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Are Ellen Pompeo And Patrick Dempsey Friends in Real Life? Inside their Lives Outside ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

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Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey had beautiful onscreen dynamics on “Grey’s Anatomy,” but how has their relationship played out in real life?

Hollywood icons Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey first gave viewers a thrill with their appearances on the premiere season of “Grey’s Anatomy.” 

For years, viewers watched their characters, Meredith Grey and Derek McDreamy Shepherd, nurture their love, eventually forming a family of five while saving lives in their medical pursuits.

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This chemistry, which kept viewers coming back for over a decade, eventually was cut short after Dempsey’s character was killed off in 2015. After her onscreen husband’s character was written off the movie, Pompeo continued on the show as the talented doctor, Meredith Grey, for seven more seasons.

Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Demosey as Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

In November 2022, Pompeo shocked the world with news of her exit from “Grey’s Anatomy” after nineteen seasons.

During an episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the host joked about Pompeo’s exit, saying he heard she was caught stealing band-aids on set. In response, Patrick Dempsey threw in a lighthearted joke of his own, chiming:

“Did she really? Finally, they caught her. Can you imagine what she’d have in her house now from 19 seasons? A full hospital!”

The lighthearted joke looked like an apparent tease at his former co-star after a successful stint together. He even concluded by wishing her well in all her future endeavors.

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Hence, he not only proved they were comfortable enough to tease each other off-set but also that they had each other’s interests at heart, just like their onscreen characters. But how close are they for real? Are Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey friends in real life? Keep reading to find out.

Are Ellen Pompeo And Patrick Dempsey Friends?

Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Demosey as Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

Despite being co-stars and onscreen lovers for years, the state of their relationship in real life is somewhat complicated.

Following his exit from “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2015, speculations began to swirl that the actor said goodbye to his role as McDreamy after clashing with Ellen Pompeo and show creator Shonda Rhimes.

But there seemed to be no bad blood between them when he appeared for a reunion episode during the show’s season 17 premiere. At the time, the actress gushed about her co-star in an interview following his exit, saying:

“Patrick Dempsey is a very tough act to follow, and it’s challenging to get someone to come on a season 15 show.”

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Dempsey also spoke fondly of his onscreen flame, saying they shared an exceptional bond and had magic in their connection. This admission sure sounds like they are pretty close off the screen, rumored clashes or not. But are they?

Pompeo Admitted She And Dempsey Don’t Keep In Touch

While appearing on “The Red Table Talk” with Jada Pinkett in 2018, Ellen Pompeo shared an update on her relationship with Patrick Dempsey.

 Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

The 53-year-old admitted she hadn’t kept in touch with her onscreen partner for years, and they had never spoken since he left the show.

While the admission was enough to give credence to the rumors of a clash between them, the onscreen wife of Patrick Dempsey quickly clarified she had no hard feelings toward him

She proceeded to describe him as a wonderful actor and talented man. Explaining further, the “Grey’s Anatomy” star divulged that when people left a long-running show like theirs, they needed time to find themselves and figure out who they were without the show.

She believed Dempsey was doing just that, which explained why they hadn’t spoken. Notwithstanding, she noted that the actor would always have a place in her heart.

They Reconnected Soon After

Shortly after Ellen Pompeo’s brow-raising admission, she reconnected with Dempsey to film their reunion episode. The onscreen couple even took pictures together to solidify the moment.

Patrick Dempsey went public with the photos about two years later, sharing them on Instagram. The shot featured the two dressed in button-down shirts as they posed together. One of the pics showed them smiling, with the actor standing behind the Meredith Grey roleplayer.

In the other pic, the two appeared clad in the same outfit, posing on a beach while wearing face masks. Explaining the inspiration behind the pictures, Dempsey revealed he reached out to Pompeo during the pandemic while on a mission to spread the message about social distancing.

The two ended up reconnecting to do some catching up, which was the first in a long time. They brainstormed how to improve the quality of life of millions during the pandemic, from front liners to those holed up in their homes trying to keep safe.

It appears their expertise as onscreen medical practitioners finally came in handy!

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