“Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington has issued an apology for his behavior during an on-set argument with costar Patrick Dempsey earlier this month.
“I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set. Both are beneath my own personal standards. I have nothing but respect for my coworkers… and have apologized personally to everyone involved,” Washington said in a statement to People magazine.
After Washington, 43, and Dempsey, 40, clashed on Oct. 9th, reports surfaced that Washington (who plays Dr. Preston Burke on the hit drama) had used a homophobic slur during the fracas.
Then on Oct. 19th, their costar T.R. Knight confirmed that he is gay.
“I guess there have been a few questions about my sexuality, and I’d like to quiet any unnecessary rumors that may be out there,” Knight said in a statement. “While I prefer to keep my personal life private, I hope the fact that I’m gay isn’t the most interesting part of me.”
Since the event, rumors have been swirling over everything from script rewrites of an impending onscreen fracas to rumors that Washington would actually be fired from the show.
“I found (those rumors) not only ridiculous but offensive that we would consider replacing a member of our family,” “Grey’s” creator Shonda Rhimes told People. “And also the (idea) that one black man was interchangeable with another seemed disturbing to me.”
Rhimes also dismisses speculation that the mood on the set has been unusually tense. “The mood’s what the mood’s always been,” she says. “We have a group of people who are more of a family than anything else. We have our fun days, and we have our days when people are tired and the work is hard.”
On Tuesday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Grey’s” costar Katherine Heigl played down the incident, calling it “some scuffle ? There was a little burst of testosterone in the room, and then within five minutes … they were totally fine.”
Ironically, Washington was scheduled to tape an interview with DeGeneres on Tuesday to air Wednesday, but canceled - citing a scheduling conflict - after Heigl jokingly warned DeGeneres to “step back” during Washington’s appearance, USA Today reports.
So what actually happened between Washington and Dempsey?
The two actors reportedly squared off in what was called a “violent brawl” on the set. According to the reports, Washington grabbed Dempsey by the throat after an argument broke out over cast members showing up late for work.
According to one source, Isaiah was “in Patrick’s face” and said some “disgusting things.”
A source from the set told People that when Knight, 33, was late to film a scene, a debate ensued between Dempsey and Washington, with Dempsey insisting on waiting for Knight before starting the scene. The argument quickly intensified, and the source says that yes, the alleged slur was used, but Knight was not present at the time.
Isaiah’s rep hasn’t denied the incident and released the following statement to Access Hollywood:
“Differences are inevitable. They were aired, resolved, and everyone has moved on.”
Washington even went as far as to joke about the incident afterwards, telling People magazine he’d never been that close to Dr. McDreamy before and “he has really pretty blue eyes.”
Now, Rhimes told People that Dempsey and Washington “are fine” - as are Washington and Knight.
“They’ve had conversations,” Rhimes said. “They did a really great scene together the other day.”
The whole affair, she added, “was four and a half seconds of one day in three years. I feel like we’ve already moved on.”
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