Raul Esparza Wanted to Keep His Wife around Even When Their Marriage Was Over
Raul Esparza has never been the one to talk a lot about his private life. He has only spoken in detail about his dating life on a few occasions.
However, his few times speaking about it has been quite revelatory. One of those times was in 2006 after he had split from his high school sweetheart wife.
The things he revealed shook everyone as he talked about the potential reasons his marriage did not work out and being bisexual, something nobody knew until then.
Raul Esparza Wanted to Keep His Wife around Even after Split
After a light-hearted start to the interview, Esparza delved into his personal life, a rare thing. He revealed he had split from his wife of over a decade, Michele Marie Perez.
The two had met when he was attending high school, but not in the same high school. He attended Belen Jesuit, an all-male Catholic school.
Raul Esparza on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.' (Photo: Raul Esparza/Instagram)
Their romance continued even after graduating from school, and in 1993, they married. He loved her enough to marry her, but he did not love her with his entire self.
He was just 23 when they married. Their relationship was smooth during the initial years.
But, in 2000, things took a left turn as he left for New York from Miami. "I’ve been very unsure of things since I came to New York," he said.
Between the turn of the century and when the interview was taken, they had gone for divorce twice. The first time, they were still in Miami.
That did not work out, and they continued being together for a while longer, at least until the second time. Their second attempt at a legal separation was successful and their divorce was finalized in 2007 when he was 34.
Even though their marriage was turbulent and on-and-off at times, he still valued her and their marriage a lot.
"It’s the end of something I thought was going to be perfect," he told the publication. "She’s my best friend, I’ve known her since high school."
When the interview was taken, he was still on good terms with his ex wife and he still loved her. "We’re still trying to figure a new way to figure it out," he said.
One of the things that caused his marriage to go downhill was his sexuality — something he had not discussed publicly until then. But he had accepted it privately and even moved on from his ex spouse.
Raul Esparza’s Sexuality and How That Affected His Life
In 1988, he graduated from Belen Jesuit and enrolled in NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. It was there his life took a big turn.
In college during his sophomore year, he fell in love with a male instructor. He was only a few years older than him. After he graduated from college in 1992, this man helped him get a job.
This man also believed in him like no other.
"He was tough and impossible and manipulative and brilliant and really inspired and believed I’d be a big star," Esparza confessed during his interview. He had no judgment about Esparza and took no issue with him being gay or straight.
Esparza's Cuban mother, however, took a big issue with his inclinations. She even suggested he saw a therapist.
The man, who Esparza refused to acknowledge as his lover or partner during the entire interview, was on his side when he told him about his mother's reaction. He thought his mother should go see the therapist, instead.
The Broadway actor himself had doubts about the experience. "There was a part of me that was trying to get rid of it," he confessed.
He later changed his mind about that. While talking to DNA Magazine in 2019, he felt no need to explain to people who and why he loved someone. Esparza also didn't feel sad or guilty about how he had felt in the past.
"I’ve become less interested in trying to explain myself or apologise. I’m much more joyful about the reality of simply being myself," he told DNA Magazine.
During that New York Times interview, it is mentioned that he was involved with another actor. He took no names, though.
As of July 2021, he was dating Bill Curran. But as he's secretive, nothing else is known about their relationship.