'Shameless' star Emmy Rossum says she's leaving Showtime series

Variety

Emmy Rossum appears set to exit "Shameless." In an open letter to fans of the series posted on Facebook Thursday, Rossum wrote, "I know you will continue on without me, for now. There is much more Gallagher story to be told. I will always be rooting for my family. Try not to think of me as gone, just think of me as moving down the block."

Representatives for Showtime and Rossum did not immediately respond to questions about Rossum's apparent departure. The show's ninth season is scheduled to premiere Sept. 9.

Rossum renewed her deal to star in the show in 2016 after a salary dispute with Warner Bros. Television, which produces "Shameless," spilled into public. Rossum had sought to eliminate the pay gap between her and fellow series lead William H. Macy, who had made more on the series from its beginning. But negotiations stalled when Rossum asked for a salary exceeding Macy's. The two sides ultimately came together on an agreement prior to the start of production on season eight.

The season-eight renewal had been held up on account of Rossum's salary negotiation.

In her letter Thursday, Rossum wrote, "The opportunity to play Fiona has been a gift. There are few characters -- female or otherwise -- as layered and dynamic. She is a mother lion, fierce, flawed and sexually liberated. She is injured, vulnerable, but will never give up. She is living in an economic depression, but refuses to be depressed. She is resourceful. She is loyal. She is brave. I knew it the second I read the pilot script, this was different, this was special."

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