Katherine Heigl Revealed the Devastating Impact Her Difficult Reputation Had on Her Mental Health

Katherine Heigl was outspoken in the past about some of her roles, most notably Knocked Up and Grey’s Anatomy. Unfortunately, her opinions earned her the label of being “difficult.” The actor recently opened up in an interview about how her mental health was impacted by that negative label.

Katherine Heigl attends the 1st Annual Unite4:humanity Event in 2014
Katherine Heigl | Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

Katherine Heigl’s reputation took a hit

Heigl spoke her mind in a 2008 interview with Vanity Fair, in which she called the movie Knocked Up “a little sexist.” According to the actor, “It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women?”

She added, “Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.”

Heigl also withdrew herself from Emmy award consideration for Grey’s Anatomy in 2008, which caused some drama as well. In a 2016 interview with Howard Stern, Heigl admitted she was “embarrassed” about the way she handled it.

“I wasn’t feeling good about my work that season,” Heigl explained. “I didn’t feel good about my performance and I didn’t feel — there was a part of me that thought, because I had won the year before, that I needed juicy, dramatic, emotional material, and I just didn’t have that, that season.”

“I was really embarrassed,” she continued. “So, I went in to Shonda [Rhimes] and said, ‘I’m so sorry. That wasn’t cool, like, I should not have said that.’ And I shouldn’t have said anything publicly.”

“But, at the time, I didn’t think anybody would notice,” Heigl added. “I didn’t know that journalists would see who submitted and who didn’t. I just quietly didn’t submit, and then it became a story, and then I felt I was obligated to make my statement.”

RELATED: Katherine Heigl Once Slammed a Movie She Starred In For Sexism

Katherine Heigl’s mental health took a toll as a result

As her reputation took a hit, so did Heigl’s mental health. In an interview with the Washington Post, Heigl explained the point that she needed to seek help.

“I think my family, my mother, my husband, my friends were scared,” she said. “And I regret deeply that I scared them like that. But I just couldn’t control it. I had no tools.”

She continued, “I asked my mom and my husband to find me somewhere to go that could help me because I felt like I would rather be dead.”

“I didn’t realize how much anxiety I was living with until I got so bad that I had to really seek help,” the actor added.

Her husband, musician Josh Kelley, shared the tremendous challenge Heigl had to endure during that time. “I can’t imagine what all of that pressure did to her over the years, dealing with celebrity, dealing with people saying things about her that are not true,” he explained. “It would be hard for anybody to process that, especially when it’s unjust and a lot of it’s negative.”