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Isaiah Washington: ABC axed wrong guy

Associated Press

WashingtonIsaiah Washington, fired this month from "Grey's Anatomy" following the firestorm he started with a homophobic invective, hit back at the network Thursday. "They fired the wrong guy," the 43-year-old actor said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.

He blames former cast mate T.R. Knight for stoking the scandal that led him to lose his role in the ABC hit. Knight is the one who should have been let go, he told the newspaper.

"I have to clear my name," said Washington. "I'll start from the beginning. I'm telling everything. So here's the truth."

Washington, who said he is considering a lawsuit, accused Knight of exploiting the controversy in order to get a salary increase and to enhance his role.

Washington drew fire after using the anti-gay epithet backstage at the Golden Globe Awards in January while denying he'd used it previously against Knight, 34, during an on-set dustup with co-star Patrick Dempsey.

Knight, who announced soon after the initial fracas that he was gay, told talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres in January that Washington used the slur against him and that "everyone (on the set) heard" him do so.

"That's a lie," Washington told the Chronicle. "I used the word during a disagreement with Patrick. I apologized for that. We shook hands and went back to work."

Washington was criticized for his comments by gay-rights groups, as well as by fellow cast member Katherine Heigl. Expressing contrition, he said he was seeking therapy and filmed a public-service announcement in which he said "words have power" to hurt or heal.

"I was not fired for making homophobic slurs," Washington said. "I did everything I said I would do. ... I wanted everyone to know I was remorseful."

A spokeswoman for ABC did not immediately return a phone call Thursday by The Associated Press seeking comment.

"I'm not angry," Washington told the Chronicle. "I'm disappointed."

Matt Sayles-File / AP Photo
Actors T.R. Knight, left, and Isaiah Washington pose together at the 2006 TV Guide Emmy After Party in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles in this file photo from Aug. 27, 2006. "They fired the wrong guy," the 43-year-old actor said Thursday in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. He blames former cast mate Knight for stoking the scandal that led him to lose his role in the ABC hit.

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