T.R. Knight Speaks on Grey's Anatomy Departure

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Fans were shocked when T.R. Knight left the cast of Grey’s Anatomy this summer.

Why did he do it? According to the actor himself, it was just time to move on.

In the new cover story in Entertainment Weekly, the gay actor, 34, candidly discusses the Isaiah Washington situation that led to him coming out of the closet in 2006, his deteriorating relations with Shonda Rhimes, and leaving his friends at Seattle Grace.

T.R. Knight knows he’s taking a risk walking away from his top 10 show and $14 million contract: "From an outsider's perspective, I get the [impression that] 'Oh, he’s just a spoiled actor ... he doesn’t know how good he has it,'" he says.

"There are a lot of people who would like to be in my position. But in the end, I need to be fulfilled in my work, and I am confident I made the right decision."

He cites a “breakdown of communication” between himself and Grey's Anatomy executive producer Shonda Rhimes for his decision to ask out of the show.

"My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given," he explains. "And with respect, I'm going to leave it at that."

T.R. Knight Entertainment Weekly Cover

After 2006, T.R. Knight's relationship with Shonda Rhimes was never the same.

Knight became a breakout star in the first two seasons, securing an Emmy nomination. But a 2006 incident on the set truly made him a household name.

Isaiah Washington referred to Knight as a "f----t" during an on-set argument with Patrick Dempsey. When the media heard about this, Knight came out.

Ultimately, Knight handled it as well as he could have, being outed in such fashion (and Washington was ultimately canned from the cast after the season).

But he admits there was friction between himself and Rhimes, who he does not blame directly for the situation, but says discouraged him from coming out.

Knight returned for Season 4, but the actor struggled with the story line in which George cheated on wife Callie (Sara Ramirez) with Izzie (Katherine Heigl).

By Season 5, George O’Malley all but vanished from the show. Knight decided he had reached the point of no return and asked to be released from the show.

He will be missed.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

[narrating] "At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need."

MEREDITH

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)