Katherine Heigl has set the record straight on her Grey’s Anatomy exit.
The actress played Dr Izzie Stevens on the hit medical drama for its first six seasons, before disappearing from the show in 2010.
At the time, rumours circulated that the 42-year-old’s sudden departure was due to her just not showing up for work one day, amid speculation she was “feuding” with her co-stars and the show’s creator Shonda Rhimes.
Katherine openes up about her exit from the show in Lynette Rice’s new book ‘How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy’, in an exclusive excerpt published by The Daily Telegraph.
She said: “I started a family, and it changed everything. It changed my desire to work full-time. I went on family leave and just got to be a [mother], and it changed my whole perspective. That was really the turning point.”
“So before I was due back, I spoke again to Shonda about wanting to leave. Then I waited at home until I was given the formal OK that I was off the show. The rumors that I refused to return were totally untrue.”
“[Shonda] wanted to try to figure out how I could do both [parenting and Grey’s], and I kind of wanted to do both,” Katherine explained.
“There wasn’t a great way to compromise the work schedule that didn’t negatively affect the crew or the cast. It wasn’t feeling fair to them or the show to ask them to bend around my needs.”
Following her exit from the show, Katherine was branded “ungrateful” and “unprofessional”, which she admitted bothered her a lot.
She said: “That is my fault. I allowed myself to be perceived that way.”
“So much about living life, to me, is about humility and gratitude. And I’ve tried very hard to have those qualities and be that person, and I’m just so disappointed in myself that I allowed it to slip. Of course, I’m grateful. How can I not be?” Katherine added.
The former model married Josh Kelley in 2007, and the couple adopted two children together – Nancy and Adalaide.
The couple welcomed their son Joshua in 2016.