Known throughout Hollywood for her outspoken views and forthright manner, "Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl knows a thing or two about controversy. But last night she told MTV News she couldn't begin to comprehend the problems that fellow young star Britney Spears is going through.

"I can't possibly imagine what that young girl is going through. It's so beyond my realm of understanding," said the "27 Dresses" star as she paused on the red carpet of her film's premiere.

Heigl, who most recently caught flack for her comments about her 2007 comedy hit "Knocked Up" in Vanity Fair (she called the film "a little sexist"), said she hopes Spears gets the peace she deserves.

"All I can wish for her is compassion — is that people maybe will just back off and leave her alone and let her get through whatever it is she's going through quietly — which will never happen and is a stupid, silly pipe dream," Heigl said. "But I just hope in the process that even with all this attention people can find it in their hearts to be compassionate and not so judgmental."

Like Spears, Heigl drew a fair amount of attention as a teen as a model and actress (though of course nothing compared to the intense scrutiny Spears endured). After years of flying under the A-list radar, the one-two punch of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Knocked Up" propelled Heigl further into the spotlight. Last year, she candidly knocked her "Grey's" co-star Isaiah Washington at the Golden Globes, after he strangely took the mic in the press room to announce, "No, I did not call [co-star] T.R. [Knight] a f----t," in reference to an earlier incident.

Clearly understanding the scrutiny Spears is feeling today, Heigl empathized with her saying, "She is obviously in a great deal of drama and pain, and that's a horrible thing to go through in front of the whole world, and I'm sorry for her."