Chyler Leigh Issues Statement on Grey's Anatomy Exit

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According to TV Fanatics, it was the most heartbreaking season finale death of them all. By far.

And now Chyler Leigh has spoken out for the first time about her emotional exit, which took place on the Grey's Anatomy Season 8 finale and still has fans reeling.

Meant to Be

"Earlier this year, I made the decision that season eight would be my last on Grey's Anatomy," the actress said in a statement released to multiple media outlets.

"I met with Shonda and we worked together to give Lexie's story appropriate closure. I am very lucky to have worked with this amazing cast and crew for five seasons. My experience on Grey's Anatomy is something that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I want to take this time to say thank you to the fans. Your unconditional love and support have made these last five years very special for me. I look forward to my next chapter and I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey."

Leigh's words echo those of Rhimes, who Tweeted not long after the finale aired:

"I love Chyler and I love the character of Lexie Grey. She was an important member of my Grey's family. This was not an easy decision.

"But it was a decision that Chyler and I came to together. We had a lot of thoughtful discussion about it and ultimately we both decided this was the right time for her character's journey to end. As far as I'm concerned Chyler will always remain a part of the Shondaland family and I can't wait to work with her again in the future."

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Meredith: You're me.
Amelia: What?
Meredith: You're me before Derek. I can be here for you. I can do this. I get you. I can be a twisted sister for you. Just tell me how do you want to play this?

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)