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

[narrating] "At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need."

MEREDITH

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)