Patrick Dempsey Kids Ellen Pompeo Is Exiting Grey's Anatomy After She 'Finally' Got Caught Taking Set Items

Dr. Derek Shepherd might know the real reason for Dr. Meredith Grey's departure from Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

Patrick Dempsey — who previously played Derek on Grey's Anatomy — jokingly addressed the end of his former costar Ellen Pompeo's tenure as Meredith during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday,.

Host Jimmy Kimmel, 55, jokingly teed up Dempsey, 56, by quipping: "She's leaving the show. I don't know if you heard, she got caught stealing Band-Aids from the set."

The Disenchanted star didn't miss a beat: "Did she really? Finally, they caught her. Can you imagine what she'd have in her house now from 19 seasons? A full hospital."

RELATED: Patrick Dempsey Wants to Work with Ellen Pompeo Again for One Simple Reason: 'The Chemistry'

Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo
Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty; Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Dempsey exited the long-running ABC medical drama in 2015 after 12 seasons. Though his character was killed off in a car accident, Derek made a surprise return in season 17.

Pompeo, on the other hand, had been a constant on the series up until its season 19 fall finale, which aired on Nov. 10 and saw Meredith telling her colleagues in Seattle she was relocating to Boston.

RELATED: Grey's Anatomy: Meredith Reveals She's Leaving and Lightning Strikes — to Heartbreaking Effect

PATRICK DEMPSEY, ELLEN POMPEO
PATRICK DEMPSEY, ELLEN POMPEO

Bob D'Amico/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Pompeo, 53, shared a message with fans on Thursday, bidding farewell to the series for the time being.

"I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons!" she wrote on Instagram. "Through it all….none of it …would have been possible without the best fans in the world. You all are RIDERS and you all have made the ride so fun and ICONIC!!"

Pompeo added, "I love you madly and appreciate you right back."

RELATED: Ellen Pompeo Has 'Immense Gratitude' for Grey's Anatomy Fans as Meredith Grey Readies to Leave Seattle

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear The doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial celebrate the holidays; Hamilton and Meredith prepare for a milestone on their project; Link wants to spend the holiday with Amelia and Scout as a family; Schmitt is faced with a difficult decision during surgery on an all-new episode of Greys Anatomy, THURSDAY, DEC. 16 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EST), on ABC.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear The doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial celebrate the holidays; Hamilton and Meredith prepare for a milestone on their project; Link wants to spend the holiday with Amelia and Scout as a family; Schmitt is faced with a difficult decision during surgery on an all-new episode of Greys Anatomy, THURSDAY, DEC. 16 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EST), on ABC.

Liliane Lathan/ABC via Getty

This season, the actress took a step back from the series to pursue outside projects. For one, she is starring in and executive producing an upcoming adaptation of the 2009 film Orphan, which will be a limited series for Hulu.

Also, on numerous occasions, Pompeo had previously hinted at her departure and desire for the series to end.

"[Grey's is] still gonna be just fine without me — I'm still gonna do the voiceover," Pompeo told Deadline in September.

"I'll be back at Grey's for the finale, and we'll see if we can keep it going," she continued. "I'm gonna always be a part of that show – I'm an exec producer on that show, I've spent two decades of my career on that show, it's my heart and soul, and I'll never truly be gone as long as that show's on the air."

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Grey's Anatomy returns Feb. 23 on ABC.