Idina Menzel is opening up about one of the reasons why her marriage to fellow actor Taye Diggs ended in 2014.
According to the “Frozen” star, the pair’s union was affected by the fact that they were an interracial couple.
“It’s very complicated,” Menzel said on the Jesse Tyler Ferguson podcast “Dinner’s on Me.”She added that the two were “very supportive of each other always, so excited for him. The thing that came into play more, and he’s talked about it too, is the interracial aspect.”
Diggs addressed the interracial dynamic in a 2014 interview with Redbook when asked about people’s reaction to the duo’s split.
“I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times when I thought, ‘Oh, man, people are going to trip out [if we split].’ Maybe they thought it was cute that we met in ‘Rent,’” Diggs said. “There weren’t a lot of couples like us in the theater community — and I know there aren’t a lot of performers as talented as she is … and then you have the whole mixed [race] thing. It was easy for people to root for us.”
Menzel and Diggs began dating after they both starred in the original Broadway run of “Rent” in 1996. They got married in 2003, had a son, Walker Nathaniel Diggs, in 2009 and finalized their divorce in 2014.
She noted that the interracial component of their relationship became a notable one as the two performers began to gain more recognition for their work.
“He’s on the cover of Essence and Ebony and being interviewed by all these Black journalists and I think he had his own stuff to deal with that,” Menzel told podcast host Ferguson.
“And it seemed like there was disappointment in the community with him because he was married to [a] white, Jewish girl from some show we don’t even remember, and so, I took that on too. That’s stuff that we had to deal with. It was less about being successful and more about that kind of stuff.”
As Diggs continued to gain fame in the late 1990s, Menzel felt as if she was in her then-partner’s shadow. “You know, it’s the ‘Can we get a picture of him by himself?’” she said of her early red carpet appearances with Diggs.
“He was relieved, probably [when I booked “Wicked”], and happy and proud of me,” she said. “He was always so supportive and probably relieved, so he didn’t have to feel like he was overshadowing me in some way or taking up too much space.”