Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Katherine Heigl Makes Dollars for Scents

Katherine Heigl may not be leaving Grey's Anatomy, but that hasn't stopped her from sniffing around for other opportunities.

The actor has inked a deal with Coty Inc. to be the face of the first women's fragrance from Nautica, the company announced Tuesday.

"We are delighted to collaborate with Nautica and spokesmodel Katherine Heigl to introduce the new women's fragrance," Coty CEO Bernd Beetz said in a statement.

"Katherine is beautiful, graceful and an inspiring actress who best personifies the values of the Nautica brand."

After a tough few weeks on the job, Heigl could probably use that kind of flattery about now.

Earlier this month, details of her salary dispute with ABC TV Studios were leaked to the press, with sources revealing that Heigl walked out on contract talks because she felt undervalued in comparison to costars such as Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh, leading to speculation that she might leave the show.

In response to reports on the matter, ABC issued a statement clarifying it had offered to "raise [Heigl's] compensation significantly above the terms of her current contract."

"We were surprised to see this gesture negatively reported in the press," the studio said, adding that Heigl was under contract and therefore Dr. Izzie Stevens would not be checking out of Seattle Grace.

Heigl fired back with a statement of her own, saying she was "embarrassed" and "disappointed" about the studio's decision to go public with the dispute.

"I dropped out of the renegotiation simply because I wanted to treat myself with the respect I was not getting from them," she said.

Pompeo, on the other hand, was reportedly treated with plenty of respect by the studio, which showed its appreciation by increasing her salary to an estimated $200,000-per-episode, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Also well respected were T.R. Knight, Justin Chambers, James T. Pickens Jr. and Chandra Wilson, who were each bumped up to about $125,000 per episode.

However, there was still no word on the kind of cash Heigl can expect to be earning in the upcoming season, nor on the projected paychecks of Oh, Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington.

While Heigl may be unhappy with the powers that be at Grey's Anatomy, on the subject of her new employer, she had only positive things to say.

"I am thrilled to work with Coty and Nautica on this new fragrance campaign," she said in a statement. "Partnering with these two highly successful companies makes this a very exciting and rewarding experience for me."

If only her day job were equally rewarding.

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