During a recent appearance on Tavis Smiley’s radio station — the former PBS talk show host bought an L.A. station this summer — on Thursday, Oct. 21, as reported by Insider, Washington claimed Pompeo was paid a hefty amount of “$5 million under the table” in exchange for her silence and to “not tell the world how toxic and nasty Patrick Dempsey really was” during filming.
The “P-Valley” star claimed his former co-star, affectionately nicknamed “McDreamy,” “was not a nice guy from day one” and described Dempsey of being “a total tyrant” who had a bad reputation for being “pilot poison” and his participation in shows made them hard to get picked up for a full series.
The 58-year-old called it “hush money” and claimed Pompeo took the payments, from unnamed parties around the same time as the start the “MeToo” movement, an organization against sexual abuse and sexual harassment, went viral in 2017. It also led figures in Hollywood to come out to speak about some of the treatment they received in the business. Interestingly, Smiley faced sexual misconduct allegations around the time of the #MeToo movement and was dropped from PBS as a result.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Pompeo renewed her contract to stay on the Shonda Rhimes-created show for $20 million “in late 2017,” subsequently making her the highest-paid woman on television at the time. “And you want to run around here like you are the keeper of all feminine women and the feminist movement,” Washington said of his former co-worker.
Former “Grey’s” executive producer James D. Parriott echoed similar remarks about Dempsey’s behavior in Lynette Rice’s tell-all book about the medical drama “How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy,” stating the actor was often “terrorizing the set.” “Some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him,” Parriott was quoted saying. “He had this hold on the set where he knew he could stop production and scare people.”
Washington, who made headlines in 2006 after he reportedly used a homophobic slur while referring to former cast mate T.R. Knight during an on-set dispute with Dempsey, claims his behavior was being used to cover up the actor’s.
The “Romeo Must Die” actor ultimately apologized for his action during a sit-down with People that same year. The following year he was kicked off the show.