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Katherine Heigl says Isaiah Washington apologized to her – and thanked her – on the set of Grey’s Anatomy after she denounced his use of a gay slur.

“Isaiah thanked me, which I didn’t understand,” the 28-year-old actress told Entertainment Weekly. “He was almost grateful. I don’t know Isaiah well, but he takes his work seriously and he loves his character.”

Ellen Pompeo and Isaiah Washington in 2014

Isaiah Washington came under fire for using the epithet at the Golden Globe Awards in January… while denying he’d used it previously in reference to fellow Grey’s Anatomy star T.R. Knight.

Heigl, who plays the outspoken Dr. Izzie Stevens on the hit ABC drama, was “furious and frustrated” at the time, so she came to Knight’s defense.

“He made a big mistake, and it was thoughtless and boneheaded, and I think he’s very sorry and embarrassed,” Katherine Heigl says.

“This is something that will have changed the scope of his life.”

Washington has done everything he can to make the best out of a bad situation, filming a public service announcement on behalf of gay rights groups GLAAD and GLSEN.

Heigl, who stars with Seth Rogen in the new Judd Apatow-directed comedy Knocked Up, also speaks out in the interview about her tense contract negotiations with ABC.

The long and short of it, Katherine Heigl says, is that she wanted the same respect they’re showing the series’ other talented actors. She doesn’t like the label that goes along with a woman who stands up for what she wants.

“In this town, women who don’t just snap and say, ‘Okay, yessir, or yes ma’am,’ start to get a reputation for being difficult,” Katherine Heigl says.

“But within the last five years, I’ve decided it’s not worth it to me to be pushed around so much.”

Heigl, who calls The Notebook one of her “all-time favorite movies,” says that she’d much rather laugh than get too serious when it comes to her own movie roles.

“I just want to play happy people,” she says.

“I’m a commercial kind of gal, and yeah, I would love to do a Monster, but I don’t have any grand aspirations to do my Academy Award-winning movie. I love Kate Winslet, but I know I couldn’t have her career.”

From the looks of it, the Grey’s Anatomy starlet will have quite the career of her own, even if it follows a different tack than that of Kate Winslet.