Patrick Dempsey Opens Up About Leaving Grey’s Anatomy and Saving His Marriage

Millions of fan were shocked when Derek Shepherd died towards the end of season 11 on Grey’s Anatomy. The role portrayed by Patrick Dempsey was beloved, and many fans are still critical about his sudden exit. In an upcoming publication of People Magazine, Dempsey reveals that his decision to leave the show was mutual with the show’s creator Shonda Rhimes. 

“I’m very grateful for Grey’s Anatomy,” Dempsey tells People exclusively in their issue this week. “It’s given me the opportunity to do everything. But at the same time, there was a cost.” The cost Dempsey is referring to is his marriage. Long filming schedules kept Dempsey away from wife Jillian and their three children: Talula, 14, and 8-year-old twin boys, Darby and Sullivan.


Patrick Dempsey says he went to Rhimes and they both agreed it was time for him to exit, but he left how his character would exit to the shower runner. Rhimes has shared that the only way for Derek to exit the show without destroying he and Meredith’s epic love story was for him to die. “I thought it was really interesting,” says Dempsey of McDreamy’s death. “It definitely woke people up. And it was beautifully symbolic in many ways.”

Some fans are still heartbroken, but Dempsey says he’s happier. He and his wife have managed to pick up the pieces of their relationship. In January of 2015, Dempsey announced that he and his wife of then 15 years were splitting. Since leaving Grey’s Anatomy, they’ve had a chance to attend counseling and rekindle their relationship. 

“You can only do one thing at a time and do it well,” he says. “I [learned] to prioritize. Our union has to be the priority. I wasn’t prepared to give up on her and she wasn’t either. We both wanted to fight for it.” Now he says his marriage has a new beginning. “You’ve got to keep at it,” he says. “You’ve got to communicate, and stay open and not get lazy. And not give up. And lots of sex!”

Dempsey is now focused on other roles and racing. 

(Picture from People)

Share Your Thoughts

Bryant Smith

Bryant Smith is the founder and owner of The Top Tea.

InstagramInstagram did not return a 200.