Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl 'Embarrassed' by Contract Flap

03/02/2007 at 08:55 AM EST

Katherine Heigl 'Embarrassed' by Contract Flap
Katherine Heigl
MICHAEL GERMANA/GLOBE
The verbal slugfest between Grey's Anatomy's Katherine Heigl and the show's producers has entered a new round, with Heigl zinging her bosses for going public on their salary dispute.

"I am embarrassed that this has become a public matter and disappointed that Touchstone felt it necessary to divulge private employment information," Heigl, 28, said in a statement Thursday.

"I had hoped I would be able to deal with this issue confidentially with my bosses. I dropped out of the renegotiation simply because I wanted to treat myself with the respect I was not getting from them."

But Grey's fans will be happy to know that Heigl, who plays Izzie Stevens on the ABC hit, still loves her character. "No matter how unhappy I am about their decision to respond to this publicly, I continue to be passionate about and committed to this character," she said.

The actress dropped out of contract talks on Tuesday, a well-placed source told PEOPLE at the time, explaining: "Katie is disappointed and hurt that Touchstone doesn't value her as much as her other costars, especially Sandra Oh and Isaiah Washington."

In response, ABC Television said in a statement Wednesday that Heigl wasn't going anywhere: "We have a longterm contract to ensure she'll be with the show for several years to come."

The statement also said that producers had offered Heigl a significantly higher pay package and were "surprised" to see negative press coverage of their gesture.

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