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`Grey's' star begins counseling

January 25, 2007|Martin Miller | Times Staff Writer

"GREY'S Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington checked into a residential treatment center Wednesday morning for psychological counseling stemming from his repeated uses of homophobic slurs, most recently at the Golden Globes award ceremony.

"I regard this as a necessary step toward understanding why I did what I did and making sure it never happens again," Washington said in a statement released by his publicist. "I appreciate the fact that I have been given this opportunity, and I remain committed to transforming my negative actions into positive results, personally and professionally."

"Grey's Anatomy" creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes, who has been criticized for her silence regarding Washington's use of an anti-gay epithet, issued a statement Wednesday as well.

"I speak for all the executive producers here at 'Grey's Anatomy' when I say that Isaiah Washington's use of such a disturbing word was a shocking and dismaying event that insulted not only gays and lesbians everywhere but anyone who has ever struggled for respect in a world that is not always accepting of difference."

"We've been working within the 'Grey's' family as well as with ABC and Touchstone Television to address the issue in a way that underscores the gravity of the situation while giving us all a foundation for healing," Rhimes said.

Neither Washington, who met with gay rights activists earlier in the week, nor ABC would comment further. It's unclear how long Washington's treatment will last, but the 43-year-old father of three for now will retain his starring role as Dr. Preston Burke.

His position on the ensemble cast was called into question earlier this month after he used a gay slur in reference to cast member T.R. Knight during a post-Golden Globe awards news conference. That remark followed an October incident on set in which Washington employed the word to describe Knight. Initially, Washington denied ever using the slurs but last week issued a lengthy public apology.

martin.miller@latimes.com

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