The stars of hit medical drama Grey,s Anatomy are engaged in a very public war of words over an alleged incident of homophobic abuse.
Speaking at the Golden Globe awards on Monday, cast member Isaiah Washington attempted to rehabilitate his image.
He was accused last October of abusing fellow actor TR Knight, who plays Dr George O’Malley on the show.
Rumours of the on-set abuse leaked, and the pressure led Knight to come out of the closet.
“I guess there have been a few questions about my sexuality, and I’d like to quiet any unnecessary rumours that may be out there,” the 33-year-old said in a statement last October.
“While I prefer to keep my personal life private, I hope the fact that I’m gay isn’t the most interesting part of me.”
Washington is said to have called Knight a faggot during their on-set confrontation, but at the Golden Globes he denied the incident had occurred.
“I love gay. I wanted to be gay. Please let me be gay,” Washington told puzzled reporters on the red carpet.
After the ceremony, where the show won best drama, he said to journalists, “No, I did not call TR a faggot. Never happened, never happened.”
TR Knight hit back with an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show the next day.
“He referred to me as a faggot. Everyone heard it,” the actor told Ellen.
Now another star of Grey’s Anatomy has attacked Washington’s public denials that he used homophobic language.
“I’m going to be really honest right now, he needs to just not speak in public. Period,” Katherine Heigl told Access Hollywood at a Golden Globe after-party.
“I’m sorry, that did not need to be said. I’m not OK with it.”
“I don’t think (Washington) means it the way he comes off,” added Heigl, who plays Dr Isobel Stevens on the show.
“But T.R. is my best friend. … I will use every ounce of energy I have to take you down if you hurt his feelings.”
Washington admitted to the incident in a statement in October last year, in which he said, “I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on set.”