That's a mystery that we won't know for sure until the next season of Grey's Anatomy. Word on the street is that Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) has yet another sibling, in the form of a long-lost half-brother who may be the love child of her mother Ellis (Kate Burton) and the Chief (James Pickens, Jr.). Producers of the ABC medical drama have yet to confirm the scoop but Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello revealed that series creator Shonda Rhimes started quietly looking for a male actor to play a mysterious new role last year. Adding the catch, the thespian in question had to be both biracial and in his late 20s. That begs the question: Is it possible that the affair Meredith's mom had with the Chief 20 something years ago spawned another mini Grey?
To refresh your memory, during their residency at Seattle Grace, Ellis and Richard had an affair despite the fact that they were both married. Ellis left her husband, Meredith's father Thatcher, but Richard could not bring himself to leave his wife, Adele (although eventually it was revealed that Adele had known about the affair all along and stayed with Richard anyway). Richard then ended his affair with Ellis, thinking that she deserved better and that he had too much baggage. Upon learning about Ellis' illness, however, Richard continued an emotional affair with her and visited her regularly but later decided to end things for good in an attempt to reconcile with Adele.
Given the longevity of the affair, it's quite possible that Ellis and Richard did have a child. And whether or not Richard knew about the child still remains to be seen. My guess is that he has no idea. With Ellis gone and out of the picture, Richard has become more and more agitated by Meredith's presence in his life as she serves as a reminder to him of the blunders he made over the years. Now, it will be interesting to see how Richard takes this discovery.
According to Ausiello, we'll probably have to wait a little longer to know for sure since Ms. Rhimes has put this particular piece of casting off until next season. Of course, the new guy might also turn out to be a completely different character than what we had expected.