Katherine Heigl spoke up about the challenges she had as a mother when her youngest was a baby, including feeling detached from her daughter Naleigh after so much time apart. “I never saw that baby. I was at work with three triplets who were playing my goddaughter and I spent more time with them than I did with my new daughter and she bonded with my husband,” Heigl, 44, said during the Monday, November 28, episode of The View. “So, I was always afraid that I had missed that opportunity to really bond with her and that she didn’t love me.”
In 2007, the Firefly Lane actress married her husband Josh Kelley. Us Weekly reported two years later that the couple adopted baby Naleigh from South Korea. Later that month, the couple shared images of their then-10-month-old child. However, less than a year after bringing their child home, Heigl was “on a plane” and returned to “work in Atlanta.”
“At the time, becoming a new mother, I was just like, ‘I got it. I got it. I can handle this,’” she explained. “You know, they’ve told us we can have it all. We can have careers and have families and it’s all gonna be great. It’s all gonna work out.”
Despite the difficulties of being a working mother, the Life as We Know It actor hinted at her wish to grow her family in a June 2010 interview with Gala magazine. “We would love to have a second child, adopted or biological,” the Golden Globe nominee said at the time. “We’re not ruling it out.”
Heigl’s agent confirmed to Us Weekly two years later that the couple had adopted a second daughter called Adalaide. Joshua, the couple’s third child, was born in December 2016.
The Washington, D.C. native did not clarify which job she was referring to in Georgia on Monday, but she has been open about her troubles on Grey’s Anatomy over the years. From 2005 until 2010, Heigl played Dr. Izzie Stevens in the medical drama, which she left midway through season six. Her sudden departure followed a public dispute with creator Shonda Rhimes.
“There was a resolution to Izzie’s story. We had planned to have her come back for an episode to really properly tie up Izzie and Alex (Justin Chambers),” Krista Vernoff, who worked on seasons 1-7 of the medical drama before returning as the showrunner for season 14, told the Los Angeles Times in November 2020.
“And I wrote that episode, and it was beautiful. The day before it was supposed to start prepping or shooting, I can’t remember, we got a call that Katie wasn’t coming. Just wasn’t coming. Wasn’t going to do it. It became my job to stay up all night for multiple nights and reimagine a script that didn’t include Izzie.”
Vernoff went on to note that while fans “screamed” at the writers about Heigl’s leaving for “years and years,” the show always had plans to finish up Izzie’s story. “That’s the behind-the-scenes story. That’s what happened. I’m not saying that to bash Katie. I don’t know what was happening in her life,” she explained.