Katherine Heigl Responds: Does She Regret Leaving Grey's? Is She Difficult?

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Katherine Heigl was put squarely on the spot today during the State of Affair panel discussion at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.

First, the actress was asked if she regretted leaving her role as Izzie Stevens on Grey's Anatomy?

"I made a difficult decision, but it was the right decision for me at the time," Heigl said of her Season 6 departure, adding:

"I really just wanted to spend more time with my family and my new baby and extend my family and I'm really grateful to have been able to do that and I'm very grateful for these last couple of years."

State of Affairs Photo

Heigl has made some controversial statements over the years, such as blaming the writers on Grey's Anatomy for not submitting herself for an Emmy in 2008.

Does she consider herself "difficult" to work with?

"I certainly don't see myself [that way]," she said. "I would never intend to be difficult... It's important for everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully and kindly. So if I have ever disappointed somebody, it was never intentional."

Following a string of relative box office bombs, why has Heigl returned for State of Affairs, which premieres on NBC in September?

"It's an extraordinary role, it's an extraordinary opportunity and it's an extraordinary story and it's an opportunity for me to flex some different muscles and show a different side of myself as an actor, performer and storyteller that I hope audiences will be excited about and love."

Here is your first look at State of Affairs, along with an interview we conduced with the cast in May:

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

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)

Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
Mark: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.
Alex: Denial.
Derek: Anger.
Bailey: Bargaining.
Lexie: Depression.
Richard: Acceptance.