In 2018, actress and long-time NCIS star Pauley Perrette left the show and later cited concerns about violence from her former co-star Mark Harmon. Perrette had been on the show for a total of 15 seasons, but she had not appeared in a scene with Harmon since sometime in 2016.
Perrette played Abby Sciuto on the show for 15 seasons. She said that she left the show because the time was right, and the fact that she was leaving didn’t come as a surprise to fans since she had announced the exit months earlier. She posted on Twitter that she was leaving after the season and that she had made the decision far in advance.
“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. All the love, all the laughter, all the inspiration… I love her as much as you do,” the actress tweeted.
Read on to learn more about why Perrette left the show.
Perrette Said it Was Just The Right Time to Move On
Perrette was happy with her decision to portray Abby on the show for such a long time, but she told TV Insider that she knew when it was time to leave the show.
“I believe in God and the universe so firmly, and it just suddenly became blindingly apparent that now was the time,” she said. “After a lot of thought, I decided to announce it myself on Twitter because I didn’t want it to be turned into anything ‘shocking.’ Abby leaving is more than a cheap TV ploy.”
When asked about what she was most proud of when it came to her time on NCIS, Perrette cited the influence her character had on young women all over the world.
“She’s just an excellent role model for everybody,” she said. “She shows you can be intelligent and kind at the same time. I’ve been molded by her as well.”
Perrette and Harmon Had a Falling Out in 2016
During filming in 2016, Mark Harmon reportedly brought his dog to set, and the dog allegedly bit one of the crew members that was playing with it at the time. The dog bite, which was located around the eye of the crew member, resulted in an injury that required 15 stitches.
There are conflicting reports as to whether or not the dog came to set again after that day, but The Wrap reported Harmon did continue to bring the dog. His attorney told them that was not accurate, and a person familiar with the situation said if the dog was brought to set following the incident, it was always on a leash or in Harmon’s trailer. According to that source, Harmon later stopped bringing the dog altogether.
After the incident, Perrette felt that the crew could not speak up to Harmon about their discomfort with his dog being around. Since Harmon is an executive producer on the show, he has more pull than they do. Perrette decided to stick up for the crew and stand up to confront Harmon about his animal, which reportedly led to a rift between the two.
After that conversation, the two stopped appearing on set together. Though Perrette did not leave the show right away, this incident could have had something to do with her ultimate decision to leave the show two years later.
Though her character would still rarely seem to be in the same room as Harmon, they were never actually on the same set on the same day after the dog bite incident that occurred in 2016.
If they shared any scenes together, it was all done in post-production. The scenes would be shot separately and later added together.
After her goodbye episode of the show in which her character did not say goodbye to Harmon’s, Perrette took to Twitter to let fans know about the “multiple physical assaults” that allegedly happened on set and tweeted “He did it” in reference to Harmon. She later added that she was not talking about any types of sexual misconduct or assault. She tweeted, “I want to thank my studio and network CBS they have always been so good to me and always had my back.”
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