Coming from both the actress and ABC Studios is the confirmation that Izzie Stevens is no longer part of the show, not even of this season's finale.
The rumors are indeed true, Katherine Heigl is leaving "Grey's Anatomy" permanently. The actress who portrays Dr. Izzie Stevens on the medical drama told EW that she's "done" with the show after six years. The last that fans will see of her on the show was the January 21 episode.
ABC Studios said that the actress' departure is a mutual agreement between both parties. "We just finalized our agreement," Heigl said about being released from her contract 18 months earlier. "Everyone had been working really hard to find an amicable and gracious way of letting go and moving on. It's sad but it's what I wanted."
She emphasized that it is her new role as mother to an adopted baby that forces her to give up the show. "I started a family and it changed everything for me," said Heigl who is married to singer Josh Kelley. She took three-month maternity leave when adopting Naleigh from South Korea in September last year.
Although Heigl was scheduled to appear in the last five episodes of this season, the plan has been scrapped and fans saw the last of Izzie in the January 21 episode. "I know I'm disappointing the fans," she said. "I just had to make a choice. I hope I made the right one."
ABC itself has prepared the show for Izzie's departure. In a statement to EW, the studio said, "By mutual agreement, Katherine Heigl has ended her successful run as Dr. Isobel Stevens. The studio wishes her well. Everyone at Grey's Anatomy is now focused on delivering a shocking season finale and a great show for seasons to come."