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Pauley Perrette Reveals Heartbreaking Reason Behind Her "NCIS" Departure
Just last week, fans had to say goodbye to not one, but two characters on their beloved NCIS. The characters of Abby Scuito and Clayton Reeves, played by Pauley Perrette and Duane Henry, both left the show during the most recent episode. Henry's character died while protecting Abby from a mugger.
Abby chooses to leave the team and honor Reeves's legacy.
"I remember what you said about honoring you mother, and Iâ€™m gonna make that happened," she says while visiting Reeves' corpse. "I promise Iâ€™m not gonna let you down, Clay."
She then tells the team she's leaving, saying "Clay always wanted to start a charity in honor of his mom."
"Iâ€™m gonna escort his body [to his hometown] tomorrow and make the arrangements," she says. "Iâ€™m not coming back. Iâ€™m leaving NCIS. Clay died saving my life, and I owe him a debt, and I intend to see it through."
There was a lot of speculation as to why Perrette wanted to leave the show after 15 years, but she never gave a reason. Perrette did say, however, that she would miss the show.
"So, it is true that I am leaving NCIS after this season," announced Perette on Twitter. "It was a decision made last year. I hope everyone will love and enjoy EVERYTHING ABBY not only for the rest of this season but for everything she has given all of us for 16 years. ... I love her as much as you do."
â€œIt makes me sad to imagine a world without Abby in it,â€ the actress said at the time. â€œIâ€™m still grieving. And itâ€™s sad. I, like, usually cry in my car every single day when I drive to work. I usually cry on my way home at some point. And then I take a deep breath and I go, â€˜All right,â€™ you know?â€
The Assumed Reason
Of course, 15 seasons on a show kind of gives you free rein to leave whenever you want, but then it came out that there were allegedly issues on set that prompted Perrette to leave. Apparently, her relationship with Mark Harmon (more specifically his dog) was rocky.
The dog, a pit bull, was apparently causing problems and Perrette didn't feel safe.
â€œShe doesnâ€™t feel safe on set and she doesnâ€™t want to be around his dog," the insider said.
Harmon, who plays Gibbs on NCIS, often brings his four-year-old rescue pit bull, Dave, to the set with him. In October 2016, a crew member was playing with Dave when the dog got scared and attacked the man. The crew member required 16 stitches, but did end up returning to set.
â€œShe was anxious on set and basically said, â€˜I am not filming if that dog is here,â€™ so they agreed to film her and Mark separately,â€ said the source. â€œThey set her role up where she wouldnâ€™t have to film with Mark and they arenâ€™t even in the same room. So she only films when Mark isnâ€™t around.â€
The Real Reason
Perrette announced on Twitter that the reason she left the long-running drama was due to the physical assaults she endured on set.
I refused to go low, thatâ€™s why Iâ€™ve never told publicly what happened,â€ the 49-year-old tweeted on Saturday, May 12. â€œBut there are tabloid articles out there that are telling total lies about me. If you believe them? Please leave me alone. You clearly donâ€™t know me. (Sorry guys, had to be said).
It's unclear what tabloid stories she's referring too, but she continued on.
Maybe Iâ€™m wrong for not â€˜spilling the beansâ€™ Telling the story, THE TRUTH. I feel I have to protect my crew, jobs and so many people. But at what cost? I.donâ€™t know. Just know, Iâ€™m trying to do the right thing, but maybe silence isnâ€™t the right thing about crime. Iâ€™mâ€¦ Justâ€¦ ? There is a â€˜machineâ€™ keeping me silent and feeding FALSE stories about me. A very rich, very powerful publicity â€˜machine.â€™ No morals, no obligation to truth, and Iâ€™m just left here, reading the lies, trying to protect my crew. Trying to remain calm. He did it.
Iâ€™ve been supporting anti-bullying programs forever. But now I KNOW because it was ME! If itâ€™s school or work, that youâ€™re required to go to? Itâ€™s horrifying. I left. Multiple Physical Assaults. I REALLY get it now. Stay safe. Nothing is worth your safety. Tell someone.
Who Did It?
For Perrette to feel like she couldn't continue to work in such an abusive environment is heartbreaking, but it wasn't made clear who on the set she was referring to. Many fans believe it was Mark Harmon, as the two haven't filmed scenes together in years.
They also pointed out that in all her "goodbye" tweets to cast members, not once did Perrette say anything about Mark Harmon.
That being said, there's been no official word on who physically assaulted Perrette on set, and it's unfair to accuse someone without any evidence.
All we can hope for is that Perrette finds the closure she needs to heal and move on from this.
Do you think Perrette should name her abuser?