By: CBS News
May 15, 2018
On May 8, actress Pauley Perrette -- and her beloved character, Abby Sciuto -- bid adieu to "NCIS" after 15 years as one of the best-loved crimefighters on TV.
At the time, Perrette told CBS "Sunday Morning" that the decision to step away was painful but she had grown disillusioned with fame. While she looked forward to spending more time on her activism and with her beloved dogs, she was still grieving the decision.
"It makes me sad to imagine a world without Abby in it," she said. "It really makes me sad... I, like, usually cry in my car every single day when I drive to work. And I usually cry on my way home at some point. And then I take a deep breath, and I go, 'All right,' you know?"
On May 12, however, after her final episode aired, Perrette took to Twitter with a cryptic message, the implication of which is that she actually left the show because something unsavory was happening on set.
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)— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) May 13, 2018
A day later, Perrette returned to Twitter to further elaborate on the situation. In the subsequent tweets, she claimed that she hadn't gone public with the real reason she left the show out of a sense of obligation to the crew and all the people who would lose their jobs if she did. Now, however -- and likely in the context of the #MeToo movement -- she is questioning whether silence is really the most appropriate response to what she calls a "crime."
Maybe I'm wrong for not "spilling the beans" Telling the story, THE TRUTH. 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... ?— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) May 13, 2018
She then alleged that "a very rich, very powerful publicity 'machine'" is working to keep her silent -- a machine with "no morals" and "no obligation to the truth." Without going into specifics, she levels the accusation: "He did it."
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.— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) May 13, 2018
Perrette then stated that she left because of a series of physical assaults.
I've been supporting ant-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.— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) May 13, 2018
While Perrette names no names, her accusations come amidst a cultural reckoning against toxic Hollywood behavior against women. And it is an unsettling thought, to say the least, that such crimes could potentially have been occurring unchecked on the set of a show about fighting crime.