Grey’s Anatomy's Isaiah Washington slams Patrick Dempsey in scathing attack

Isaiah Washington has launched a scathing attack on Grey’s Anatomy co-star Patrick Dempsey during their time together on set, alleging he made racially charged comments and abused castmates.

The 58-year-old starred as Dr Preston Burke on the medical drama until he was let go in 2007 after a controversial row with Dempsey (Derek Shepherd) behind the scenes, where he used a homophobic slur.

However, in a new interview on KBLA Talk 1580, via Us Weekly, on Thursday, he claimed that there was a toxic atmosphere on set, and that he was ‘used as a scapegoat’ over his exit, in an attempt to ‘cover up’ the behaviour of his co-stars.

The publication states that Washington explained that he wasn’t made to feel welcome from his very first day on the cast of the ABC drama, in 2005.

Speaking of their time behind the cameras, the 100 actor alleged that his co-star, lovingly dubbed McDreamy by fans, once made racially charged comments towards him.

‘He was not a nice guy from day one,’ he said. ‘But he liked me and once I had a conversation with him, he said, “Isaiah, do you know that white men are the masters of the universe?” And I said, “You really believe that?” And he said “Absolutely”.’


Washington reportedly noted that he was the second-highest paid actor on the series, apart from Dempsey, which caused some ‘resentment’ backstage, but this was a situation that he couldn’t help.

Tensions continued to simmer between the pair and came to a head at one point when the Derek Shepherd star was late to filming in 2006, leading to an infamous row.

‘Instead of apologising for [being late] … he got in my face and assaulted me three times. Physically,’ Washington alleged. ‘I did what I had to do as a man. And I cussed him out.

‘[I said] “You’re not going to punk me, you’re not going to treat me like a B-word and you’re not going to treat me like a F-word.

‘I was speaking to myself as we refer to as a schoolyard taunt and weakness. Talking about myself. But I had already heard the abuse, that he threw Kate Walsh through a window out of anger. That he terrorised T R Knight.’

He insisted that Knight – who publicly came out as gay shortly after – was not present during the row, and that the incident was twisted to make himself look bad, before he was ‘coerced’ into apologising for using the homophobic slur.

‘The only reason T R’s name was in that sentence was that I am not T R, if you continue to treat me this way, I will kick your ass,’ he said.

Washington also claimed that Ellen Pompeo, who played Meredith Grey, ‘took $5million (£3.6m) dollars under the table that I have receipts for … during the height of the #MeToo era … to not tell the world how toxic and nasty Patrick Dempsey really was’, but did not go into detail on who allegedly paid her this money.

The star originally auditioned to be Derek, the role that went to Dempsey, and alleged that Pompeo made the ‘executive decision’ not to hire him.

He also claimed that she spoke about this when he was eventually cast in another role, and told him that she turned him down for the role because she had a Black boyfriend the time and didn’t feel comfortable with the plot – something she previously addressed.

‘Shonda [Rhimes, creator] really wanted to put a Black man in the mix,’ she told the New York Post in 2013.

‘I didn’t think they were really going to put an interracial couple on the show and I didn’t want him. It was too close to home.’

Metro.co.uk has contacted reps for Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo, Kate Walsh, T R Knight and ABC for a comment.

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