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Katherine Heigl’s ‘State of Affairs’ Co-Star Has a Message for Her Haters: ‘F–k Those Assholes’

Heigl said Alfre Woodard, who plays the president on NBC’s upcoming drama, relayed the message after a reporter asked about reports that the ”Knocked Up“ star is difficult to work with

Katherine Heigl was confronted by an entertainment journalist about reports that she is “difficult to work with” in July, and the “State of Affairs” star addressed the awkward question this week by citing a quote from co-star Alfre Woodard.

“Alfre just took my mom’s face in her hands and went ‘Read my lips: F–k those assholes!'” Heigl told Entertainment Weekly. “And it’s Alfre, so you believe her.”

See video: Watch Trailers for NBC’s New Shows: Katherine Heigl’s ‘State of Affairs,’ Kate Walsh’s ‘Bad Judge,’ More

Heigl returns to television this fall for the first time since leaving “Grey’s Anatomy.” The 35-year-old actress plays an analyst on the show who delivers a daily intelligence briefing to the president, played by Woodard.

Reports of Heigl’s difficulty arose after her departure from the ABC medical drama in 2010, and it didn’t help that she  criticized Judd Apatow‘s “Knocked Up” — the comedy that launched her movie career — as “a little sexist.”

Also read: Katherine Heigl Talks ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Exit: ‘My Priorities Were Messed Up’

“I can only say that I certainly don’t see myself as difficult. I would never intend to be difficult,” Heigl said during a Television Critics Association panel in the summer. “I think it’s important for everyone to conduct themselves professionally, respectfully and kindly.”

Woodard chimed in with her reaction to the reporter’s brave inquiry during a cocktail party following the panel.

Also read: Katherine Heigl Dismisses $6 Million Lawsuit Against Drugstore Chain Duane Reade

“State of Affairs” has since experienced a dramatic shake up. Executive producer Ed Bernero left the series ahead of its Nov. 17 premiere due to creative differences.

An individual familiar with the situation told TheWrap that Bernero’s uncompromisable differences were not with Heigl.