Isaiah Washington says Ellen Pompeo took $5M to not talk about 'nasty' Patrick Dempsey
Isaiah Washington opened up about his experiences on the set of 'Grey’s Anatomy', describing how there were many toxic elements in play involving various people, including former leading man Patrick Dempsey. Speaking on KBLA Talk 1580 with Tavis Smiley, 58-year-old Washington said that Ellen Pompeo, 51, "took $5 million under the table ... to not tell the world how toxic and nasty Patrick Dempsey really was" years back when the #MeToo movement had gained momentum.
On the radio show, Washington said he 'used as a scapegoat' when he was let go from the series back in 2007 after he allegedly used a homophobic slur at castmate TR Knight. He said that "it was an agenda to cover up for the toxic and bad behavior of many of my former castmates on that show ... and the top of that would be Patrick Dempsey."
"I was the highest paid person on that show, next to Patrick Dempsey," he said. "He was called Pilot Poison. No one wanted him on the show. They wanted Rob Lowe."
Recalling a conversation between Peter Horton and Dempsey on his first day, Washington said, "I was at a table read, Peter Horton ... came over and said, 'I thought we got rid of you.' Patrick Dempsey walks in, didn't think I could see him with the reflection, throws up his hands, like, 'What is he doing here?' That's day one," Washington said. He accused Dempsey of making racially-charged statements to him while they were on the set.
"He liked me and once I had a conversation with him, he said, 'Isaiah, do you know that white men are the masters of the universe?' And I said, 'You really believe that?' And he said 'Absolutely'," Washington said. Washington claimed that things with Dempsey only became worse with time.
Washington recalled details of an infamous October 2006 clash between them when Dempsey was late to the set. "That Monday, he is late. Instead of apologizing for it, he got in my face and assaulted me three times. Physically. I did what I had to do as a man. And I cussed him out."
Washington said he told Dempsey, "You're not going to punk me, you're not going to treat me like a B-word and you're not going to treat me like an F-word."
"I was speaking to myself as we refer to as a schoolyard taunt and weakness. Talking about myself. But I had already heard the abuse, that he threw Kate Walsh through a window out of anger. That he terrorized TR Knight," Washington said.
Washington said that Pompeo had apparently become 'unnerved' by the buzz surrounding other performers on the series, such as Sandra Oh and himself. "She couldn't believe that everybody was more interested in me and Sandra and everybody else than her," he said.