GREY'S ANATOMY creator Shonda Rhimes has denied reports Katherine Heigl and T.R. KNIGHT will be leaving the hit U.S. hospital drama - insisting both stars will continue to work on the show.
The pair has played doctors Izzie Stevens and George O'Malley on the programme since it first aired in 2005.
Co-star James Pickens Jr. claimed earlier this week (beg09Feb09) that both actors would be leaving their roles, telling Us Weekly magazine: "Yes, she (Heigl) is (leaving). Wherever Katherine goes, I wish her nothing but the best. (Knight is) going too. He just wanted to pursue other career paths."
But Rhimes is adamant the pair will remain a part of the hit series, insisting Pickens must have been misquoted.
She says, "That was a very interesting rumour. And it's not true. That was absolutely taken out of context. Things happen, and I think rumours become fact very easily. And you know I don't like to tell you what's going to happen on the show - but that is a rumour."
Pickens now also claims he was misunderstood in the magazine interview - and admits he has no idea whether the Heigl and Knight will stay with Grey's Anatomy.
He adds, "We've been living with these rumours for a long time. When the question was posed to me, I was more trying to congratulate Katie and T.R. on whatever they were going to do. But yeah, I don't have any special info about it either way."