Justin Chambers’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Costar Omar Leyva Shares Tribute After Star’s Abrupt Exit

Chase Rollins / AP

After 16 seasons of starring as Dr. Alex Karev on Grey’s Anatomy, Justin Chambers has left the beloved Shonda Rhimes show – and according to his costar, it was time for him to make his exit.

On Friday, January 10, Omar Leyva, who starred as Luis Rivera – the father at the center of Meredith Grey’s insurance fraud scandal, shared an emotional tribute about the “honest and humble” 49-year-old actor.

“#JustinChambers is an honest & humble man who made me feel so appreciated from my first episode on #GreysAnatomy,” Leyva wrote. “To have shared in his last episode, #greys350, after his incredible run, is unbelievable. From our conversations, I know how much he loves his beautiful family and how ready and deserving he is to venture beyond #alexkarev. Buena Suerte! (I also need to console my niece now!).”

Chambers’ final episode aired on November 14, 2019. His character will not receive a proper send-off.

“There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” Chambers said in a statement. “For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time.”

He added, “As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rhimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.”

On Friday, the same day ABC confirmed Chambers’ sudden departure from the show, Pompeo reacted to the news. In response to Vanity Fair‘s tweet saying, “#GreysAnatomy is about to feel one of its biggest losses yet,” the actresses couldn’t help but agree. She responded back with, “truer words have never been spoken,” alongside a broken heart emoji.

Chambers recently told Page Six that he is looking forward to the next chapter of his life post-Grey’s Anatomy.

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