Katherine Heigl Says She Feared Daughter 'Didn't Love Me' As A Working Mom

“I never saw that baby,” the "Grey's Anatomy" actor said as she reflected on her early days with daughter Naleigh, now 14.
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As she gears up for her return to television, Katherine Heigl is taking time to reflect on the challenges of balancing parenthood with a high-profile career.

Heigl appeared on Monday’s episode of “The View” to promote the second season of her Netflix series “Firefly Lane.” The Emmy-winning actor became visibly emotional early in the interview as she recalled feeling detached from her eldest daughter, Naleigh, shortly after adopting her in 2008.

“Naleigh came to us at nine months, and three days later, I got on a plane and went to work in Atlanta,” she said. “At the time, becoming a new mother, I was just like: ‘I got it, I got it. I can handle this.’”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before Heigl got a startling reality check.

“I never saw that baby,” she explained. “I was at work with three triplets who were playing my goddaughter and I spent more time with them than I did with my new daughter. She bonded with my husband [musician Josh Kelley], of course. He was with her. So I was always afraid that I had missed that opportunity to really bond with her and that she didn’t love me.”

Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley with their daughter Naleigh in 2014.
Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley with their daughter Naleigh in 2014.
Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

Heigl didn’t specify which film or television project she was working on that required her to spend so much time away from Kelley, whom she married in 2007, and their child.

However, she and Josh Duhamel portrayed the godparents of a 1-year-old baby, Sophie (played by Alexis, Brooke and Brynn Clagett) in the 2010 comedy “Life as We Know It.”

Heigl and Kelley welcomed two more children after Naleigh: Adalaide, now 10, and Joshua, 5. And these days, Heigl and Naleigh, now 14, appear to be doing just fine. In fact, Naleigh was in the audience to watch her mom’s interview, and the pair recently celebrated their respective birthdays together over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Watch Katherine Heigl’s appearance on “The View” below.

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