Was Patrick Dempsey fired from ‘Grey’s’ because he had an affair with a staffer?


If anyone wants to try to convince me that Patrick Dempsey is a shady d-bag, you really won’t have to spend too much time on it. I’m pretty much already there. Dempsey, as we all know, was abruptly written off Grey’s Anatomy last month. There were rumors that Shonda Rhimes had a falling out with Dempsey, there were rumors that Dempsey was acting like a diva, and there were rumors that Dempsey was the one to want out.

Less than a month later, we still don’t really know what happened. I haven’t been following it too closely, but my general sense is that while Dempsey was “surprised” that McDreamy was killed off, he was also sort of grateful because he was ready to move on. Plus, it really didn’t seem like there was any love lost between Shonda and Patrick. But here’s a new wrinkle – In Touch Weekly claims that Shonda wrote him off after cast members learned that Dempsey had an “inappropriate relationship” with a young staffer on the set of GA.

Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey told reporters on Jan. 23 he was “spread so thin” because the ABC show had “been taking up a lot of time.” But now In Touch has exclusively learned the secret behind both his split from his wife of 15 years, Jillian Fink, and his sudden on-screen departure as Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd.

“Patrick had an inappropriate relationship with a young woman who worked on the set,” an insider exclusively reveals in the new issue of In Touch.

“[His co-star] Ellen Pompeo found out and was angry because she’s close friends with Jillian, so of course, she told her,” the insider explains, adding that the situation even led to McDreamy’s death on the show in April after the actress spilled what she knew to the show’s creator and executive producer, Shonda Rhimes. “Shonda has no patience for that kind of behavior.”

Though their characters seemed love-struck with each other on-screen, the source says that “there was tension in Patrick and Ellen’s relationship for years before the final blowup,” adding that Ellen “was sick of his behavior on and off set.”

In particular, she hated his relationship with the female co-worker, who is in her early 20s. “Patrick found out that Ellen told his wife about the relationship and totally lost it. They had a huge blowup on the set in front of everyone,” the insider reveals to In Touch.

After that battle, Shonda got involved. “Shonda fired Patrick,” says the insider. “He didn’t want to leave.” Though Patrick had more than a year left on his contract, the insider adds, “Producers didn’t want him causing trouble.”

[From In Touch Weekly]

I believe some of this story. Not all. As I said, I’m already in the mood to believe that Dempsey is a shady d-bag. I have no problem believing he was screwing around on his wife with many different women over the years, and that some of those women might have even worked on Grey’s Anatomy. I will also be willing to believe that Dempsey and Pompeo had a less-than-friendly relationship off-camera. But I don’t really believe Ellen Pompeo would get all up in Patrick’s business, even if he was carrying on with a staffer. Plus, when did this affair take place? Patrick and his wife announced their split in January of this year, after what I assumed was a pretty open marriage.

Now, if you want to tell me that Patrick had an affair with someone on the set and maybe the woman was threatening a lawsuit or something? And maybe that’s why Shonda found out and got rid of him? Sure, I’d believe that.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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81 Responses to “Was Patrick Dempsey fired from ‘Grey’s’ because he had an affair with a staffer?”

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  1. Snowpea says:

    Oh man Dempsey just keeps getting hotter and hotter. The man has that undefinable je ne sais quoi…

    Id hit it! Over and over…

    • springingforward says:

      He had a nose job early in his career; google it. Not so hot to begin with…..

      • Booopybettes says:

        Yeah I recall the nose job…I also recall he married his agent or manager when he was like 22 and she was 50. At the time that was a strange move.

    • Mia4S says:


      I mean to each their own…but the apparent constant cheating on his wife and mother of his children? The many stories of him acting like an arrogant tool?

      Nope, sorry. Ewwwwwwww.

      • ava7 says:

        Hmm. Sounds just like Bill Clinton! Except the woman he allegedly had an affair with was actually in a paid position, not an intern.

    • OriginalTessa says:

      He’s gorgeous. I agree. Sleezy d-bag, but hey, we know too much about actor’s lives. They’re for our entertainment, not to inform our morality.

    • morc says:

      I don’t consider him attractive at all, he’s smarmy looking and his nose seems to be a glue-on.

      • belle de jour says:

        Smarmy & smirky. I watched that fairy tale movie with my niece, and kept thinking that while Amy Adams was so good because she played it straight, he did everything but turn and roll his eyes directly at the camera.

    • LVN says:

      The man makes me drool everytime they do a closeup on his face. I think he’s gorgeous. I still melt when I see him in the Disney film with Amy Adams and the Sweet Home Alabama movie with Reese. The man is so hot.
      I think hes way better looking than Clooney.

    • LVN says:

      +1 definately would.

  2. AG-UK says:

    I am surprised this show is still on.

    • Anastasia says:

      I was about to say the same thing! I kept re-reading portions of this article, because I was confused. I thought Gray’s Anatomy was long gone. ???

    • LAK says:

      Me too.

    • Grace says:

      That’s exactly my thought

    • minx says:


    • Amy Tennant says:

      Same here. That was the most shocking thing about the whole business for me!

    • Size Does Matter says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one. I thought it was in syndication with reruns and no new episodes. But I stopped watching after the first season. I know nothing.

    • Boston Green Eyes says:

      Me, too. ABC recently had a Grey’s Anatomy marathon night and I thought, why are they marathoning that old, dead horse?

    • LVN says:

      I only watched the first season, then stopped. I was spending a lot of time in real hospitals with several Family members having terminal illnesses and the show just didn’t seem like entertainment to me after that. Totally stopped watching it, never found the attraction of hospital shows, showing illnesses and death, just didn’t appeal to me. I like the romance of the show though but it wasn’t worth staying tuned past one season for that.

  3. A.Key says:

    I don’t buy it. Not the affair, but that that’s the reason he was written off. Nobody gets written off a tv show for sleeping with a cast/staff member. Hell if that were the case, there’d be no tv shows left.
    What if he had been having an affair with Pompeo? Would he have been written off then? I don’t think so.
    There’s something rotten about the behind the scenes of that tv show, and it ain’t just Dempsey.

    • Sabrina says:

      I agree with your opinion. I think he was most likely written off for complaing too much about his working hours even though he re-signed a contract for seasons 11 & 12. I remember him not being too kind about the show when he was promoting some racing documentary.

      • Hudson Girl says:

        Yes, to both of you.

        This is just a planted story to cover the other rumors circulating about the real reason for his marriage breakup. It wasn’t just that he worked long hours during the week, and then would take off out of town car racing on the weekends (his poor kids). It’s that he plays for the other team.

    • Miss M says:

      I completely agree with you.
      His character’s departure had so many holes and now that the fans are p$ssed and pointed out the flaws, she wrote that sheperd’s sister was pissed with herfor not calling… She took a year in the story to say that to Meredith? Habahaha

      All his former colleagues from the show wrote something nice on twitter. They disnt have to do it.

      • Bridget says:

        When his character was killed a lot of folks pointed out that Dempsey doesn’t have a great rep behind the scenes – the infamous Isaiah Washington incident started because Washington was ticked at Dempsey constantly being late. In Touch may be wrong about the staffer affair story, but if a guy’s wife of 15 years leaves him and he’s fired from his job of 10 years in a short span of time chances are it’s because he’s a jerk.

    • Don't kill me I'm French says:


    • holly hobby says:

      I doubt he got written off because of an affair. It is more work related than everyone thinks. Now if his behavior sucks, yeah I believe that but an affair has nothing to do with work performance. If that’s the case, half of hollywood should be fired. hahah.

    • Des says:

      I buy that he had an affair (or dozen) but can’t believe he and Ellen had a rough relationship. In his exit interview, apparently the only time he teared up about the whole thing is when it came to Ellen. And he’s talked for years about how close they are and how hard he had to work not to fall in love with her for real.

    • Jessica says:

      I would generally agree, but in this case the timing is odd. He and his wife just filed for divorce a few months ago and now he gets fired from the show… it would be one heck of a coincidence if the two were not interrelated. I believe there is some underlying truth to the rumors.

      • Tessy says:

        Unrelated bad stuff can and does happen at the same time all the time. I had time years ago where I got injured, lost my job, lost my house, my marriage broke up because of my ex’s addictions where he squandered every bit our money and racked up the credit cards for cocaine… and then I went into a depression.
        It was my “dark soul of the night” period.
        As for an affair, unless it was some sort of workplace sexual misconduct on his part, they shouldn’t have anything to say about it if it was a mutual thing.

  4. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    Grey’s Anatomy’s main premise is that everyone sleeps with everyone, people cheat on each other, doctors sleep with interns, interns give doctors STD’s, on-call rooms are for sex not resting etc. It doesn’t reflect the real life but it’s still Shonda’s idea (a fantasy?) on how work-places function (her other shows have a similar pattern). I doubt she would fire someone simply for having an affair. Saying that – I believe Dempsey was fired for being a douche. Have you seen the story about how he abused his first, much older wife? These stories are not always true but the way she described it and his reputation made me think this one was.

  5. Kara says:

    i agree on the lawsuit theory. if you fire every actor and actress that cheats on their partners you can do one man shows and nothing else.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Especially as it has been termed an “inappropriate relationship.”

    • Boston Green Eyes says:

      There would only be Nature/animal shows left on TV if the lawsuit thing came to pass.

      Aw, heck, who wouldn’t mind a profuse amount of prime-time meerkat dramadies or a lazy lemur mini-series?? I, for one, find a fuzzy kitten more adorable than McDreamy could ever wish to be.

  6. Kath says:

    A married colleague with 2 young sons conducted an affair with a young grad (15+ years his junior) under the noses of everyone. I was totally disgusted.

    His wife forgave him and he got promoted, passing my work off as his own.

    People are awful.

    • Lola says:

      I wasn’t repulsed until you mentioned that he passed your work off as his.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      I was disgusted by the wife that forgave him. Ugghhh.

      • enike says:

        maybe the wife didnt love him anymore and just didnt care? maybe they stay together for the sake of their children, and everybody does in private, what they want…

        Not everybody, who forgive cheating is madly in love and and/or week, some people forgive their spouses, because they dont care

        If you are disgusted by the wife forgiving him, you are projecting. That is a good thing and shows, that you still love your partner and care about him.

    • cheryl says:


    • PennyLane says:

      Gross. Sorry to hear that.

  7. Lucy2 says:

    Something obviously has gone on behind the scenes- you don’t suddenly realize after 10 YEARS that the show is spreading you too thin. Given that this happened not long after his wife filed for divorce, it’s possible there was something like that’s going on.

    • Valois says:

      It didn’t happen suddenly, though. He has been saying how stressful it was for years. he almost quit at least once, but loved the paycheck too much.
      But I agree there’s something off her.

  8. kri says:

    It’s Hollywood. I doubt that anyone cares who is banging who/what. I would agree with the idea something bigger is going on. I can see Shonda wanting to get rid of him in the event of a sexual harassment lawsuit or something similar. Also, I thought that show was done last year.

  9. bette says:

    Who knows what to believe (Blind Gossip had an item supposedly aberout him) that had him leaving his wife for some man). But if Hollywood going to start firing people because they are cheating on their spouses, many of the characters in TV shows will die untimely deaths!

    Shonda seems to have a habit of not liking someone personally and then quickly killing them off the show. She should separate the professional from the personal, not sure how popular McDreamy still is (haven’t watched the show in years); will be interesting to see the ratings next year

    • Bridget says:

      Shonda doesnt need to separate the personal from the professional – she just likes to kill characters off for drama. It’s a question of taste, not professionalism.

  10. Debbie says:

    Seriously the behind the scenes of greys is way more interesting the the show has ever been if this is true.

  11. Char says:

    The problem I have with this is, in the interview where Patrick talked about Derek getting killed off, the only time he got emotional (teary-eyed according to the interviewer) was when he talked about Ellen. The rest of the interview he seemed to be holding back, I assumed he was trying hard not to bad mouth Grey’s &/or Shondra. But he talked kindly about Ellen, how it was almost like they really were married after playing a couple for 10 years & how he was going to miss her. That makes it hard for me to believe there was any problems between the 2 of them. Obviously he pissed Shondra off though.

  12. tracking says:

    I believe something was up with Pompeo, because I thought their scenes together (even after making up) were oddly stilted, especially on her end. But who knows.

    • chick binewski says:

      I could see Pompeo getting all up in Dempsey’s face in private. I’ve always liked her. She’s seems like a quiet badass, if that makes sense.

  13. Eleonor says:

    I’ve been reading for years he was over Grey’s Anatomy and he wanted to end it, but stayed for the paycheck. I was not surprised at all when they killed him off.

    • Inconceivable! says:

      Exactly. I thought last year was going to be his last, so I was surprised he even came back for a few episodes this year. There are tons of articles about him leaving Grey’s, so why was it such a big shocker?

  14. Lara K says:

    He looks like a walking STD

  15. FLORC says:

    It’s an open secret in his home town that when he returned a few years back he got around. Guy is sleezy.

  16. serena says:

    I also believe he’s kind of a douchebag, but I also think that Shonda get rid of anyone that even slightly piss her off. She’s the diva.

    • PennyLane says:

      Honestly, I can’t blame her. I can’t even imagine the kind of hours Shonda Rhimes puts into her work.

      If I had my own successful TV shows (!) and some actor started giving me a hard time – whether that was by criticizing the storylines or sleeping with an intern – I would fire them in a hot second.

      I just wouldn’t have the time for that, you know what I mean?

      • serena says:

        I know and you’re right, but when you have millions of fans around the world that keep your checks coming you could think twice about it.

  17. Ms. Lib says:

    Fired?? I thought he died!

  18. Patricia says:

    If that was the case then every actor married or single should had gotten fired at some point in their careers.
    But i believe this because it’s Shonda, and she gives no f*cks …

  19. Shelley says:

    Next to leave must be Meredith. Couldn’t stand her and Derek. I also cant stand Amelia. *aaargh*.
    If Greys is to prosper again, Shonda needs to go back to giving the other characters stronger storylines. I feel she hasn’t been going deep enough with the emotional stuff lately. I must rewatch the earlier seasons for old times sake.

  20. HoustonGrl says:

    Ellen got mad at him for cheating on his wife? Are we back to season 2?!!

  21. Caroline says:

    I think every comment thread re: Grey’s should come with a standard disclaimer that no one is allowed to say the VERY tired joke “Is that still on the air?? LOL” Obviously it is still in the top 10 in its demo and makes hundreds of millions of dollars for Shonda and ABC. Get over your judgment if you spent the last 5 years watching RHOBH or some other Kardashacrap.

    But to the point of this story, it sounds to me like a plant by Shondaland to get sympathy back for the producer and the show. The fans have (rightly) been furious at the way she dumped him overboard, both as a character and a person. Shonda has spoken volumes without saying much, by publicly wishing him well, but in no effusive or warm terms. All business, no “sad to see him go” and acting as if this is what she’d planned all along. I don’t think she expected this harsh of a backlash, and she wants to save her show. So now she sees what damage she’s wrought with the brand, we get an “anonymous” story that says he was just a cheating d-bag (which he may or may not be, it’s irrelevant IMO). Character assassination by anonymous source. Oldest trick in the book.

    • Justaposter says:

      I totally agree! This screams deflect from shondaland

    • Chinoiserie says:

      Well I honestly was surprised it was still on air, when I heard of him being killed of was the first time in years I have heard of the show. People do not seem to talk about it all and I have not seen the actors in magazines forever either. I have not seen it after season 2.

      But I think that the show runners pretty likely are spreading negative things about the actor. And even if all were true the character deserved better.

    • chick binewski says:

      I know the “I didn’t know it was still on the air” comments get very old, but man do I utter that phrase every time I hear anything about Bones or NCIS.

      I’ve come to regard Shonda as an odd (powerful) bird over the past few years, but I’m hoping she wouldn’t have this kind of story released about an affair (younger woman, coworkers disgusted with his behavior) – mainly just because of Dempsey’s kids. But you have a great point about her not expecting this kind of backlash.

      Someone PLEASE write a GA tell-all. The kind of gossip that has been told about this show is like no other.

      • Caroline says:

        Funny but the more Shonda kills off people from her professional life the more I might begin to question whether it’s HER and not all the “bad apples” she’s sh*t-canned that are the problem. So yeah prolly a lot of great behind-the-scenes stories to tell!

    • FLORC says:

      I didn’t know it was still on. And I was truly shocked that not only it was still on, but still got such ratings. It lost me at Ghost sex. I could let all the medical inaccuracies go (and there were buckets full), but not that. That was just lazy writing.

    • Jayna says:

      I agree.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      I stopped watching it a long time ago, but that, ‘Is it still on?’ line bugs me too. It’s right up there with, ‘Does anyone even watch the Oscars, anymore?’ Okay, I keep undercutting my point because I don’t watch either, but you know that ‘the masses’ do watch, it’s just a show, don’t be so smug.

      ‘Oh, I don’t even OWN a tele-’

  22. LL says:

    At this point, I don’t believe it. I might have if they hadn’t thrown a new accusation at him every other day the past three weeks in an attempt to smear him. It’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall and watching to see what might stick. I don’t think ABC/Shonda expected the backlash from killing his character to be so severe – viewership is down over 15% since the night that episode aired – and I think now it is a case of trying to deflect the blame and retain viewers.

    • FLORC says:


      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Oh yea–last time I posted something about Grey’s Anatomy on twitter, people were STILL pissed. A lot of them saying that Shonda just threw away ten years of the show. Honestly, I haven’t watched past season 5 in years, because I’m STILL mad about Lexie and Mark. Ugh. STILL. God. And now I’m mad about Olivia and Fitz, how their characters went….so Shonda can kiss my butt right now.

  23. Isa says:

    🎶 Nobody knows where they might end up, nobody knows….🎶

    Dead. They all end up dead on that show.

  24. Jayna says:

    In Touch? If someone had this type of info, In Touch isn’t the mag they would go to with deep pockets. More cut and paste than anything and some interviews. Maybe it’s something being passed around the gossip grapeviine and so a sliver of truth to it. I can’t see firing someone vital to the show over that. Affairs go on onset everywhere. Just move the girl

  25. OTHER RENEE says:

    Once I find out that a guy is a cheating tool, actor or otherwise, I can’t look at them anymore or watch anything they’re in. I know that their personal lives are just that: personal. But I can’t help it.

  26. Jen says:

    I remember when Can’t Buy Me Love came out (yes, ancient one here) and I could not get what the big deal was with him. Then he married Rocky, the elderly. I thought that was disturbing, then after they split came the rumors that he was abusive…now this. He’s so very ick.

  27. Iheartgossip says:

    So McDreamy believes his press and acts accordingly. Another day in H’wood.