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Katherine Heigl says her mental health suffered after being labeled ‘difficult’
The New York Daily News - 2/1/2021
Katherine Heigl is opening up about her experiences in Hollywood after being branded “difficult.”
The ex-”Grey’s Anatomy” star reflected on Hollywood “shunning” her after getting the label — which she says was punishment for advocating for herself.
“I may have said a couple of things you didn’t like, but then that escalated to ‘she’s ungrateful,’ then that escalated to ‘she’s difficult’ and that escalated to ‘she’s unprofessional,’” Heigl told The Washington Post. “What is your definition of difficult? Somebody with an opinion that you don’t like?”
The 42-year-old actress didn’t hesitate discussing what she liked and didn’t like about her projects, most famously when she referred to Judd Apatow’s “Knocked Up” romantic comedy as “a little sexist” for making certain women appear as “shrews.”
She also caused a stir when she abstained from 2008 awards consideration because she “did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination” for her “Grey’s Anatomy” role.
“At the time, I was just quickly told to shut the f--- up. The more I said I was sorry, the more they wanted it,” Heigl revealed. “The more terrified and scared I was of doing something wrong, the more I came across like I had really done something horribly wrong.”
The Emmy winner said her team shielded her from knowing of any backlash that her comments may have caused. She believes that if her projects had been more successful, it wouldn’t have been a long-term issue. “You can be the most awful, difficult, horrible person on the planet, but if you’re making them money, they’re going to keep hiring you... But then my films started to make not quite as much money.”
Heigl said her deteriorating reputation caused her mental health to spiral.
“I think my family, my mother, my husband, my friends were scared. And I regret deeply that I scared them like that. But I just couldn’t control it. I had no tools,” the “27 Dresses” star told the Washington Post, adding, “I asked my mom and my husband to find me somewhere to go that could help me because I felt like I would rather be dead.”
“I didn’t realize how much anxiety I was living with until I got so bad that I had to really seek help. You can do a lot of inner soul work, but I’m a big fan of Zoloft.”
The married mother of three, who stars in the upcoming Netflix show “Firefly Lane,” was recently diagnosed with anxiety and is now regularly seeing a therapist.
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