Isaiah Washington Speaks Out About Firing

Isaiah Washington Speaks Out About Firing
Isaiah Washington
Frazer Harrison/Getty

06/13/2007 08:15AM

Isaiah Washington has broken his silence about being fired from Grey's Anatomy.

"I'm saddened by the outcome," Washington, 43, tells Entertainment Weekly. "I did everything that the producers and the network asked me to do. I came back under great duress and stress, and thought I was doing the job I was hired to do."

Washington learned last week that the network would not renew his option for season four. At the time he issued a statement through his publicist saying: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more."

"[Grey's creator] Shonda Rhimes called me on Thursday of last week and told me that I would not be returning to the show," Washington says. "Just like she personally called me and invited me to the show. It was full circle."

The rest of the cast heard Thursday night of the final decision, which, a source told PEOPLE at the time, was reached because Washington's behavior had made him a liability.

Washington tells EW he hasn't heard from many of his costars. "Everyone is still on vacation. I don't expect to hear from my castmates. I did talk to Chandra Wilson and I got a text message from Kate Walsh. Everyone's doing their own thing."

The actor first came under fire last fall after getting into an altercation with Patrick Dempsey, during which he allegedly referred to castmate T.R. Knight with a homophobic slur. He later apologized, checked into rehab, met with gay leaders and released a PSA decrying the use of hate speech.

Asked if he's still on good terms with Knight, Washington says: "I don't know. You have to ask T.R. that."

Washington, whose character broke up with his fiancée, Christina Yang (Sandra Oh) and moved out of their apartment last season, says he doesn't expect to be asked to return for a cameo on Grey's. "If Shonda calls me and says, 'Look we want you to do something for Grey's Anatomy,' I probably would not hesitate. But I don't really see that happening."

He's now working on an indie thriller, The Least of These, and he isn't dwelling on whether the firing will affect his career. "I can only apologize so many times," he says. "I can only accept so much responsibility. All the players involved have taken care of what we needed to take care of in-house – and the media took it in a different direction. I hope that everyone is happy for the outcome for Isaiah, but Isaiah will go on and do what I love to do."

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