Whether you know Billy Porter for his incredible role as Pray Tell in Pose, for his Tony-winning performance as Lola in Kinky Boots, or any other of his countless projects, it’s safe to Porter has become a household name in Hollywood. And though that may be true, it doesn’t mean he’s any less immune to the effects of the SAG-AFTRA strike.
In fact, Porter recently opened up in an interview about having to make some tough financial decisions to get by during the work strike. “I have to sell my house,” he told Evening Standard. “I don’t know when we’re gonna go back [to work],” he explained.
“The life of an artist, until you make f—you money — which I haven’t made yet — is still cheque-to-cheque,” Porter continued. “I was supposed to be in a new movie, and on a new television show starting in September. None of that is happening. So to the person who said ‘we’re going to starve them out until they have to sell their apartments,’ you’ve already starved me out.” Shocking, right?
Porter, who recently announced his divorce from his husband of six years Adam Smith, is currently living in London as he co-produces a production of A Strange Loop. “I’m glad I’ve been over here. But when I go back I will join the picket lines,” Porter said. “I haven’t engaged because I’m so enraged.”
And, according to Brett Ward, partner and co-chair of the Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group at Blank Rome, losing his home might not be the biggest impact the SAG-AFTRA strike has on Porter’s life. In fact, per Ward’s interview with Fox News Digital, the strike might also have affected his personal life too.
“Daily life has been interrupted,” Ward said. “Combine that with financial pressures and individuals suddenly spending a considerably higher amount of time together – all of these will increase the tension and can often lead to high divorce rates. People are out of work. They don’t know when they’re going back to work, which causes tension, and they aren’t being paid.”
Ward continued, “Our normal daily routines can help distract us from our problems. But if the routine is interrupted, it can expose any number of cracks in a relationship, and not working brings the added stress of financial pressure.”
And although the strike being one of the reasons for Porter’s split is merely speculative, it is interesting to draw that connection. After all, having to sell your home and not having work for the foreseeable future is, undoubtedly, stressful for anyone, including celebrities (and their partners!).
Before you go, click here to see all the celebrities who supported the SAG-AFTRA & WGA strikes.
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