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NCIS: What happened between Pauley Perrette and Mark Harmon?

NCIS has seen multiple other popular shows air under the brand since the original’s premiere in 2003, with NCIS: Los Angeles the first spin-off, debuting in 2009, followed by NCIS: New Orleans in 2014 and NCIS: Hawaii in 2021 – and, of course, 2023’s NCIS: Sydney.

In its 20 years on air, the cast of the show has changed over many times, with one change more noticeable than others.

When actress Pauley Perrette left NCIS in 2018 after 15 years of playing beloved Abby Sciuto, it seemed to be on good terms. But it has since been revealed that her departure was fuelled by a nasty falling out with cast member Mark Harmon, who plays Gibbs.

However, it wasn’t just a normal actor-fight over salaries or trailer size: this one all started with a dog bite.

Here’s everything we know about what went down between Perrette and Harmon.

What happened between Pauley Perrette and Mark Harmon?

The pair filmed together for 10 seasons without any issues, but things fell apart in 2016. One day, Harmon brought his dog to set with him, and the dog ended up biting a crew member who needed 15 stitches.

After that, Harmon continued to bring the dog on set, which a number of the cast and crew felt uncomfortable with. Harmon’s lawyers say the dog was always kept in his trailer or on a leash, but some sources claim otherwise.

Because Harmon also served as NCIS’ producer, it was reported that many were too scared to ask him to stop bringing the dog to work. Perrette decided to confront him about the situation, and that’s where the rift started.

A source told The Wrap that from this point onward, the two actors were never in the same room together. Scripts were written deliberately so they didn’t have to film together. In Perrette’s final scene of NCIS before she left the show in 2018, they appeared side by side – but it was just editing magic.

“She did her scenes on one day and he did his work on other days, and they still produced a great show,” the source told the outlet. “It was simply scheduled that they did not work the same days.”

When Perrette announced she was leaving the show, rumours swirled that it was due to her falling-out with Harmon, though some sources say she was planning to leave even before the dog incident.

Why did Pauley Perrette leave NCIS?

The week after her final episode aired, Perrette shared some information on Twitter that made it seem like there was more to her departure. She stated that there was a “machine” keeping her “silent”.

“I refused to go low, that’s why I’ve never told publicly what happened,” she said.

“But there are tabloid articles out there that are telling total lies about me.”

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