Shonda Rhimes tells Oprah: Katherine Heigl's 'Grey's Anatomy' exit 'stung'

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katherin-heigl-signs-on-to-hbo-movie-getty-320.jpgSince Katherine Heigl's abrupt exit from "Grey's Anatomy," the series' creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes has kept mostly mum on the subject. Now, she's opening up to Oprah Winfrey about Heigl's public disses of the show.

Four years ago, after winning an Emmy for her work as Isobel Stevens, Katherine Heigl withdrew her name from the subsequent competition, telling press that she felt the writing for her character had been sub-par and she shouldn't be in the race for an Emmy. (FYI -- "Gossip Girl" and "90210" cast members submit their names for Emmy consideration. It's not exactly an elite bunch.) The move was, naturally, quite hurtful to Rhimes.

"On some level it stung, and on some level I was not surprised," Rhimes says on "Oprah's Next Chapter." "When people show you who they are, believe them. I carry that with me a lot. It has served me well."

Early this year, Heigl told media that she wanted to return to the show to revisit the character. Rhimes responded, "I think it was really nice to hear her appreciating the show. At the same time we are on a track we have been planning. The idea of changing that track is not something we are interested in right now."

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