Ellen Pompeo Breaks Silence on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Katherine Heigl, Isaiah Washington Drama – and It’s Amaze



The recently outspoken actress keeps it real in a revealing new profile celebrating the ABC series’ 200th episode milestone

Ellen Pompeo has finally broken her silence on the much-publicized drama behind-the-scenes with former “Grey’s Anatomy” co-stars Katherine Heigl and Isaiah Washington that plagued the hit ABC series earlier in its run.

SANDRA OH, ELLEN POMPEO, KATHERINE HEIGLThe actress certainly didn’t mince words over Heigl’s (pictured, left) controversial 2010 departure from the Shonda Rhimes-created series.

Also read: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Ellen Pompeo Bashes Emmys for ‘Embarrassing’ Lack of Diversity

“When Katie left, it was tough. You could understand why she wanted to go — when you’re offered $12 million a movie and you’re only 26,” Pompeo told the New York Post. “But Katie’s problem is that she should not have renewed her contract. She re-upped, took a big raise and then tried to get off the show. And then her movie career did not take off.”


In the profile celebrating the show’s 200th episode milestone, Pompeo also discussed objecting to her titular character, Meredith Grey, being potentially paired on-screen with fired co-star Isaiah Washington.

Also read: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Alum Isaiah Washington Buys a Car, Trains a Killer In ‘Blue Caprice’ Trailer (Video)

“You know they wanted Isaiah Washington to be my boyfriend. Shonda really wanted to put a black man in the mix. I didn’t think they were really going to put an interracial couple on the show and I didn’t want him,” Pompeo said.

The actress felt the storyline too closely resembled her personal life. Pompeo is married to African-American music industry veteran Chris Ivery.ISAIAH-GREYS

Also read: Dr. McWeedy? ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Patrick Dempsey Mulls Career as Marijuana Mogul

“It was too close to home … I said I wanted that Dempsey kid. I think that once Isaiah did not get the role it backfired,” she said.

Washington’s (pictured, right) ouster from the ABC series followed a heated on-set confrontation where he used a derogatory gay slur, and subsequent incident in which the actor dropped the F-bomb backstage at the 2007 Golden Globe Awards after “Grey’s” won best drama series.

Also read: Patrick Dempsey ‘Not Necessarily Bored’ With ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Of the show’s backstage turmoil, Pompeo said: “Hurt feelings, combined with instant success and huge paychecks started things spinning out of control. The crazier things got, as I watched all the tumult with Isaiah and then the Katie thing, I started to focus on the work.”

  • Doda112

    I am so happy that Meredith did not go with Isaiah, I love how they paired her with Dempsey, it is a perfect story line now. I do not understand why they are ripping apart our heart surgeon and her army love of her life, come on, put them back together and stop it. As for Richard, what’s the deal, is his contract up for renewal and you are going to have him starve to death if he does not re-up. Just have him retire instead of starving him..

    • NaNa

      I don’t like Patrick Dempsey any longer. He was the reason all the mess got started in the first place. He was a wimp that didn’t say anything to help Isiah.

  • Grace

    Dempsey kid? Really? Whose ego is spiraling? Yes, she makes valid points, but she isn’t the innocent by-stander she claims to be. So WHAT if it mirrors her own life? What had she done prior? What will she do next? She’s no Clooney, she’s not a sexy ingenue who has a career after the show.

    Take it, be happy and don’t act like you’re the top of the heap. You got lucky. Enjoy it.

    • Barb

      You don’t know what she’ll do following this show..that’s just your opinion.

    • harddazeknight

      Interesting isn’t it… how the losers of the world like to tear down the winners–to pretend that they *know* something – act like their jaundiced opinion has the validity of set-in-stone fact. Amusing.

  • mibtp

    Every show has backstage drama, despite the “we are just like a family” b.s. Love the show, still watch. I miss Private Practice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gerard.kennelly Gerard Kennelly

      i hope you’re not watching True Detective
      the ending is beyond disappointing

  • No Longer a fan of Grey’s

    This article really disturbs me. Over and over again the media has portrayed what happened on a closed television set inaccurately. Isaiah Washington never called TR Knight a facial slur in an argument between TR Knight and Isaiah Washington. He used the word in an argument with Patrick Dempsey about his, Dempsey’s prima donna behavior behind the scenes. It was inappropriate to use that slur in the heat of an argument in any case, but the media makes it sound like he was in TR’s face with the slur and that was not the case. It was Knight who went public with his hurt feelings over a discussion that he wasn’t present for on a closed set that lost to fans of the show a key character in a key relationship. Knight’s big problem supposedly was that he felt Washington outted him, when in fact he outted himself. No one needed to even know about the argument between Washington and Dempsey if Knight hadn’t gone to the media. Isaiah was then asked by, set up by, a homesexual reporter for an online entertainment site back stage at the award show if he had called TR the racial slur and he said he did not call TR the racial slur. In his denial he used the word and that set the media wagging again. It was Heigl who then went ballistic after the award show, supposedly defending her friend, who made it into a huge dust up. Interestingly the show’s next plot line put Heigl and Knight into relationship that fans did not get behind. For my part, I have not watched Grey’s since the exit of Dr. Preston Burke. I hated the way Heigl and Knight made a momentary lack of discretion in the heat of a private argument into a media circus. With no consideration for the show or fans of the show this appeared to be done for self gain.

    • Kth

      I stopped watching the show after Season 3, because it will never be the same without Burktina, which was the biggest reason I loved the show.

      • harddazeknight

        If you haven’t watched the show in 6 years why are you here?!?!? Did you really think it was necessary to inform the world that you now DON”T watch the show? Can you possibly be so narcissistic that you think anyone really cares–that it matters to ANYONE?? *NEWS FLASH*… they don’t and it doesn’t!

        • Kitchenscrambles

          Holy shit, you’re having a hell of a meltdown, harddazeknight. I think you might be taking the internet (or just a shitty TV show) way too seriously.

          Also, couldn’t we apply the same logic to your comment and say that your opinion/comment doesn’t matter, either?

        • NaNa

          I care, beause I did the same. Both of us have right to our opinion.

    • NaNa

      I agree with you. I haven’t watched the show since Isiah left either. Heigl and Knight showed their true colors. Both were just trouble makers.

      • http://www.facebook.com/gerard.kennelly Gerard Kennelly

        he should have been nominated for BLUE CAPRICE
        he was fearless

    • http://www.facebook.com/gerard.kennelly Gerard Kennelly

      see the stomach turning garbage that went on yesterday ?
      the saint patricks day parade had to change to suit gay people
      now if i said
      the gay pride parade should be changed to suit IRISH people
      there would be uproar wouldn’t there ? ?

      • T0m0

        Too bad, that we have to even have this conversation about the gays, but those who are rich and powerful and have benefitted from oppression and racism and bullying are holding tight to their money while the rest of us move forward, progressively changing our attitudes to match what we think we stand for, ‘All Men Are Created Equal’.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gerard.kennelly Gerard Kennelly

      Heigl is the new Julia roberts
      very pretty
      very likable
      very two faced

    • T0m0

      So it was someone else’s fault?
      But he as the one that opened his mouth.
      Now your rambling statement, intended to protect the bigot, really makes no sense.
      What is your point, that he was treated unfairly.
      Well …… life is not fair, but bullies get there come-uppance in the end.
      Funny thing is, my experiences with black males is very mixed: some are polite and professional and others talk crap as if they were raised on the street and everyone is a target.

      • cyntreia

        And white males are always professional. I guess racism and oppression are admirable traits to use…

    • T0m0

      And you know the whole story?
      This was not a one time occurrence.
      The truth is, he has made his opinion known many times before and those who believe in equality decided it was time for him to shut his mouth.
      Maybe we need to go back to the good old times when masta used to take care of him and his.

      • Name

        You are a racist piece of shit!!!! Why don’t you let your masta take you out in the field and beat the shit out of you and just maybe you will mind what you write in a public forum. you and everyone is entitled to an opinion but when you became a racist little dick you take it to another unappreciated level. Grow up!!

        • T0m0

          No I am not a racist, but maybe you are a bigot. In every workplace there is always at least one person who has to expression opinions that are best kept to oneself. I would think that a black man would have a little more insight regarding oppression, but if not, maybe he is a little too removed from his own history.

  • Dated and Boring

    Casting agents in hollywood need to revamp their thinking about casting for tv, movies, etc.. grey’s hasn’t casted an interest character since Jesse Wms., sad.

  • Television Is Masturbation

    Is “Grey’s Anatomy” still a thing? I thought this overwrought, melodramatic tripe would have been cancelled by now.

  • inthebusiness

    I loved working this show, although i feel it dies a few season’s ago..and i loved Katherine..she was very level headed when we worked together- and loathed Washinggton- a homophobe of the highest degree- with a chip on his shoulder bigger than…….well. A big ole ship!..the hottest manon this show- t r knight- would have done him on the surgery table if asked!

    • Going to miss Christina

      I am glad that TR and Katherine are gone. I agree with “No Longer a Fan of Greys”, the show has lost it’s luster and now Christina is leaving there is no more purpose to watch.