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The Real Story Behind Pauley Perrette And Mark Harmon's Relationship

The catch-22 of any long-running television series is the likelihood of cast members departing. With each additional season of "Grey's Anatomy," for instance, we get news of another long-time character making an exit. "Criminal Minds," meanwhile, saw multiple departures over its 15-season run. And "Law & Order" had a revolving door of detectives and prosecutors coming and going over 20 years. In most instances, actors left because they wanted to pursue new roles and new opportunities. 

This, naturally, seemed to be the case when Pauley Perrette announced she was leaving the CBS procedural "NCIS" after 15 years. The truth, however, eventually came to light — and revealed a much darker reason for her exit.

One of the original cast members of "NCIS," Perrette played Abby Sciuto, a forensic scientist as much known for her goth-style of dress and interest in the supernatural as her skills in the lab. Over the years, fans developed a strong affinity for the character, which is why many viewers were dismayed by the news that Perrette was leaving the series. The actor confirmed the rumored departure ahead of the series' 15th season in a 2017 tweet. Though she did not give a reason at the time, most assumed the exit was amicable. 

However, shortly before the Season 15 finale aired, Perrette used Twitter to hint at the true reason.

Pauley Perrette feared Mark Harmon after dog attack

In May 2018, Pauley Perrette explained over multiple tweets that she was speaking out because tabloids were running false stories about her exit from the show. She went on to say that, in an effort to protect the crew and other colleagues, she had initially chosen to remain silent, and that a "very rich, very powerful publicity machine'" was forcing her silence. In another tweet, Perrette alleged that, while on the show, she was a victim of bullying and multiple physical assaults.

As reported by The Wrap, it seems the situation involves "NCIS" lead actor and executive producer Mark Harmon and his dog. According to the report, Harmon brought his dog to work and that the dog bit a crew member, who required 15 stitches. Despite the incident, Harmon continued to bring the dog to work, upsetting Perrette and other members of the "NCIS" team. When Perrette took the issue to CBS' higher ups, the decision was made to ban Harmon's dog from the set, which caused a massive split between the two actors. 

In June 2019, Perrette told her Twitter followers that she would not ever return to the show, citing her fear of Harmon attacking her. The fear and bad blood was apparently at such a level that Perrette and Harmon filmed no scenes together for the remainder of her time on the series (via The Wrap), even during her final episode.