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Ellen Pompeo did NOT have Patrick Dempsey "fired" from "Grey's Anatomy" because he was supposedly having an affair with a staffer, as claimed by a tabloid. Gossip Cop can exclusively correct that report. A rep for Dempsey tells us the story is simply "ridiculous."

The allegation appears in the new issue of In Touch, which quotes a so-called "source" as saying, "Patrick had an inappropriate relationship with a young woman who worked on the set." The alleged source claims Pompeo, who is supposedly close to Dempsey's estranged wife Jillian Fink, "found out and was angry," and subsequently told her. Afterwards, says the so-called "insider," Dempsey found out that Ellen told his wife about the relationship and totally lost it. They had a huge blowup on the set in front of everyone."

The tabloid further claims the argument was just the tipping point, alleging that there had been "tension in Patrick and Ellen's relationship for years before the final blowup." With Pompeo supposedly "sick of his behavior on and off set," the "cheating scandal" was allegedly the final straw for her, as well as for "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rimes. In Touch quotes its "source" as saying, "Shonda has no patience for that kind of behavior."

Well, Gossip Cop has no patience for tabloid stories that prefer to sensationalize than present the truth. Dempsey spoke candidly and affectionately about Pompeo in an exit interview with Entertainment Weekly after his departure last month, saying they are in a "very good place." Asked about working together, Dempsey actually teared up and said, "It's magic. It's beautiful. We're like a married couple. It's been 10 years, and it was magic from the beginning."

That's hardly how anyone would describe two people who were supposedly at odds for "years." Regardless, Dempsey's rep exclusively denies the In Touch is true to Gossip Cop, and calls it "ridiculous."