‘Grey’s Anatomy‘ star Ellen Pompeo says she has found herself in the unusual position of having to defend her brief maternity leave from the ABC serial – this while cast mate Katherine Heigl has drawn some fire for dropping out of the show for an extended span of time to bond with her own child.
“A lot of people couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t take my [full] maternity leave,” Pompeo shares in Self Magazine. The actress’ rationale: “I make a good living, but I won’t always make this kind of money. I felt I needed to work while I had this opportunity.”
Pompeo thus collaborated with ‘Grey’s’ creator Shonda Rhimes to make Meredith’s absence virtually imperceptible by pretaping scenes and spinning a storyline in which the show’s namesake was confined to bed rest following surgery. Pompeo and husband Chris Ivery welcomed a daughter, Stella, in September.
Conversely, Rhimes has been left to defend Heigl’s ongoing absence, which at first was dictated by a film commitment and then dovetailed into family leave time to be with her newly adopted daughter.
“I don’t know how many different ways to say MATERNITY LEAVE,” Rhimes said on Twitter back in January, addressing the many fans inquiring about Heigl’s status. “Please stop asking.”
As it turns out, such tweets may end on their own accord, in light of new reports that Heigl, ABC Studios and Rhimes have reached an agreement for the original cast member to get out of her contract early, perhaps never to appear on the show again.