The 50-year-old took to Twitter on Saturday, January 11, to retweet a Vanity Fair tweet that read, “#GreysAnatomy is about to feel one of its biggest losses yet,” to which the actress replied, “Truer words have never been spoken @VanityFair 💔.” Fans felt just as sad, as they quickly responded.
“This just really hurts me,” one fan said. Another added, “It just feels so unreal. I’m so sad. it’s heart breaking. He was such a huge part of the show and my fav character — I love him so much it breaks my heart.”
On January 10, the 49-year-old announced the news that he is leaving the Shonda Rhimes show “There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” the actor said in a statement to Deadline. “For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time.”
“As I move on from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride,” the statement added.
Justin’s departure follows many other stars who have left the ABC show, including Patrick Dempsey (Dr. Derek Shepherd), Sandra Oh (Dr. Cristina Yang), T.R. Knight (Dr. George O’Malley) Katherine Heigl (Dr. Izzie Stevens) and others.
Katherine has been open in the past of thinking if a possible return to the program would work or not. “I haven’t [thought about Izzie] in years. I don’t know. I don’t know if I would or if I wouldn’t,” she admitted to Entertainment Tonight. “I almost feel like that would almost be distracting again to, sort of, what they’ve done with that show in the years since I left … and what that’s become and what it is to the fans now.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.