Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo has spoken about Katherine Heigl’s exit from the show in 2010.

Heigl, who played Izzie Stevens on the hit series, left the show abruptly in 2010 and Pompeo, who plays Meredith Grey, commented on her departure to the New York Post.

She said, “You could understand why she wanted to go – when you’re offered $12 million a movie and you’re only 26. But Katie’s problem is that she should not have renewed her contract. She re-upped, took a big raise and then tried to get off the show. And there her movie career did not take off.”

She added, “Hurt feelings, combined with instant success and huge pay cheques started things spinning out of control. The crazier things got, as I watched all the tumult with Isaiah [Washington] and then the Katie thing, I started to focus on the work. I just tried not to pay attention to all the noise around me.”

Before Heigl’s departure she took herself out of the race for an Emmy as she felt her character was not given good enough lines to deserve a nomination. There have also been rumours about her behaving like a diva on set but some of her co-workers have come out in her defence.

Grey’s Anatomy’s Justin Chambers, who plays Alex Karev, lists some of his scenes with Heigl as his favourites, “I had a lot of great stuff with Izzie [Katherine Heigl].”

“I love Katie. She is a doll, and she was a pro, always on her mark; a great talent.”