'Grey's Anatomy' star Jerrika Hinton took Polaroids on set without Ellen Pompeo's permission. A new book says it's why she abruptly left the show.
A shared picture by Ellen Pompeo and Jerrika Hinton Todd Williamson / E! Entertainment / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images / Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images
A former makeup artist on the hit ABC series said Ellen Pompeo may have pushed Jerrika Hinton off the show.
"She ... didn't quite understand the power that Ellen had," Norman Leavitt said of Hinton.
However, in a 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hinton called leaving the show "my own" choice.
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A new book on Grey's Anatomy states that actress Jerrika Hinton's troubled relationship with star Ellen Pompeo "accelerated her departure from the show."
"How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy" describes that after Hinton's sudden departure in 2017, a "rumor" existed. The rumor that circulated on the set claimed that she was asked to leave the show for failing to ask Ellen Pompeo for permission to use Polaroids on the set.
Hinton played Dr. Stephanie Edwards in Grey's Anatomy. Her character, who was a surgical intern at the fictional Seattle, Washington hospital where the show is based, left the hospital to travel after an explosion left her burned.
"Jerrika always laughed, but maybe she was a bit naive," said Norman Leavitt, head of make-up at "Grey's" until 2018, in "How to Save a Life".
"She wasn't around much yet, so maybe she didn't fully understand the power Ellen had," he added. "If she'd gone and said, 'Is it okay if I take these Polaroids?' Ellen would probably have said 'Okay'. But if you just do it and don't involve her, you will be prepared for disaster. "
Jerrika Hinton and Ellen Pompeo in "Trigger Happy". Richard Cartwright / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images via Getty Images
Representatives from Pompeo, Hinton and Leavitt did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Though Hinton didn't speak to writer Lynette Rice, editor of Entertainment Weekly, for the new Tell All book, the actress named the decision to leave the ABC medical drama as "my own" in a 2017 exit interview with Entertainment Weekly .
The actress added that her choice was "supported by my boss in a very deep way that I was never able to communicate," and was presumably referring to the show's creator, Shonda Rhimes.
In Hinton's exit interview, Rhimes added a statement that "Actors develop differently and if an actress like Jerrika comes up to me and says that she wants to try something new creatively, I honor that."
"While I'm sad to see Stephanie leave the Gray Sloan Memorial, I'm excited to see what's next for Jerrika," she said.
"How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy," out now, gives readers new details about life on the set of the mega-hit drama.
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