Silent for months as rumors about her future were bandied about on Internet message boards and in soap opera magazines, Rebecca Budig
) has come forward to finally offer comment on reports that she will be exiting her role as All My Children's Greenlee Smythe. As first reported by soap
central.com in May
-- and again this week
-- Budig will exit All My Children by the end of year.
"I know that there has been some speculation as to my future with All My Children," Budig said in an attempt to set the record straight. "I apologize that I haven't been able to clarify and respond to all of it sooner... But as I hope you can all understand there are certain policies that don't allow for such things, so as to maintain the integrity of the storylines of our characters."
But while Budig seemed hesitant - and perhaps even barred - from coming right out and stating that she is indeed exiting the show, her words and tone seem to confirm the rumors that have been floating around for several months.
"Over the past year, as happy as I've been on the show, I have also found myself wondering what else may be out there. Feeling the desire to challenge myself and grow as a person and an actress. Therefore, when it came time to begin talking of my future on the show - I realized that this was an opportunity for me to fulfill myself in other ways, with other challenges," Budig added.
"Thank you all SO much, for all that you have given me these last six years of my life! It has been the most rewarding time in my life for me, both personally and professionally," Budig continued. "I cannot thank you enough for all of the love that I have been shown. I feel I have grown so much as a woman and an actress - and I am so excited for this next chapter in my life. I can only hope for the best and hope for your continued support and well wishes."