February 13, 2009 at 05:22 PM EST

People.com reports that Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes has officially stated that stars Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight are not leaving the ABC series. “That was a very interesting rumor,” Rhimes reportedly said Thursday night at theNAACP Image Awards. “And it’s not true.”Rhimes was addressing a widely reported comment co-star James Pickens Jr. made to US Weekly in which he said that both actors are indeed leaving the show. “That was absolutely taken out of context,” Rhimes told People.com. “Things happen,and…I think rumors become fact very easily. And you know I don’tlike to tell you what’s going to happen on the show -– but that is a rumor.” Pickens also spoke to People.com at the Image Awards, saying, “When the question was posed to me, I was more trying to congratulateKatie and T.R. on whatever they were going to do. But yeah, I don’thave any special info about it either way.”

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