3:30pm PT by Jennifer Konerman, Katie Kilkenny
CBS Responds to Pauley Perrette's Assault Allegations: "We Took the Matter Seriously"
Following her final episode on NCIS on May 8, Pauley Perrette explained over the weekend that she left the CBS show after "multiple physical assaults."
In a series of tweets, Perrette, who starred on the series for 15 seasons as Abby Sciuto, tweeted that although she never told her story publicly, she departed NCIS, attributing it to "multiple physical assaults" and a "machine" keeping her silent.
She also encouraged victims to "stay safe," and stressed that "nothing is worth your safety. Tell someone."
Perrette tweeted, "I refused to go low, that's why I've never told publicly what happened. But there are tabloid articles out there that are telling total lies about me. If you believe them? Please leave me alone. You clearly don't know me. (Sorry guys, had to be said)."
She continued: "I feel I have to protect my crew, jobs and so many people. But at what cost? I.don't know. Just know, I'm trying to do the right thing, but maybe silence isn't the right thing about crime. I'm... Just... ?"
In a later tweet, Perrette wrote, "There is a "machine' keeping me silent, and feeding FALSE stories about me. A very rich, very powerful publicity "machine". No morals, no obligation to truth, and I'm just left here, reading the lies, trying to protect my crew. Trying to remain calm. He did it."
The actress added, "I've been supporting anti-bullying programs forever. But now I KNOW because it was ME! If it's school or work, that you're required to go to? It's horrifying. I left. Multiple Physical Assaults. I REALLY get it now. Stay safe. Nothing is worth your safety. Tell someone."
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, CBS Television Studios said, "Pauley Perrette had a terrific run on NCIS and we are all going to miss her. Over a year ago, Pauley came to us with a workplace concern. We took the matter seriously and worked with her to find a resolution. We are committed to a safe work environment on all our shows."
Perrette wrote in a tweet on Tuesday following the statement, "I want to thank my studio and network CBS They have always been so good to me and always had my back."
Perrette announced that she'd be leaving the show in October, when she said it was a decision made the year prior and "not due to a nonexistent skin-care line or rift."
"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," Perrette tweeted at the time. "All the love, all the laughter, all the inspiration…. I love her as much as you do."
Perrette's exit resulted in big ratings for CBS, which saw a 20 percent ratings increase on her final NCIS episode, with 14.8 million viewers, topping ABC's ratings juggernaut Roseanne and solidifying NCIS as the most watched show worldwide. It also was renewed for another season after star Mark Harmon inked what sources say is a new two-year deal.
Perrette has used her Twitter account to call out alleged abusers before: In October, Perrette shared a #MeToo story on the platform, where she claimed she was raped by a football player at 15 years old. "My rape led me into a series of abusive relationships, terrible self worth and self blame, dismissing a few groping incidents, allowing myself to be bullied by a powerful man for way too long in a work environment until I finally said ENOUGH," she wrote.
May 15: Updated with CBS statement.