Terrorizing The Set & Affairs: Allegations Against Patrick Dempsey On Grey's Anatomy That May Have Got Him Fired

Dr. McNightmare.

Patrick Dempsey Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock

Patrick Dempsey, who is widely known for his portrayal of Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd on the long-running series, Grey’s Anatomy, has been the recipient of many allegations that point to his departure from the show.

Shepherd’s dramatic departure from the show in season 11 shocked many fans at the time, leading people to wonder why such a beloved character was taken from the series in such a shocking manner.


But, apparently fans are finally getting their answers from Lynette Rice’s new book, “How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy,” in which Rice writes about the reasons why Dempsey left the series.

Was Patrick Dempsey fired from 'Grey's Anatomy'?

The release of the book has added to theories many people have of why Patrick Dempsey’s character was written off the show.

Dr. McDreamy was on the show from 2005 to 2015, credited as a series regular with his portrayal of Dr. Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) husband. 

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This is why some believe that the actor was fired for his behavior on set.

Patrick Dempsey is rumored to have had an affair on set of 'Grey's Anatomy.'

In 2015, allegations arose claiming Dempsey cheated on his wife of 16 years, Jillian Fink, with an intern working on the set of Grey’s Anatomy at the time. 

Dempsey’s co-star, Ellen Pompeo, and the series creator, Shonda Rimes, were reportedly both disgusted and angered by his behavior, leading him to be axed from the show.


Fink ultimately ended up filing for divorce from Dempsey, though the reasoning behind it was that heavy workload was to be blamed for the couple’s sudden rift.

Dempsey even denied the allegations that he’d been fired because of the affair, claiming that the rumors were “not true and absurd.”

He and Fink later called off their divorce in 2016. 

Patrick Dempsey reportedly terrorized 'Grey's Anatomy' cast and crew.

The most recent allegations of Dempsey’s departure have now stemmed from claims that the actor was “rude on set” as well as “terrorizing the cast and crew working on the show.”

From Lynette Rice’s book, there were interviews conducted with cast members and people working behind the scenes. 


A former executive producer for the show, James D. Parriott, accused Dempsey of causing a few problems around the set. “There were HR issues,"Parriott said in the excerpt from the book. "It wasn't sexual in any way. He was sort of terrorizing the set. Some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him. He had this hold on the set where he knew he could stop production and scare people.”

Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo allegedly did not get on.

There were also reports of tension between Pompeo and Dempsey, a claim made by former executive producer, Jeannine Renshaw. 

"There were times where Ellen was frustrated with Patrick and she would get angry that he wasn’t working as much," Renshaw said.

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"She was very big on having things be fair. She just didn’t like that Patrick would complain that 'I’m here too late' or 'I’ve been here too long' when she had twice as many scenes in the episode as he did.”

Shonda Rimes reportedly ordered Patrick Dempsey to quit 'Grey's Anatomy.' 

The final straw that cemented his departure came when Shonda Rimes reportedly witnessed his rudeness and misconduct firsthand, claiming if he didn’t go, she would leave.

From Dempsey’s point of view, he welcomed the news that his character would be written out of the show. He even considered quitting the show previously, too exhausted from the long hours and unpredictable schedule. 

"I very quietly left," Dempsey told Rice. "It was beautiful. It was raining, which was really touching. I got in my Panamera, got in rush-hour traffic, and two hours later I was home."


Despite the polarizing allegations made against him, other cast and crew members had nothing but nice things to say about Dempsey. Many of them spoke about him as a “kind and welcoming person, who cooperated peacefully during his time working on the show,” through interviews conducted in Rice’s book. 

Whatever the case may be, fans of the hit series will always remember Dr. McDreamy has a vital and important character in their favorite show. 

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.