Nursing his wounds! Patrick Dempsey escaped to Belgium for a little vacation and race car driving amid some headline-making Grey's Anatomy drama.
The veteran actor, 49, spent some time indulging in his favorite hobby in the days after his beloved Grey's character Derek Shepherd was controversially killed off the show. In a move that shocked fans, showrunner Shonda Rhimes wrote Dempsey off the ABC series after more than 10 years.
Shepherd was killed out of nowhere in a dramatic car accident, leaving Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) to raise the couple's children alone. The plot twist was met with backlash from viewers, who thought Dempsey and the character known as McDreamy didn't get a proper send-off.
The newly unemployed Dempsey is keeping busy behind the wheel, continuing his long-running passion of racing. The Made of Honor actor has been regularly competing in races across the globe for more than a decade, and has been sharing photos via Twtter this week of his most recent runs.
After Grey's fans said their sorrowful goodbye to Dr. Shepherd on April 23, Dempsey tweeted simply, "I want to thank all the fans, what an incredible 11 yrs, I love you all."
He went on to discuss his exit from the show in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, confirming that he had signed a two-year contract for the show earlier this year, which is clearly not holding.
"It just sort of evolved," he said. "It’s just kind of happened. It really was something that was kind of surprising that unfolded, and it just naturally came to be. Which was pretty good. I like the way it has all played out."
"I think it will be very shocking, the way it happens," he added of Derek's death. "It’s really going to be powerful. But life is like that. I think any time an original cast member has left, there’s always a void that will never be filled. Shepherd is a beloved character. People don’t want to lose him. He’s been in their lives for over 10 years. But it goes on, and it will evolve."
Grey's Anatomy is doing just that, moving on past Dr. Shepherd with the episode that aired on Thursday, April 30. The installment showed the drama's characters processing the death and taking steps to continue their lives without the neurosurgeon.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!