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Shonda Rhimes Didn’t Know Sara Ramirez Was Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Until After They Finished the Season Finale

Surprise! Shonda Rhimes addressed Sara Ramirez’s shocking departure from Grey’s Anatomy over the weekend — and she claims that she didn’t know the actress was leaving until a few days before the public found out.

Sara Ramirez and Shonda Rhimes attend the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala 2015. Angela Weiss/Getty Images for The Humane Society Of The United States

As Us Weekly previously reported, Ramirez, 40, left the ABC medical drama after 10 years of playing Dr. Callie Torres. “I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy and ABC, but for now I’m taking some welcome time off,” she said in a statement to Us. “Shonda’s been incredible to work for, and we will definitely continue our conversations!”

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Speaking at the Vulture Festival in New York City on Sunday, May 22, Rhimes, 46, opened up about Ramirez’s sudden exit, noting that she found out “maybe three days” before the announcement.

“This one was different because it wasn’t a big planned thing,” she said of Callie’s send-off, which was very understated compared with past cast departures. “I had a different plan going and when Sara came in and said, ‘I really need to take this break,’ I was lucky that we’d shot the end of the season with her going to New York.”

Shonda Rhimes speaks at the 2016 Vulture Festival at Milk Studios on May 22, 2016.
Shonda Rhimes speaks at the 2016 Vulture Festival at Milk Studios on May 22, 2016. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Vulture Festival

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The showrunner added, “I felt really good that we had shot that ending and that she said she wanted to take this break and we were able to give it to her because I love the woman and I want to do everything for her. It all worked out in that sense.”

As for when Grey’s will come to an end? “I’m always surprised when Ellen [Pompeo] is ready to re-up. Our pact is that we will go together,” Rhimes explained. “When she goes, I go.”

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Prior to her big announcement, Ramirez hinted that she was leaving the show with a cryptic tweet in April. “That’s a wrap for Doctor #CallieTorres #Season13 #GreysAnatomy #ThankYou all for an enriching & unforgettable #Rollercoaster ride,” she wrote.

Sara Ramirez on Grey's Anatomy.
Sara Ramirez on ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ ABC/Ron Batzdorff

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