Pauley Perrette and Mark Harmon starred together on “NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service” until Perrette left the show amid a sea of speculation and drama. We are now learning that the drama between the two started in 2016 when Harmon brought his dog, Dave, on set, where the pit bull bit a crew member, resulting in a wound that required 15 stitches. Despite the incident, Harmon continued to bring his dog to the set, triggering a dispute between the two stars.
According to The Wrap, after Perrette objected to the dog being on set, tensions eventually became so apparent between the two that they filmed on different locations and filmed separately on days when they were in scenes together. “She did her scenes on one day and he did his work on other days, and they still produced a great show,” a source said. “It was simply scheduled that they did not work the same days.” Harmon’s Jethro Gibbs appeared in the episode when Perrette’s character of Abby Sciuto made her departure from the series, but only in flashback.
Despite the moves made to accommodate Paulette, the actress – at the time the most popular on primetime – said on Twitter that she experienced nightmares from the rift. “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!” Perette tweeted in June 2019.
According to sources, she had planned to leave the series prior to the dog bite incident.
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
And there was much speculation about what actually transpired after a series of cryptic tweets from Perrette posted about a year after Perrette left the show, including one that mentioned “multiple physical assaults.”
Another, also from May of 2018, said, “I refused to go low, that’s why I’ve never told publicly what happened. I have to protect my crew, jobs, and so many people. I’m trying to do the right thing, but maybe silence isn’t the right thing about crime. It’s horrifying. I left.”
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
Around the same time as Perrette’s departure from “NCIS,” CBS Studios Inc. offered a $9.5 million compensation to “Bull” actress Eliza Dushku – about what she would have earned for four years on the show – after she took Michael Weatherly to court for workplace sexual harassment. According to Dushku, she faced weeks of verbal abuse including rape jokes from Weatherly during her time on the show, from which she was fired after making the allegations.
Perrette publicly supported Weatherly.