Ellen Pompeo Opens Up About Katherine Heigl’s 2009 Grey’s Anatomy Comments

In 2009, Katherine Heigl, perhaps at the height of her fame on ABC Grey’s Anatomymade some then-controversial comments about the show’s harsh working conditions… Elena Pompeo has now confirmed.

Pompeo, 52, welcomed another Grey’s Anatomy co-star, Kate Walsh, into his Tell me podcast, where he first addressed comments.

The actress, who has played Meredith Gray since the hit series debuted on ABC in 2005, called Heigl “100% honest.”

Confirmed: In 2009, Katherine Heigl, perhaps at the height of her fame on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, made some controversial comments about the show's harsh working conditions... which Ellen Pompeo has now confirmed.

Confirmed: In 2009, Katherine Heigl, perhaps at the height of her fame on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, made some controversial comments about the show’s harsh working conditions… which Ellen Pompeo has now confirmed.

Comments: Pompeo, 52, welcomed another Grey's Anatomy co-star, Kate Walsh, on her Tell Me podcast, where she addressed comments for the first time.

Comments: Pompeo, 52, welcomed another Grey’s Anatomy co-star, Kate Walsh, on her Tell Me podcast, where she addressed comments for the first time.

Heigl was promoting his new movie The Ugly Truth on a July 2009 episode of Late Night with David Letterman, where he added that he had just returned to Grey’s and made some controversial comments.

“Our first day back was Wednesday and it was … I’m going to keep saying this because I hope it embarrasses you … a 17-hour day, which I think is cruel and petty,” Heigl said.

The audience didn’t respond to his statement, as he was quick to add that it was “really great to be back because all my friends are there and they’re like family right now.”

Controversial: Heigl was promoting his new movie The Ugly Truth on a July 2009 episode of Late Night with David Letterman, where he added that he had just returned to Grey's and made some controversial comments.

Controversial: Heigl was promoting his new movie The Ugly Truth on a July 2009 episode of Late Night with David Letterman, where he added that he had just returned to Grey’s and made some controversial comments.

During their latest podcast episode, Pompeo and Walsh reflected on their comments, with Pompeo saying, “I remember Heigl saying something on a talk show about the crazy hours we were working and he was 100% right.”

Heigl had been described as “difficult” to work with and is said to be in a rather contentious relationship with Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes.

Pompeo admitted that it was a different time when Heigl made those comments, and they would have been received very differently now.

100% correct: During their latest podcast episode, Pompeo and Walsh reflected on their comments, with Pompeo saying:

100% correct: During their latest podcast episode, Pompeo and Walsh reflected on their comments, with Pompeo saying, “I remember Heigl saying something on a talk show about the crazy hours we were working and she was 100% right.”

If she had said that today, she would be a complete hero. But she was ahead of her time, made a statement about our crazy hours, and of course let’s hit a woman and call her ungrateful,” Pompeo said.

He went on to say that Katherine talking about working hours was ‘100% honest’ and was ‘absolutely correct’ about everything.

‘And she was fucking cheeky to say it. And she was telling the truth. She wasn’t lying,” Pompeo said on the podcast.

Hero: 'If I had said that today, I'd be a complete hero.  But she was ahead of her time, made a statement about our crazy hours, and of course let's hit a woman and call her ungrateful,

Hero: ‘If I had said that today, I’d be a complete hero. But she was ahead of her time, made a statement about our crazy hours, and of course let’s hit a woman and call her ungrateful,” Pompeo said.

Correct: She continued, saying that Katherine talking about working hours was '100% honest' and was 'absolutely correct' about everything

Correct: She continued, saying that Katherine talking about working hours was ‘100% honest’ and was ‘absolutely correct’ about everything

Heigl played Dr. Izzie Stevens for the first six seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, making her a household name and launching her film career.

He would later return to television with State of Affairs, Doubt and Suits, and most recently starred in Firefly Lane.

She plays Victoria Woodhull in the upcoming Woodhull series, playing the first woman to run for President of the United States in 1872.

Izzie: Heigl played Dr. Izzie Stevens for the first six seasons of Grey's Anatomy, making her a household name and launching her film career.

Izzie: Heigl played Dr. Izzie Stevens for the first six seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, making her a household name and launching her film career.

Coming Soon: Play Victoria Woodhull in the upcoming series Woodhull, playing the first woman to run for President of the United States in 1872.

Coming Soon: Play Victoria Woodhull in the upcoming series Woodhull, playing the first woman to run for President of the United States in 1872.

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