July 14th, 2014
01:26 PM ET
Katherine Heigl is trying to debunk her "difficult" reputation.
The former "Grey's Anatomy" star has been plagued with gossip that she and her mother, Nancy, aren't the most pleasant people to do business with, and on Sunday the actress was faced with the chatter head-on.
During the Television Critics Association panel for Heigl's new NBC series, "State of Affairs," a reporter brought up the accusations and asked a stunned Heigl to comment.
As The Hollywood Reporter's 2013 analysis of Heigl's career noted, "many in the industry" had supposedly "soured" on Heigl and her mom because of "exceptionally difficult behavior and demands" and Heigl's habit of criticizing her coworkers. (She called her 2007 blockbuster "Knocked Up" "a little sexist," and withdrew from the 2008 Emmys competition because she felt the material given to her by "Grey's Anatomy's" writers wasn't strong enough to merit recognition.)
While Heigl was initially at a loss for words about her reported rep, she did come up with a reply:
"I can only say that I certainly don’t see myself as being difficult," the 35-year-old said. "I would never intend to be difficult. I don’t think my mother sees herself as being difficult. We always … I think it’s important to everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully and kindly. If I’ve ever disappointed somebody, it was never intentional.”
Heigl's new employers, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt and NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke, also came to the Heigls' rescue.
“I’ll tell you very honestly … we had an amazing meeting with them," Salke said. "They’re both very smart, formidable women, and I’m not just giving lip service to this - they’ve been fantastic producers and incredibly smart through this process. (Nancy's) someone who has a strong opinion, but we’ve found her to be nothing but adamant to the process, and also Katie really relies on her in her life. It’s a real partnership that seems to work for both of them and it’s been great for us. But it’s not surprising when the mother walks in the door with her, we knew they were a set and worked together in the past. I would call her her ‘mom-ager,’ her best friend … she’s a partner in her life. They have a very natural shorthand. So far, so good.”
Heigl's "State of Affairs" will debut on NBC November 17.
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.