Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo recently opened up about equal pay disputes and several behind-the-scenes dramas, including her rocky relationship with former co-star Patrick Dempsey.
It turns out, the 48-year-old ABC star has support from showrunner Shona Rhimes, who shared Pompeo's very candid interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Twitter and urged everyone to read it. "Everybody needs to read THIS article. @EllenPompeo is a brilliant bada**," she tweeted.
Pompeo, who played Meredith Grey on the show for 14 seasons, revealed that when Dempsey left the show, it was a "defining moment" in her career as there was a fear of ejection.
"They could always use [Dempsey] as leverage against me — 'We don't need you; we have Patrick' — which they did for years. I don't know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals," the actress told the publication.
She continued, "There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 [ £3614] more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey's Anatomy and I'm Meredith Grey. They wouldn't give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn't I? It's my show; I'm the number one.
"I'm sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy? You feel conflicted but then you figure, 'I'm not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.'"
Pompeo also said how shocked she was to learn the studio immediately cast a new guy, Martin Henderson, after Dempsey 's exit in 2015.
"I was on vacation in Sicily, decompressing — it was a long working relationship and it was a tumultuous end and I needed a moment to just chill with some rosé — and they're calling me, going, 'What do you think of this guy?' 'What do you think of this guy?' And they're sending pictures.
"I was like, 'Are you people f–king nuts? Why do you feel that you have to replace this person? I couldn't believe how fast the studio and the network felt like they had to get a penis in there," she recalled.
However, now Pompeo calls the shots on the show, along with creator Shonda Rhimes. She just signed on for a 15th and 16th season of Grey's Anatomy and will earn $575,000 an episode, earning more than $20m a year that will make her the highest-paid actress on a primetime drama.