Patrick Dempsey, the beloved actor known for his role as Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd on the hit show Grey’s Anatomy, shocked fans when he was written off the show in 2015. The reason given at the time was that his character had died in a tragic car accident, but a new unauthorized biography, How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy, claims that Dempsey’s diva-like behavior and tension with co-star Ellen Pompeo and show creator Shonda Rhimes were to blame.
However, sources close to the actor insist that this portrayal is unfair and that Dempsey was simply tired of the long hours and grueling schedule demanded by the show. “He’d regularly work six days a week, 16 hours a day, and it took a huge toll on him,” says an insider.
But the decision to leave the show wasn’t just about career burnout. Dempsey was also weathering rumors of an affair with an on-set intern and the fraying of his 22-year marriage to makeup artist Jillian Fink. “He was constantly working for years, and he says it’s a shock Jillian didn’t leave him sooner,” dishes the source.
Despite the challenges, Dempsey managed to save his marriage by quitting the show and putting the time and energy into his relationship. “Once he was off Grey’s, he was able to put the time into his relationship, and that saved his marriage,” the source explains.
But even though Dempsey has moved on to other projects, including co-owning a race car team and appearing in the Bridget Jones movie franchise, the actor still feels the sting of being blamed for the tension on the Grey’s Anatomy set. “It still irks him that the show’s demands nearly cost him his family and that he somehow got blamed for trying to stand up for himself,” says the source.
Despite the challenges and the rumors, Dempsey remains a family man at heart and is committed to making his marriage work. “You have to work at everything. And you cannot do everything. Something has to be sacrificed,” he told a recent interviewer.
We wish Patrick Dempsey and his family all the best as they move forward into the next chapter of their lives.