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ALL THE NEWS & BUZZ FROM HOLLYWOOD

PATRICK DEMPSEY LEAVES GREY’S ANATOMY

BEHIND HIS SURPRISING EXIT

NOT LONG AFTER a semitruck ended the life of the Dr. Derek Shepherd, 40,000 grief-stricken fans took to the Internet, signing a petition to resuscitate the character known as McDreamy. After 11 seasons on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, the creator, Shonda Rhimes, had pulled the plug on the suave neurosurgeon and errant husband of heroine Dr. Meredith Grey. TV death can be so cruel, so sudden—and full of intrigue. “Things happened very quickly,” Patrick Dempsey, the man who inhabited McDreamy’s scrubs for 10 years, told ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. He and Ellen Pompeo, who plays Grey, had just signed two-year contracts last year, but “there wasn’t a lot of discussion” about the decision to off the character in the April 23 episode. His abrupt departure fanned recurring rumors that all was not well between Dempsey and Rhimes. Conspiracy theorists pointed out that the star, 49, took a six-episode hiatus in November, the first time he’d ever missed a show. Farewell statements from Rhimes and Pompeo focused on McDreamy, not Dempsey. Was it possible the actor had come down with a terminal case of being difficult? His rep calls reports of on-set tension “not true.” And for his part, Dempsey said series TV had simply taken its toll (“Ten months, 15 hours a day. It’s a very hard life”). Now the actor—who split from Jillian, his wife of 15 years, earlier this year—is focused on his car racing, developing acting projects and on his kids. “What I would like to do is focus on not being spread so thin,” he told EW. But he admits his prognosis post-Grey’s is unclear: “I want to try something different. But will I be allowed to do something different? That will be the challenge.”

A PEOPLE & ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY EXCLUSIVE

WOODY ALLEN’S NEW MOVIE

Emma Stone, Joaquin Phoenix and Parker Posey (inset) star in Woody Allen’s new film Irrational Man. Out July 17, it’s a story about a college student (Stone) who falls for her professor (Phoenix). “The chemistry between them is wonderful,” Posey says. Check out the trailer debut on People.com and EW.com.

3 CONFESSIONS WITH RAMONA SINGER

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK STAR, 58, GETS CANDID ABOUT HER REALITY-SHOW LIFE:

She has a favorite Housewife

I like Tamra Barney a lot and Kyle Richards. They aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and I admire that. [My dream addition is] Christie Brinkley. I like how she has reinvented her life, and she always has a smile on her face, a great attitude and great children.

She wants to do more reality TV

I don’t know how many rounds I would make it, but Dancing with the Stars would be a wonderful experience. Val Chmerkovskiy could lift me up and throw me around. I just love dancing and could learn some new moves.

She shields her dates from RHONY

When people set me up I don’t like for them to know that I’m on a show right away. I’m proud of what I do, but I don’t want to be pre-judged. I embrace [being on TV], though—I don’t have to worry about restaurant reservations!

WORD ASSOCIATION WITH JACK BLACK

THE 45-YEAR-OLD ACTOR AND FATHER OF TWO, WHO STARS WITH JAMES MARSDEN IN THE D TRAIN (OUT MAY 8), FREE-ASSOCIATES:

Man-Crush

Louis C.K.

His brutal honesty, his contemplations on the universe, the intelligence, the sensitivity—what’s sexier than that? I just wish I was Louis C.K. He’s the whole package of the modern-day comedian.

Marriage

Warmth.

As we mature, I’ve found there’s a coldness to wandering the streets looking for different lovers every night. The warmth of my one true love [wife Tanya Haden] keeps me alive.

Fear

Survival.

Fear is good. It keeps us alive. My biggest fear is probably public humiliation. There’s a tremendous amount of terror before every performance, which is strange because it’s the path I’ve chosen.

Goal

Happiness.

I just went on a camping trip with my older son to Joshua Tree. It was our first one, and it was just us and the elements. I was definitely feeling some inner peace and happiness there.

TERESA GIUDICE UPDATE HER LIFE IN PRISON

In the four months since Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice entered prison for bankruptcy fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, she has “adapted extremely well” to life behind bars, according to her lawyer James J. Leonard Jr. The reality star, 42, is doing so well that she is even “helping teach exercise classes,” he adds. In recent weeks reports surfaced about her diva-like behavior at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn. “That is false,” says Leonard. “It’s not a country club,” but “she is getting along with inmates and staff.” While Giudice won’t be released until Dec. 23—when she begins home confinement until her sentence ends in early February—being in prison has brought her and husband Joe Giudice, 44, “closer,” says Leonard, adding that the couple’s daughters Gia, 14, Gabriella, 10, Milania, 9, and Audriana, 5, “miss their mother terribly but are holding up surprisingly well.”

KARINA SMIRNOFF

MY UNLUCKY LOVE LIFE

THE DANCING WITH THE STARS PRO, 37, TALKS ABOUT ENDING HER THIRD ENGAGEMENT AND STRUGGLING TO FIND ‘THE ONE’

Where do you think you go wrong in relationships?

It’s not that I choose wrong men. I want to be a mom and a wife, and sometimes that desire becomes bigger than seeing the red flags.

Before your second engagement— to baseball player Brad Penny—ended you were engaged to Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Was Maksim the one who got away?

We had something very special. But we couldn’t figure out how to sustain it, so it wasn’t right.

There were reports that your breakup with Jason Adelman in March got ugly.

If we came to a place where we realized we weren’t right for each other, I don’t think the answer is to go and destroy that publicly. It was horrible.

What else have you learned?

I’m in therapy now because I don’t want another heartache. I need to fix myself.

MICHIEL HUISMAN

MAN OF THE MOMENT

Major stardom looms in Michiel Huisman’s future.

A razor, not so much. The hirsute heartthrob, 33, has turned heads in Wild, The Age of Adaline, Orphan Black, ABC’s Nashville, and a Chanel No. 5 ad. But playing warrior Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones has solidified his sex-symbol status. Still, being famed for your manly scruff is a mixed blessing. “As soon as I can, I’ll take it off!” he says. “Not because I don’t like the beard, but because I like changing it up.” The Netherlands native broke out in the U.S. as a musician in HBO’s Treme and has kept busy since with a host of gorgeous costars (see sidebar). That’s fine by his wife, Dutch actress Tara Elders, mother of his daughter Hazel, 7. “We’ve been together for 10 years and she knows how this goes.” Plus, there are perks: “Chanel is amazing to work for, and they’re so generous, so my wife is very happy.”

WHEN A MAN LOVES (LOTS OF) WOMEN

The Age of Adaline

“Our characters fall in love with each other, so it’s nice if you like each other!” he says of costar Blake Lively. ” We had a great rapport.”

Chanel No. 5 commercial

“Instead of a script, [director] Baz Luhrmann just wanted to talk me through it. It felt a little bit more like an artsy short. It was an honor.”

Wild

“I’m a happy man,” says Huisman, who romanced Reese Witherspoon in the lauded film, about his career trajectory.

Game of Thrones

While his character Daario has gotten close to Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys, “we’ll have to find out whether that’s a good thing or not.”