While a number of “Grey’s Anatomy” fans are still tearing up over the loss of Lexie Grey, the actress who played her for four full seasons (plus an appearance at the end of season 3) is finally speaking out about her departure from the show.
In a statement posted Friday on TVLine, Chyler Leigh was clear in saying that it was she, and not executive producer Shonda Rhimes, who set the wheels in motion for Lexie’s death — though from there, there’s really not much in the way of information said:
“Earlier this year, I made the decision that Season eight would be my last on ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ I met with Shonda and we worked together to give Lexie’s story appropriate closure. I am very lucky to have worked with this amazing cast and crew for five seasons. My experience on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is something that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I want to take this time to say thank you to the fans. Your unconditional love and support have made these last five years very special for me. I look forward to my next chapter and I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey.”
The general belief among many fans is that Leigh wanted more free time to spend with her three young children — which is supporting by the fact that Rhimes gave her a leave of absence at the start of season 8 for this same reason. It does not appear that we will see Lexie in any form moving forward on the show (even in flashbacks), but you can also never say never when opportunities come up down the road. We know that Rhimes hated to kill off one of the series’ most-beloved characters — as a matter of fact, she even said following the finale airing last month that it made her “sick” just putting together the script, let alone actually filming it.
What do you think about Leigh’s statement?