Grey’s Anatomy book reveals shocking claims behind Patrick Dempsey’s exit

The claims appear in a new book about the show

Elizabeth Aubrey
Thursday 16 September 2021 22:52
comments
Grey's Anatomy season 17 trailer
Leer en Español

A new book about hit television show Grey’s Anatomy has claimed to know the reasons that led to Patrick Dempsey’s exit from the show.

In the new book, How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy, author Lynette Rice explores claims about Dempsey’s exit in season 11 of the Shonda Rhimes-created drama.

In the book, which is an unauthorised oral history of the show, Rice speaks to Dempsey’s co-stars and executive producers who were present during his final days on set.

In one extract, which was published in The Hollywood Reporter today (16 September), there are claims of “HR issues” that allegedly contributed to the death of his character, Derek “McDreamy” Shepard.

Executive producer James D Parriott, who oversaw Dempsey’s exit from the show, claimed: “There were HR issues. It wasn’t sexual in any way. He sort of was terrorising the set.”

He went on to claim that “some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him”, adding: “He had this hold on the set where he knew he could stop production and scare people.”

Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey in Grey’s Anatomy

“The network and studio came down and we had sessions with them. I think he was just done with the show. He didn’t like the inconvenience of coming in every day and working. He and Shonda were at each other’s throats.”

Producer Jeannine Renshaw meanwhile recalled “a lot of the complaining” on set, adding: “I think Shonda [Rhimes, producer] finally witnessed it herself, and that was the final straw. Shonda had to say to the network, ‘If he doesn’t go, I go.’ Nobody wanted him to leave, because he was the show.”

The Independent has reached out to representatives of Dempsey for comment.

Earlier this month, actor Kate Walsh confirmed her character Dr Addison Montgomery is set to return to the show.

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

Walsh shared the news of her impending return to the long-running American medical drama, now in its 18th season, in an Instagram reel on 3 September.

In the reel, Walsh responded to the question, “Will you ever come back to Grey’s Anatomy?” with a resounding “Yes”, before transitioning into Dr Montgomery’s signature lab coat.

The new season premieres on Thursday 30 September.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments