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As Nip/Tuck's long suffering Julia McNamara, Joely Richardson has for four seasons now been subjected to the bizarre and often sadistic whims of that series' writing staff, including a major arc this season in which we follow the stay-at-home plastic surgeon's wife carry a baby she knew would be born with flippers for hands to term. Richardson now finds herself reluctantly having to abandon her deformed TV child to tend to the needs of her actual child, as the London Daily News is reporting that Richardson has alerted producers that she would need to take leave from the series in order to accompany her teenage daughter back to England for a series of serious medical procedures to treat a circulatory birth defect:

"Surgeons and hospitals have been a big part of our lives. We were always told that she would have to have more surgery when she got older. The time has come," the actress revealed. [...]

Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy said: "It was sad, but Joely came before her character." [...]

Miss Richardson... has also dated her co-star John Hensley, who curiously plays her teenage son Matt, despite being only 12 years younger than her. [...]

At the age of 24 she embarked on a fling with Scottish landowner Archie Stirling who was more than twice her age and also married to actress Diana Rigg. [...]

In 1992, she married [the teenager's father, Tim] Bevan, co-founder of Working Title, the studio behind Bridget Jones's Diary.[...]

Bevan left her for 24-year-old Amy Gadney and Miss Richardson filed for divorce in 1997. A fling with Robbie Williams...followed.

We're not entirely sure why the Daily Mail chose to end a depressing story about an actress forced to leave the work she loves over her daughter's serious illness with a meanspirited laundry list of her failed and sometimes misguided past affairs. That said...She dated Matt? Seriously? Our TV watching universe hasn't been turned this oedipally upside-down since the soul-scarring day we learned the ugly truth about Greg and Mrs. Brady.