Pauley Perrette’s departure from NCIS in 2018 after 15 years as the beloved Abby Sciuto appeared amicable. However, it has since been revealed that her departure was precipitated by a dispute with actor Mark Harmon, who portrays Gibbs.
However, this was not a typical actor dispute over pay or trailer size; it began with a dog bite.
Here is what we know about what transpired between Perrette and Harmon.
Why Did Pauley Perrette Leave NCIS’?
Fans were understandably surprised when the show’s mainstay left NCIS after Season 15, but it turns out that her departure had nothing to do with the show. Indeed, Pauley left NCIS due to a rumored feud with the show’s lead, Mark Harmon. According to HELLO!, the show’s two stars had a string of on-set squabbles that soured their relationship during Pauley’s later years on the show.
NO I AM NOT COMING BACK! EVER! (Please stop asking?) I am terrified of Harmon and him attacking me. I have nightmares about it. I have a new show that is SAFE AND HAPPY! You’ll love it!#HappyPlace Love y’all!
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) June 7, 2019
According to The Bark, Mark brought his dog to the set of the show in 2016, where it bit a crew member, requiring 15 stitches. Naturally, this resulted in a clash between the two stars.
Beyond that, if there’s any real proof that Pauley and Mark didn’t get along when she left NCIS, it’s that her emotional final scene took place without Gibbs, who learned about her departure separately in a letter.
Pauley took to Twitter in the days following her departure and made the most candid admission about her issues with Mark. “I refused to go low, which is why I’ve never told anyone about what happened. However, there are tabloid articles about me that are completely false. Please leave me alone if you believe them.
The most interesting thing about saying you are retired is checking who is or who is not still your friend.
(SHE CAN’T HELP MY CAREER NOW?!?!?!) Fascinating!
And VERY TELLING! #SociologyMajor #Studying #Hollywood #celebrities pic.twitter.com/S7cezV8pSA
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) April 23, 2021
You obviously don’t know who I am. Sorry for the inconvenience, but it had to be said “She was writing at the time. Following that, Pauley stated, “Perhaps I’ve mistaken in not spilling the beans.’ Telling the story, telling the truth.
I feel compelled to defend my crew, my jobs, and so many people. But at what price? I’m not sure. Just know that I’m trying to do the right thing, but maybe silence isn’t the best option when it comes to crime.”
Later tweets were even more direct, with statements like “He [Mark] did it,” and claims of “Multiple Physical Assaults” while on set.
According to HELLO!, CBS issued a statement at the time stating “Pauley approached us about a year ago with a workplace issue. We took the situation seriously and collaborated with her to find a solution. On all of our shows, we are dedicated to providing a safe working environment.”
Years later, in 2019, when asked if she would ever return to NCIS, Pauley decided to finally call Mark out by name in a fiery tweet accusing him of assaulting her.
🥁 And now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for… three worlds coming together to create ONE epic night of television. Don’t miss the #NCISCrossover Event — Monday, January 9th on @CBS. #NCIS #NCISHawaii #NCISLA pic.twitter.com/RUy0HOhNn1
— NCIS (@NCIS_CBS) December 17, 2022
“No, I’m not returning! Ever! Please refrain from asking. I’m terrified of [Mark] Harmon and the possibility of him attacking me. I have nightmares about it. I have a new show that is both safe and enjoyable! You’ll enjoy it!”
Pauley then deleted another tweet in which she claimed she was “physically assaulted” after attempting to “protect” a fellow crew member. Pauley announced her retirement from acting in 2020, and she has not taken on any new roles since.
What Went Wrong Between Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette?
The pair worked together without incident for ten seasons before splitting up in 2016. Harmon brought his dog to set one day, and the dog bit a crew member who required 15 stitches.
Harmon continued to bring the dog on set after that, which made some of the cast and crew uncomfortable. Harmon’s attorneys claim the dog was always kept in his trailer or on a leash, but some sources disagree.
— NCIS (@NCIS_CBS) December 5, 2022
Many people were too afraid to ask Harmon to stop bringing the dog to work because he was also the producer of NCIS. Perrette decided to confront him about the situation, which is where the schism began.
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