Katherine Heigl cried on The View after watching old footage of her now-14-year-old daughter, Naleigh. The 44-year-old Firefly Lane actress stopped on the chat program on Monday with Naleigh in tow and was shown a heartwarming 2012 video of her daughter racing up to her on stage to give her a loving embrace.
When questioned why she was crying, Heigl revealed that she worried she had missed out on connecting with her adoptive daughter because of her hectic work schedule on Grey’s Anatomy.
“Naleigh came to us at nine months, and three days later I got on a plane and went to work in Atlanta,” Heigl explained of her time on the ABC medical drama. “At the time, becoming a new mother, I was just like, ‘I got it. I got it. I can handle this.’ They’ve told us we can have it all. We can have careers and have families and it’s all gonna work out.”
She then confessed that she had “never seen” her daughter as a newborn.
“I was at work with three triplets who were playing my goddaughter, and I spent more time with them than I did with my new daughter,” Heigl emotionally shared. “And she bonded with my husband [Josh Kelley], of course, he was with her. So I was always afraid that I had missed that opportunity to really bond with her and that she didn’t love me.”
Heigl has been outspoken about the demanding work schedule on Grey’s Anatomy, which she left in 2010.
Heigl, who portrayed Dr. Izzie Stevens on The Late Show With David Letterman in 2009, lambasted the medical drama for having a “17-hour” workweek, which she termed “cruel and harsh.”
Ellen Pompeo, her co-star, defended her remarks earlier this year on an episode of her Tell Me podcast.
“I remember Heigl said something on a talk show about the insane hours we were working. And she was 100 percent right,” Pompeo said. “Had she said that today, she’d be a complete hero.”
Heigl and Kelley later adopted Adelaide, 10, and Heigl gave birth to Joshua, 5, in 2016.
Heigl talked about parenting her family away from the spotlight in the April 2021 edition of Parents magazine.
“The other day, Adalaide came home from school and acted out what she heard from her friends. Like, ‘Omigosh, your dad’s music! Your mom’s movies!’ She’s like, yeah, I know. My parents are famous, I got it,” she said. “And for Naleigh, I think it’s a little bit embarrassing. But the nice thing is that we’ve been a part of this community for 12 years, and our kids get to see us live just like everybody else, away from the hoopla and the paparazzi.”