Is Emmy Rossum Leaving 'Shameless'? Star Pens Cryptic Facebook Post

Above, Emmy Rossum is pictured as Fiona Gallagher for "Shameless" Season 9. The actor wrote a letter in which it sounds like she's leaving the show. Brian Bowen Smith/SHOWTIME

Emmy Rossum shared a statement that suggests she could be leaving Shameless Thursday.

"It's a hard thing to put into words, feelings. But I'm going to try," she wrote in a post on her Facebook. "The opportunity to play Fiona has been a gift. … 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."

Rossum has played Fiona Gallagher since the series premiered in 2011. In her letter, she remembered auditioning for the character, whom she described as "layered and dynamic." To her, Fiona is "a mother lion, fierce, flawed and sexually liberated" and "injured, vulnerable, but will never give up." Her character "refused to be depressed" in an economic depression and is "resourceful" and "brave."

"I tirelessly prepped the audition with my coach Terry Knickerbocker. I walked to the appointment in the rain so I looked disheveled," she wrote. "During my third audition, when I got the part IN the room, I literally jumped up and down screaming in joyous relief and disbelief. Quite simply, the last eight years have been the best of my life."

Above, Emmy Rossum is pictured as Fiona Gallagher on "Shameless." She wrote a letter to fans in which she said she knows the show "will continue on without" her. Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

She said her on-screen family "feels real" offset. "See, in real life, unlike Fiona, I'm an only child. I never had a big family," she wrote in her statement. "Being ensconced in that messy Gallagher family love is something I'd always dreamed of."

Until Shameless, Rossum led the "transient wonderful life of an actor" in which "every few months, you travel to a new place, start a new project, build a new character," she said. "I never realized how much I actually craved the kind of continuity that this show has given me." She feels "safe enough to stretch and grow creatively" because of the stability and family she found on Shameless, she wrote, adding, "The way John Wells has shepherded me as an actress, and more recently how he's encouraged me wholeheartedly as a director and a writer, has been an honor and a privilege."

"Emmy Rossum will forever be part of the Shameless family," executive producer and showrunner John Wells said in a statement. "She has been integral to the show's success, from her wonderful portrayal of Fiona to her leadership role on set, as well as directing multiple episodes of the series. We are hard at work now creating a season nine finale for Shameless which we hope will provide a Gallagher-worthy sendoff for Fiona that honors the great work Emmy has done. It is always bittersweet when an ensemble member decides to move out of the proverbial house, but our door will always remain open for Fiona to return home for a visit, or to move back in. I look forward to continuing the stories of this wildly unpredictable family and all of us on Shameless will miss Emmy and her wonderful Fiona."

"We were saddened when Emmy Rossum let us know that the upcoming ninth season of Shameless would be her last," Showtime Networks President of Programming Gary Levine said in a statement. "But we are filled with an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude for Emmy's inspired work on our series, of course in front of the camera but also behind it. Fiona Gallagher will always be one of Showtime's iconic characters, and we applaud Emmy for bringing this character to life in such a natural, touching and fearless performance. On behalf of everyone at Showtime and her millions of fans, we thank you Emmy!"

"For eight years and more than 100 episodes, Emmy Rossum has delivered a deeply honest, authentic and unflinching portrayal of Fiona Gallagher, one of television's great characters," Warner Bros. Television wrote. "We wish her all the best as she explores the next chapter of her career. But before that, we are excited for fans of Shameless to see Emmy and the entire ensemble cast continue the adventures of the Gallagher family in the show's upcoming ninth season."

Shameless Season 9 premieres Sunday, September 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime. The 14 episodes will air in two parts, with the midseason finale on Sunday, October 21 and the remaining seven episodes premiering on Sunday, January 20, 2019.