In Shondaland, no character is safe. But Grey's Anatomy fans were shocked when series regular April Kepner (played by Sarah Drew) suddenly left the show in its 14th season. Audiences fell in love with the doctor who was caught in a love triangle with Matthew (Justin Bruening) and Jackson (Jesse Williams). Fans of the show know that April left Matthew at the altar and eloped with Jackson.
But that wasn't the end of April's relationship drama. After losing her baby with Jackson, struggling with her faith, and ultimately divorcing her fellow Sloan Memorial doctor, April reunites with Matthew and the two get married. However, it's Grey's Anatomy and happy endings are rare.
Keep reading to find out what happened to Sarah's character April on Grey's Anatomy... and if April will be making a surprise appearance on the show any time soon.
Why did Sarah Drew leave 'Grey's Anatomy'?
In Season 14, April suffers a near-death experience after getting into a car accident. Though she survives, April decides to quit her job and head to Seattle to provide medical care for the homeless. So, why did the actress leave the hit procedural drama?
According to Sarah, she did not make the decision to leave the show.
In 2018, Sarah released a statement on Twitter regarding her departure from the long-running medical drama after nearly a decade on the show. "Thank you for all of the love. I know you're sad. I'm sad too. I haven't really had the time to process this information. I've been with it for less than 48 hours, so I'm not ready to say my thank yous and give an all encompassing statement about my nine years here," she wrote.
She added: "For now, I'd like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn't over yet."
Additionally, the 40-year-old actress spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about her exit from the series.
“[Being let go] was painful when it happened,” she told the outlet. “But, in retrospect, I think it would have been hard for me to walk away from that job. I was on it for nine years. It feels right and it feels like a good time to move on to something else with all the great love in my heart that I have for everybody and respect and gratitude for what that experience was.”
Sarah Drew shut down rumors that she was fired because of Ellen Pompeo's salary.
When a major character exits a show, there are always rumors as to the reason. In an interview with THR, Sarah addressed the rumor that she was fired due to co-star Ellen Pompeo's $20 million salary.
"I was told that the show had too many characters and that they needed to downsize because they couldn’t service all of the characters effectively," she said.
She added, "They didn’t want any of us to be left in the background and not getting much of a story. Because there were so many series regulars, they needed to downsize and to find some characters that they felt like they could tie up their stories well."
Following her lengthy stint on Grey's, Sarah went on to continue acting, including several holiday movies like Hallmark's Christmas in Vienna.
Sarah Drew's character, April, will be coming back in Season 17.
After being gone for three seasons and fans missing her character, April, deeply, it was announced in March 2021 that Grey's fans could look forward to a guest appearance from her in their latest season. Deadline revealed that "She will reprise her fan-favorite character of Dr. April Kepner in an upcoming episode."
Sarah Drew took to her social media accounts to acknowledge the news after it went public. She posted a photo of the Deadline announcement and captioned the photo, "❤️❤️❤️😁😁😁."
It hasn't been confirmed as to what episode April will be featured on — there are only four episodes left in this season — so, we're thinking very soon! She also teased her appearance on Instagram with a selfie with Jesse aka Jackson on the show, who played one of her long-time love interests.
We're unsure how the storyline is going to go with Dr. April back in the picture. Could this mean there's hope for Jackson and April's treacherous love story? They do share a daughter together, so who knows what could happen between them.