It seems as though Dr. McDreamy was a McNightmare on the set of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Patrick Dempsey’s infamous departure during Season 11 of the long-running ABC medical drama shocked fans and critics at the time. Now, Lynette Rice’s new book, “How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy,” is shedding light on why Dempsey, 55, really reportedly left the series.
The frequent rom-com actor was a series regular from 2005 until 2015 where he played Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd. Ellen Pompeo (Dr. Meredith Grey) portrayed his love interest and later wife.
Rice’s unauthorized “Grey’s” book detailed what allegedly went down between Dempsey and the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes. In an excerpt released by the Hollywood Reporter, the book claimed he was “terrorizing the set.”
“Grey’s Anatomy” producer James D. Parriott was brought in to help craft the “Valentine’s Day” star’s exit. “There were HR issues. It wasn’t sexual in any way. He sort of was terrorizing the set. Some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him,” Parriott alleged in the book. “He had this hold on the set where he knew he could stop production and scare people. 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,” he claimed.
The book has a quote from Dempsey regarding his behavior on set that reads, “It’s ten months, fifteen hours a day. You never know your schedule, so your kid asks you, ‘What are you doing on Monday?’ And you go, ‘I don’t know,’ because I don’t know my schedule. Doing that for eleven years is challenging. But you have to be grateful because you’re well-compensated, so you can’t really complain because you don’t really have a right. You don’t have control over your schedule. So, you have to just be flexible.”
Jeannine Renshaw — who was another producer on the show — revealed in the excerpt that Rhimes “finally witnessed” the actor’s not-so-nice behavior and it was reportedly “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,” Renshaw claimed. “Him and Ellen [Pompeo]. Patrick is a sweetheart. It messes you up, this business.”