Ali Larter is speaking out.
The Heroes star issued an apology on Wednesday after her former co-star Leonard Roberts came forward with allegations of mistreatment on the show, which he says led to his dismissal from the NBC drama.
In a statement to TV Line, Larter said the following:
“I am deeply saddened to hear about Leonard Roberts’ experience on Heroes and I am heartbroken reading his perception of our relationship, which absolutely doesn’t match my memory nor experience on the show," she told the outlet.
"I respect Leonard as an artist and I applaud him or anyone using their voice and platform. I am truly sorry for any role I may have played in his painful experience during that time and I wish him and his family the very best.”
Roberts penned an essay for Variety, which went public earlier on Wednesday, which found Roberts recalling his experience of working on the show.
“The script suggested D.L. and Niki had a volatile relationship — and it wasn’t long before art was imitating life,” Roberts writes, before opening up about times the two actors clashed.
“I later gave her a bottle of wine with a note affirming what I believed to be mutual respect and a shared commitment to doing exceptional work,” he explains.
“Neither the gift nor the note was ever acknowledged.”
Another incident involved Larter allegedly refusing to bare her shoulders during a bedroom scene between their characters.
She “expressed she had never been so disrespected — as an actress, a woman or a human being,” Roberts writes.
But he notes that Larter had no problem shooting a scene that called for her character to seduce Adrian Pasdar’s character, Nathan Petrelli.
Roberts says he “pondered why my co-star had exuberantly played a different scene with the Petrelli character involving overt sexuality while wearing lingerie, but found aspects of one involving love and intimacy expressed through dialogue with my character, her husband, disrespectful to her core. I couldn’t help wondering whether race was a factor.”
Roberts then spoke about a blind item about co-stars on an unidentified hit series found in exec producer Dennis Hammer's office.
“Hammer told me not to worry, as the matter was ‘being handled internally,’ and to continue being the professional I had proven myself to be,” Roberts writes.
“I quickly learned, though, that while the acting was the vacation, the vocation was being a team player and towing the positive party line in press interviews and media events."
"I was only interested in dealing with drama that was on the page, but that goal would prove to be elusive.”
Roberts says series creator Tim Kring informed him that, “due to ‘the Ali Larter situation,'” he was being killed off at the start of the sophomore season.
Said the actor:
“Kring said he felt my character had been painted into a corner, due to the fact that ‘we’ didn’t have ‘chemistry,’ and that any attempt to create a new storyline for D.L. just felt like ‘the tail wagging the dog.’ I replied that I found it interesting he had created a world where people flew, painted the future, bent time and space, read minds, erased minds and were indestructible, yet somehow the potential story solution of my character getting divorced left him utterly confounded. I also questioned how a ‘we’ issue could be cited as justification for the firing of ‘me.'”
Roberts says Hammer then said to him, “Don’t think of this as a situation where the Black man loses and the white woman wins.”
The actor said that, “was the first time my race was ever acknowledged while I was a part of the show: not for any creative contribution I could make, but for what I believed was the fear of me becoming litigious.”
If you watch Heroes online, you know the series had Black series regulars, but Roberts notes, "There were no Black writers on staff."
In a statement to Variety, Kring said, “Looking back now, 14 years later, given the very different lens that I view the world through today, I acknowledge that a lack of diversity at the upper levels of the staff may have contributed to Leonard experiencing the lack of sensitivity that he describes."
"I have been committed to improving upon this issue with every project I pursue. I remember Leonard fondly and wish him well.”
“Fourteen years is a long time ago, but I remember clearly that Leonard was a great guy and a total pro,” said Hammer.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.