While hosting a Mamarazzi event with the MOMS in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the actress opened up about how she discussed her emotional exit from the long-running medical drama with her kids. (She also shares son Micah Emmanuel, 6, with husband Peter Lanfer.)
“I definitely did some crying and they have seen it in my house,” said Drew, 37, who was written off the show this past spring. “In fact, my daughter is such a beautiful empath that if she sees one sniffle, she’s already on me stroking my hair. That’s just who she is — she’s just very sweet.”
As for how she explained the situation?
“I said, ‘Mommy is really close to this community that she has been part of for nine years and it has been so hard to say goodbye and it’s sad, and sometimes jobs don’t last and things don’t go the way you want them to go, and that’s okay because there is something bigger and better around the corner,’ ” she said.
“We are allowed to feel what we need to feel — it’s a big thing I try to tell my kids: Do not stuff those feelings,” she continued. “Especially my son — I just want to encourage him to be able to feel, especially as a little boy growing into a man. I want him to not feel shame in feeling things.”
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Uproar on social media followed, with many speculating that cuts were made to compensate for series lead Ellen Pompeo‘s $20 million salary. Pompeo, 48, vigorously denied that, and series creator Shonda Rhimes and executive producer/showrunner Krista Vernoff both stressed that the actresses’ exits were strictly creative decisions.
“I was told that the show had too many characters and that they needed to downsize because they couldn’t service all of the characters effectively,” Drew told the Hollywood Reporter in August. “They didn’t want any of us to be left in the background and not getting much of a story. Because there were so many series regulars, they needed to downsize and to find some characters that they felt like they could tie up their stories well.”