Last week, fans of "Grey's Anatomy" were shocked when the show's episode, "How to Save a Life," featured the death of one of the original and most beloved characters of the ABC drama — Dr. Derek Shepherd, also known as McDreamy, played by Patrick Dempsey.
In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dempsey said that "it all happened very quickly" and "there wasn't a lot of discussion."
"It was just a natural progression," he told the magazine. "And the way everything was unfolding in a very organic way. It was like, okay! This was obviously the right time. And then it was a question of…" the actor trailed off.
"That's a question for Shonda," he continued.
Now, a new report claims that the script surprise was a long time in the making. According to Radar Online, show creator Shonda Rhimes had no choice but to let the actor go after he reportedly began "acting like a major pain" on the set of "Grey's Anatomy."
"Shonda had no other choice but to fire Patrick!" an anonymous source told Radar. "He had been showing up late, and was holding up production because he couldn't remember his lines. This was such a departure from Patrick's prior work ethic as he had always been on time, and ready to go."
The alleged insider said that Rhimes has been patient and very understanding as Dempsey is currently dealing with some personal problems. The actor announced back in January that he is separating from his wife Jillian Fink after 15 years of marriage.
"There was definitely a lot going on in Patrick's personal life with the breakdown of his marriage, and Shonda has been very understanding," the confidante explained. "He was indeed suspended mid-season, and was given another chance to get back on track. But when Patrick returned, there was a chip on his shoulder, and the cast was being impacted."
Radar reported that the cast did not throw a goodbye party for the actor, who still had one year left on his contract.
Rhimes released a statement about the shocking plot twist to Entertainment Weekly.
"Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character—for Meredith, for me and for the fans. I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our 'McDreamy.' Patrick Dempsey's performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example — happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true— of what young women should demand from modern love. His loss will be felt by all," the showrunner said.
"Now, Meredith and the entire 'Grey's Anatomy' family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life. The possibilities for what may come are endless. As Ellis Grey would say: the carousel never stops turning," she continued.