Katherine Heigl opened up about leaving Grey’s Anatomy in 2010 to set the record straight once and for all.
In the book, How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy by Lynette Rice, based on the exclusive excerpt published on September 18 by The Daily Telegraph, the 42-year-old actress said, “I started a family, and it changed everything. It changed my desire to work full-time.”
The actress adopted Nancy Leigh in 2008 with her husband Josh Kelley. She’s now 12 years old. She explained, “I went on family leave…and just got to be a mom, and it changed my whole perspective…that was really the turning point.”
The actress also revealed that she talked to the series’ creator and writer, Shonda Rhimes, about her plans of leaving the show. She said, “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 okay that I was off the show. The rumors that I refused to return were totally untrue.”
She explained, “[Shonda] wanted to try to figure out how I could do both [parenting and Grey’s], and I kind of wanted to do both. 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.”
Katherine’s character disappeared from Grey’s Anatomy in 2010 and though her decision sparked controversy, with many referring to her as “ungrateful”, she admitted she was also partly to blame for what the public thought of her.
She explained, “The ‘ungrateful’ thing bothers me the most. And 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.”
She added, “Of course, I’m grateful. How can I not be?”
Lynette Rice’s book, How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy, will be released on September 28.