Appearing Monday night on Larry King Live, Isaiah Washington served up what many of us have been clamoring for: a blow-by-blow account of exactly what transpired on the Grey's Anatomy set last Oct. 9. In Washington's version, T.R. Knight was nowhere near the line of fire; rather, the conflict was focused on a different cast member. "Although I love Patrick Dempsey, I have to clear the air and tell what happened," Washington said to Larry King, launching into his version of those events.
Prior to Oct. 9, while filming the "Where the Boys Are"/fishing episode, Washington grew concerned that when Dempsey extended a shoot day, it would appear that the show's two "titans" were taking advantage of crew members. Washington, however, didnít vent his frustration at the time ó "[and] I was kicking myself for it."
Come Oct. 9, Dempsey was again late to the set. "I'm mad," Washington recalls. "[But] I didnít say anything [the previous time], so what am I going to say now?" After denying that he was even late, Dempsey said he needed to wait for Ellen Pompeo, who was to feed the actors lines from off camera. "[Patrick] said, 'I need Ellen.' I said, 'Well, I donít need Ellen. I can act.'" That perceived slight ratcheted the tension to a new and different level. "He became unhinged," Washington says of Dempsey. "[We were] face-to-face, spittle-to-spittle. I was like, 'Why am I being berated to this point in front of our crew?' I pushed him out of my face and it took off from there."
Enter the F-word. "I said several bad words," Isaiah admits. "I said, 'There's no way you're going to treat me like a 'B-word,' a 'P-word' or 'the F-word.' You can't treat me that way in front of our crew."
Washington maintained the F-word was "never, never, never" aimed at T.R. Knight, and said that his definition of the word at the time was "someone who is weak, not deserving of respect." Tabloid reports that the fracas was centered on Knight and his sexuality "couldnít be further from the truth," says Washington.
Why, then, did Knight come out of the closet and subsequently offer a different version of events on Ellen? "That's the $5 million question," Washington told King. "He misrepresented himself." (Knight and Dempsey, who are allegedly under a gag order from ABC, had no comment for Larry King Live.)
Toward the end of the Q&A, Washington seemed to get emotional when asked which cast mates have lent their support, saying that he had received "a wonderful e-mail from Sandra Oh," for example. But he doesn't expect more public support from his peers "because of where they are. Disney is paying their bills, and you donít mess with the Mouse. Everyone did what they had to do."
And of the person who actually leaked what may have been an inaccurate account of the Oct. 9 to-do to the tabloids, Washington said this: "I really hope that person got paid, man. That was the stroke of death for me."