Grey’s Anatomy: Why did Virgin River star Martin Henderson really leave series?

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Grey’s Anatomy has seen a lot of stars come and go over the years as characters have been killed off and new ones brought in. One star who many fans miss in the show is Martin Henderson who played Dr Nathan Riggs. Here’s everything you need to know about what happened to him and why the actor left the medical drama.

Why did Martin Henderson really leave Grey’s Anatomy?

After Derek Shepherd (played by Patrick Dempsey) was killed off, some fans were worried if Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) would ever find love again.

However, in season 12, episode six Henderson joined the show as Dr Riggs, a cardiothoracic surgeon.

He joined the hospital as an attending and began a relationship with Meredith, helping her through her grief.

Over the course of his time on the show, Riggs was part of several major storylines including dealing with a love triangle between Meredith and Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary).

But the star made a shock exit in season 14, episode five after his missing wife Megan Hunt (Abigail Spencer) was found alive.

At the time, the actor opened up about his exit from the hit medical drama in an interview with Deadline.

He revealed he left as his contract was drawing to an end and, as a result, so did his storyline.

Henderson explained: “If there are certain concerns or tweaks in a scene, the writers are open to hearing your thoughts and collaborating, but the direction of the major storyline is decided on high.

“I only had a short-term contract with the show.

“This is my final year so I was expecting Nathan’s storyline to be wrapped up.

“Bringing in Megan and tying up loose ends, provided a reason.

“That was always intended when they brought Megan back with a twist.

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“The triangle played out nicely, the way they gave perspective leading up to her disappearance, the mutual infidelity; the way it was handled was interesting.

“It’s been a couple of fun years on the show.”

Show creator Shonda Rhimes also opened up about the exit in a statement to the publication.

She said: “I loved that we were able to give Riggs a happy ending worthy of his character and talent.

“As for Martin, this is not an ending for our relationship.

“He has been part of the Shondaland family since the pilot of Inside the Box and he will always be family.

“I can’t wait to find a new project to work with him on in the future.”

Fans who miss the actor on their screens should not worry though as he is now one of the leads in Netflix series Virgin River.

He plays bar owner Jack Sheridan in the romantic drama alongside Alexandra Breckenridge.

The second season of the show is returning to Netflix at the end of November for viewers to enjoy.

Grey’s Anatomy season 17 begins on ABC on November 12.

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