Taye Diggs was affected by race

The Broadway singer said differences in race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation had little influence on relationships in the theatrical community, but things changed for the couple once they transitioned.

It’s no secret that professional successes can heavily strain a relationship, but Idina Menzel and ex-husband Taye Diggs encountered a different challenge: race.

According to USA Today, Menzel, who voiced the leading role of Elsa in Disney’s “Frozen,” revealed to Jesse Tyler Ferguson on the “Dinner’s on Me” podcast that complicated factors led to her divorce from Diggs after 10 years of marriage — with the interracial nature of their relationship being a key element.

Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs split
Actors Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs arrive at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 27, 2013, in Los Angeles. The couple had split by December of that same year. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

“[Taye] was on the cover of Essence, and Ebony, and being interviewed by all of these Black journalists, and I think he had his own stuff to deal with, with that,” Menzel shared. “And it seemed like there was some disappointment in the community with him, because he was married to a little white Jewish girl.”

Menzel and Diggs met in 1995 while playing Maureen Johnson and Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III in “Rent.” They reprised their roles in the play’s 2005 film adaptation.

The couple married in 2003 and welcomed their son, Walker Diggs, in 2009. Fast forward to December 2013, the two split and agreed to co-parent Walker separately; they divorced the following year.

Menzel stated that differences in race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation had little influence on relationships in the theatrical community. However, things changed once people left that bubble – leading to the couple’s challenges.

Despite their romantic relationship ending, the pair continued being avid supporters of one another.

“He was always so supportive,” Menzel said on the podcast, USA Today reported, “and probably relieved so he didn’t have to feel like he was overshadowing in some way or taking up too much space.”

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