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See Ellen Pompeo's emotional tribute to departing 'Grey's Anatomy' co-stars

by Gina Vivinetto / / Source: TODAY

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Ellen Pompeo doesn't want her "Grey's Anatomy" co-stars Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw to leave the series without them knowing how much she appreciates them.

The actress took to Instagram with heartfelt messages for the pair after they wrapped their final scenes on Thursday.

"Thank you @jessicacapshaw for bringing it the way you have brought it for 10 amazing years ... What a blessing you are and what a contribution you made to television history," Pompeo, 48, captioned a pic of her co-star. "Lit that screen up with your glow on the LGBT community ... making a difference and making it all look so easy."

The star also called Capshaw, 41, "GOAT," or "Greatest of All Time."

Pompeo, who's played the titular character on 'Grey's' since its 2005 debut, also shared a photo of Drew, 37, gushing, "THANK YOU to this lady....@thesarahdrew. You served up the sugar and spice for 9 years and it's been a blast. Your passion and talent for storytelling has touched so many people, provoked thought and 'Grey's' is a better show because of it and you."

2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals
In March, Pompeo quashed rumors that her co-stars' exit was related to her landmark salary negotiations. Getty Images

In March, ABC revealed both actresses were exiting the medical drama — and rumors quickly swirled that the decision was related to Pompeo's landmark $20-million salary deal.

Pompeo denied the rumors when she appeared on "The Ellen DeGenres Show," telling the host, "It's absolutely not true."

While she didn't know why Capshaw and Drew were out, she guessed it was a creative decision by the show's writers.

ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" - Season Twelve
ABC revealed in March that "Grey's stars Sarah Drew, left, and Jennifer Capshaw were exiting the series.Getty Images

"I mean, I’m not involved in these kind of decisions; however, there’s a few problems that you encounter doing a show for 14 seasons," she explained. "One of them is the writers have a really hard time creatively thinking up new stories for all these characters. I think we have 16 regular cast members, and I think it’s always sad when we lose people for whatever reason."

"Whether they want to go or don’t want to go, it doesn’t make it any easier," she added.

"Grey's" co-showrunner, Krista Vernoff, also tweeted a statement defending Pompeo.

"The suggestion … that our cast changes are in any way related to Ellen Pompeo's salary renegotiation is wrong and hurtful and misguided,” Vernoff wrote, adding that Pompeo "has not only advocated passionately for her fellow cast members, she has taken the time to educate women worldwide as to how to advocate for themselves and that must not now be twisted.”

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