Blue Bloods' Jennifer Esposito Departs Show, Slams CBS For Its 'Shameful Behavior'

Jennifer Esposito Leaving Blue BloodsJennifer Esposito is temporarily turning in her badge on Blue Bloods amid a contentious behind-the-scenes dispute with CBS.

On Saturday, CBS released a statement to our sister site Deadline saying the actress, who plays Det. Jackie Curatola on the Friday night procedural, “informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule. As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence.”

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Esposito, who has been very public about her battle with Celiac Disease, quickly shot back on Twitter that “CBS put me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doctor said you needed a reduced schedule due to Celiac. CBS didn’t listen to my doc and I collapsed on set. Which everyone saw! After a week off my doc said I could return to work but CBS implied that I was not truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise! It’s been almost two months without bringing me back to work + keeping Me from working anywhere else!… Absolutely shameful behavior.”

Esposito’s “final” Blue Bloods episode will air Nov. 2. In the meantime, Deadline reports that the show will bring in guest stars to fill the void. First up: Relative newcomer Megan Ketch, who will serve as Danny’s temporary partner in at least four episodes.

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429 Comments
  1. Andrea says:

    Jennifer, I send all my love and prayers. You are an inspiration to me. I also have multiple invisible diseases that are grossly misunderstood and cannot work as a result. I am disgusted and deeply saddened and outraged by what CBS has done and will do anything I can to support you. Enough of corporations and governments making med

  2. Andrea says:

    Medical decision. Shame on them. Hugs and prayers.

  3. Melinda says:

    Such ignorance! First off I’m full blown celiacs & trust me when I say it’s not about just avoiding gluten! I was diagnosed 3yrs ago, just had my biopsies & follow up & it’s a constant battle. Unless you have it, you just don’t know. I’ve gotten better but it’s a daily struggle. Did u know their are people who label their food gluten free then sell it & it actually has wheat in it? They lie to make a buck! As of right now I’ve been doing fresh foods, veggies & fruits & only eating what Jennifer reccomends. She has been instrumental in my fight with celiacs. When I went to NYC we went to set & saw her & the first thing she wanted to know was how I was feeling. She is a total sweetheart and does NOT deserve this!! CBS should be ashamed that they feel the need to blacklist someone for being sick! As of right now I have to take 2acid reducers, magnesium, vitamin D, B12, iron & sometimes potassium because I’m deficient in all those due to celiacs. It makes me sad to think people are saying this is just because she is getting gluten somewhere or because she parties. Bull!! Some people are born with mild retardation & some have it severely. Jennifer’s celiac seems to be a lot worse than mine but I’m not going to sit & judge her because I don’t know. Nor do any of you!! Jackie was a great asset to that show & to bring on some pretty lil blonde who looks like a Barbie is a joke. She doesn’t say detective at all. I’m a firm believer in you have to make the part, Tom Selleck does a good job at playing a commissioner, just like Donnie Wahlberg makes a great Danny Reagan. But if this is the kind of garbage CBS is going to try & do behind closed doors then count me out!! Good luck with the ratings drop. Jennifer, we love you girl & don’t u stop fighting!! Xoxo

  4. lexie says:

    Shame on CBS! there’s any way to do a petition to bring back jennifer in the show? Her character is 1 of the reasons I watch the show!!! can’t believe they do this!!!

  5. Kathy says:

    I just read some of the comments on here. Some people are taking to bullying. Celiac is a serious autoimmune disease. I have a friend who suffers from it to the point where if she has Gluten it would kill her. We’re not in Jennifer Esposito’s body. She’s the only one who knows how the disease affects her life. This woman has been so kind to help spread the word on Celiac and CBS should be behind her not pushing her to the side. Now I’m not saying the bullying isn’t going to stop but I am going to say this. Think about if this was happening to you and how would you like people, fans or the world to respond. I know which I chose and that’s to help out but that’s just who I am. So CBS as a viewer and a fan of many of your shows I hope you read this cause you should be showing your support and helping Jennifer create more awareness of Celiac as well as getting her back on Blue Bloods. Thank you.

    • Sara says:

      People having a differing opinion than you does not equate to “bullying.” People who agree with Jennifer are calling others on here “idiots” and “ignorant.” Isn’t that also “bullying?” Or because they disagree they deserve to be called names?
      Better yet, how about we as a culture stop overusing the word “bully” so that when real bullying occurs it isn’t overlooked because of the oversaturation of the term.

  6. Mads says:

    I think this is disgraceful! If CBS didn’t want to accommodate Jennifer’s needs to do her job properly then they should let her go and work somewhere else. We are behind you Jen, hope they stop their stupid behaviour and you can resume your brilliant portrayal of your character, 1 half of the best partnership on tv! :-)

  7. Amanda says:

    Shameful behavior, CBS. Jennifer Esposito is such an amazing actress and an inspiration to a lot of people. And it’s also shameful reading such ignorant comments here! Jennifer has celiac disease and it’s not only about stop eating gluten, there is a lot more implying this disease! Jennifer, don’t be sad with this situation, you got our support and love and people who truly care about you.

  8. Lauren says:

    This is absolutely awful. My heart goes out to Jennifer. She is one of my FAVOURITE actresses and my favourite thing about Blue Bloods. I suffer with really bad IBS which is not nearly as bad as Celiac, but I can sympathise with how hard it is to work with a condition like this. Poor Jennifer IS ill and CBS are COMPLETELY out of line to treat her like this! We’re all behind you Jennifer!

  9. Megan says:

    I love Jennifer, I love Jackie, and I don’t think Donnie/Danny will have that chemistry with any other partner. Jackie and Danny’s relationship reminds me of Benson and Stabler, and I love it! I don’t want to see her go. But I kinda get, what is CBS supposed to do? I mean if she can’t physically work the hrs and do the job she was hired to do then this job isn’t for her. Yes they should definitely let her out of her contract instead of preventing her from making money elsewhere. But if she’s not capable of doing the job she was hired for then CBS can’t be expected to cater to her needs. I’m an early childhood educator, if I had a medical condition that prevented me from being able to do some aspects of my job like lifting the children, or kneeling down to their level, or working my scheduled hrs then obviously this wouldn’t be the job for me. I do love Jennifer and Jackie, and although her illness is obviously nobody’s fault, if she isn’t capable of doing the job she was hired for then what does anybody expect CBS to do?

  10. kelsie12000 says:

    Celiac and any other autoimmune disease are very easily misunderstood. It is very easy to say why can’t Jennifer still work, other people with Celiac are work. I believe Elizabeth Hasselback was brought up an example. The difference between Elizabeth who seems like a wonderful person her job, and Jennifer’s is that with Jenn her hours can be 12-15 hour days and she sometimes running and on the go. It is a strenous job, and with someone who has an ailment such as Celiac – yes it can take a toll, thus the reason Jennifer needed a reduction in schedule. All I can say is she has my full support. I have gotten to go the set living in New York, she has never been anything short of gracious and amazing to all of us fans, we adore her. I also admire her and feel she is the best actresses around today. Blue Bloods is not the same without her, and I hope and pray this situation is cleared up soon. Until then Jennifer all our hugs and love xoxo

  11. Lepeka says:

    See if I watch your crap network ever again. Esposito and Wahlberg are the best thing going for you. Shameful behavior. I am in support of Esposito and I hope you guys lose a lot of support because of your inconsiderate decision regarding her career.

  12. Elisa Gomez says:

    Jennifer i will miss you on blue bloods you are a great actress on blue bloods you a great partner for Donnie Wahlberg. Get better you do a great job on blue bloods love you Jennifer.

  13. Julie says:

    Apparently people have a lot to learn about Celiac’s. You can eat as much as you want, and you are still malabsorbed until you figure out what the issue is and cut gluten out.
    I realize It’s hard to beleve — I absolutely did not understand it until I was diagnosed, but basically, gluten confuses your body when you eat gluten, and then your body attacks your intestines as if it is a virus. For no good reason, your digestive system stops working properly. You don’t get nutrients, you are always tired, on top of that, food goes right through you, so you’re getting dehydrated and exhausted from having chronic diahreah. When I was really sick and unable to go off gluten yet, I was sleeping whenever I was not at work, and constantly yawning at work. I am being literal here — I slept whenever I was not doing what I had to do, and it did not help.
    Once you figure out what’s going on, it is not magic. It takes AT LEAST a year for your intestines to heal. Your energy DOES NOT shoot back up. I have not even mentioned the pain, but whenever you eat while you’re still consuming gluten, you feel it inch down your intestines and it is BAD cramps all the way. It is depressing to wake up in pain every day and not know why.

    I used to do 10 billion things. I am not lazy. Jennifer Esposito is CERTAINLY not lazy. There are smaller parts in the world, and adaptations are not too much to ask for. It is ridiculous that actors are expected to work themselves to the bone and if they can’t, it’s assumed they don’t care enough or that they’re lazy. I don’t understand how anyone is supposed to survive an acting career with an attitude like this. This is terrible to go through, and you get desparate for it to stop. That’s what made giving up gluten so easy for me. I felt so much better. You try giving up gluten. Now try being in pain all the time. Let me know how that goes for you.

    • Julie says:

      Also, the cost of gluten-free foods and the supplements you need to get yourself back on track, and all the doctor visits involved. This is not cheap, and not fair at all to be on unpaid leave when you are SICK!

  14. Sara says:

    Perhaps the reason CBS won’t let her out of her contract is because they hope that with an extended leave she will be able to come back to the show healthier and better able to work?
    I understand that Jennifer is upset, but if she is so sick (she apparently collapsed on set after all), perhaps an extended leave is what she needs.

    • Renee says:

      Cutting off someones income and not allowing them to work anywhere else either is wrong. No matter what the reason is.

      • Sara says:

        I feel like this is a fallacy in the story. I highly doubt that they aren’t paying her while they put her on leave. That is not how this industry pays people. She is most likely getting some sort of compensation. By not letting her out of her contract, it seems that CBS intends to bring her back at some point, after she is able to get better control over her health and after they figure out a way to deal with her character.

  15. sarajevo_online says:

    This was such a managable situation, that turned into ugly mess! Like this would be the first time for CBS to rewrite the scripts to accomodate actors-in this case, it would also show their support for people struggling with desease. But, it seems that it is is a cruel heartless world. I STAND BY Jennifer. CBS-shame on you!

  16. MissMJ says:

    Reading some of the comments on here leave me in shock. While I appreciate everyone is entitled to their own opinion and the freedom to speak what they want, regardless of what people think of how Jennifer has behaved in the past on various other sets, the fact remains that because of her illness she is being discriminated against.

    An illness is just that. It doesn’t have to present itself as a physical presence everytime and it shouldn’t have to. Sometimes it can be obvious for all or invisible to everyone but the sufferer. Jennifer’s illness is real and just because it is not on display to the naked eye, it doesn’t make it more or less diblitating. All she asked for is that her employer takes this into consideration with her work load and any caring reasonable employer would have been willing. CBS should be ashamed.

    Jennifer, you have my support and love as a fellow sufferer of another illness that is invisible to the world. xx

  17. Donnie Wahlberg says:

    All these comments & opinions but not one of you is questioning the “Jennifer Esposito” posts? Do you really think she has nothing better to do than defend herself against doubters of her health issues? It’s the Internet folks! Just because someone says “I’m so & so” you reply personally to that person? Laughable. By the way I’m former NKOTB member & current Blue Bloods star, Donnie Wahlberg. Any Questions?

    • Taryn says:

      Oh, it’s her. Check her verified Twitter. It’s obvious that it’s her as it’s obvious that you are a troll.

    • Pao says:

      I believe “impersonation” is a crime. Just something YOU should consider! The post by “Jennifer Esposito” is verifiable via her VERIFIED twitter account. If I go to Donnie Wahlberg’s verified twitter account, would I be able to say the same of YOUR post?

      • M3rc Nate says:

        I think “Donnie” means the comments in this comment thread. Not the original Tweet thats in the article. Unless she said on twitter “it is really me commenting on the TVline article” theres no way to know its not someone else that just wrote “Jennifer Esposito” in the “Whats your name” box.

        • M3rc Nate says:

          Scratch that. I checked her twitter and she says it is her commenting. Which is good. Hope you get your job back or better yet, a better job not at CBS, and i hope you sue CBS (not because im sue happy, but because they are wrong and not treating you right).

  18. Gilda says:

    If this is as it seems, that’s really horrific. CBS should be ashamed of themselves.

  19. It’s just not right that CBS doing this to her. She’s a great actress and will be missed. Human rights should get involved, because it’s not fair that she’s being treated in this matter.

  20. Linderella says:

    I find it interesting that CBS waited for Charlie Sheen to get his act together and come back to work (which never happened), but they want to throw Jennifer under the bus. You cannot judge a book by it’s cover – just because you don’t think a person LOOKS sick, does not mean he or she does not have a serious or debilitating disease or condition. Jennifer’s character is one of the best on Blue Bloods – the interaction between Jackie and Danny is terrific. I hope CBS comes to their senses and accommodates her work schedule established by her doctor.

    • skippyqsb says:

      Nice point, but it’s more than that. CBS turned a blind eye to that drug addict Sheen for years, shutting down production several times because he was on a binge. But they won’t accommodate a non-lead who’s lesser presence would not shut down the show? To hell with CBS.

  21. Glam says:

    It is a shame that people see Celiac as a disease that we automatically get better after YEARS of damage that was done to our body. We did NOT pick this disease and neither did Jennifer. As a Celiac myself, I too struggled with the ignorance of others with this disease. It is something that will never go away and 365 days a year has to be taken care of. It is not just staying away from gluten, it goes FAR beyond that. I filed for FMLA from my previous job since I missed so many days and ironically was fired that same week it was approved because it “just wasn’t working out”. From one Celiac to another, Jennifer I support you.

  22. skippyqsb says:

    I guess it does not surprise me that the Hollywood desk jockey’s act this way, but what angers me the most is where are your co-workers? As the lead actor and one of the producers Mr Selleck could have and should have stood up for you. He used to pride himself on sticking up for the ‘little guy’, guess he’s lost the fight, and compassion, in his old age.
    I do not have Celiac, but I do know what’s it like to be harassed regarding medical problems, including co-workers nearly killing me because they didn’t believe I was allergic to fish.
    Stay strong Jennifer, you’re awesome!!

    • mdb3 says:

      hahah. You think Selleck has pull? The “star” of the show is Wahlberg, if you can’t tell by the constant storylines. I can’t wait til this show is cancelled

  23. No! you’ll cannot mess up the best show by signing out Jennifer Esposito just because she has an illiness and needed certain hours………Shame Shame on you. I am glad ABC is a better and more understanding!!!!!! Look how wonderful they are to Robin!!! now you have a perfect show with Tom S. we want her to stay! come on show some understanding..You are Human being aren’t you? Check and see if you’ll have a heart!!!! I love your show as it IS…….

  24. This is shameful of CBS to do in an age where Celiac Disease is becoming more and more public because celebs like Jennifer have the passion to educate and support. As a follower and fellow person with Celiac, I find this treatment to be discriminatory and hurtful. This tells the general public that it is okay to mistreat people with a medical condition and that everyone uses medical conditions to manipulate. This is NOT okay. This autoimmune disease is not something I would wish on anyone. I fully support Jennifer and won’t be watching the show while she is on unpaid leave.

  25. Diane Amato says:

    shame on cbs- i will no longer watch the show if that is how they treat people. She was a great part of the show and the main reason i watched.

  26. linda329 says:

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  27. Bob says:

    CBS please simply sit down with Jennifer and work this out. Please remember your viewers Jennifer has been a large part in making Bluebloods a successful series. In light of the many programming options presented to your viewers Bluebloods is among the best. Jennifer is a part of a great cast and crew please work with her to reach a mutual conclusion. Both you and Jennifer deserve this!

    Jennifer you have loyal fans that may identify with your illness, situation or challenge of misinformation. Please rest assured you are not alone and that challenges such as these only serve to make us stronger. You are a great actor, advocate and person, you have more to offer than many.

    Best wishes for a speedy resolution !!!

  28. Ricardo Perez says:

    Where is the Italian support over here? or is that a thing of the past? Where are the Gentlemen superstars Tom Selleck an Donny “Derk” Walhberg over here?? I ask! ; I humbly ask? Let us not forget the success of “Days of our Lives” and Suzanne Rodgers…It sooo nice to see her when she is on… PEOPLE LIKE THAT KIND OF THING A SHOW WILL DO.

  29. mdb3 says:

    I think there’s more to what she’s telling.

  30. kj5 says:

    AH THE CRAZY New Kids/Donnie Wahlberg fans are even out of hand on this site. Smh.

  31. nikkil says:

    After this, I will never watch the show again. CBS is getting a bad reputatiom.

  32. bd says:

    I know several people who suffer from the same disease—look at Elizabeth HASSELBACK from the VIEW on ABC—-They help, as in Jennifer and Donnie make the show work–the chemistry is great–CBS aka Les Monveis get off your rear and give us what we want, I have had disibilities my whole life, it is not fun. If you don’t believe her have your own medical team come in even tho it is an auto immune (ms ) disease I believe, AND HARD TO DIAGNOIS AND GO FROM THERE–you must not like her–sounds like a liable excuse to me!

  33. bd says:

    why do the stations ALWAYS screw up the good shows? This is one of the best

    • Yago says:

      Fortwo main reasons, 1.- They are a Corporation. 2.- Only 6 Corporations own all the film, music, newspapers, radios and TV Networks in America

  34. anon123 says:

    First AJ and Paget during the season 6 of criminal minds and now this? CBS execs aren’t big on women

  35. Tyson Chaney says:

    Jennifer Esposito is under contract. CBS is entirely within its right to hold her to the contract. Esposito has Celiac disease when she signed the contract and she surely told the network and the producers she could handle the job anyway.

    It sounds like she is saying she can no longer handle the job and wants special accommodations to be made. Such accommodations might be made but there is no obligation to do so.

    The producers want an actor to fulfill a particular role, not some other role that Esposito wants that she thinks would be easier for her in order to help manage her disease. She agreed to a certain job. CBS put her on leave to assess its options, rather than make a rash decision.

    • Yago says:

      witch position do you hold at CBS? Legal Department?

    • Autoimmune disorders are never stable. One day we are fine, next day we are not. She wasn’t asking to be let out of her contract, just for an accommodation could be made until her health stabilized under doctor’s advice. Don’t criticize an illness or someone with the illness unless you’ve walked in their shoes.

      • Sara says:

        And, as harsh as this may seem, they are currently accomadating her. Her hours have been cut back. When her health stabalizes, she can come back, hence the held contract.

    • Sara says:

      Totally agree with you Tyson!
      As all tv fans know, writers and producers have a certain direction they want to go each season. They need to reassess where her character fits into the direction they are going now that she needs to cut back. CBS is well within its rights to take the time to figure things out.
      And if she was so sick she collapsed at work, she should be happy to have the time off to recover a bit.

    • amahady says:

      But there is also a larger issue- not only have they put her on leave for a supposed breach of contract, but they also “blocked [her] from working anywhere else”. No, they are under no obligations to make special dispensations to suit her, but if she is in breach of contract then the breach theoretically should result in the termination of the relationship. Hopefully, the time she had been on unpaid leave was not an underhanded attempt to terminate her contract simply because her illness had unexpectedly advanced. As plausible as this might sound, it seems like they are attempting to salvage an investment like Tyson suggested. They may be keeping her on a tight leash as though she were a misbehaving pet, an awfully draconian way to treat an ailing employee, to verify her diagnosis or to cast a replacement.
      You have to feel bad for her, as a person who has a family member with the disease I think Jennifer Esposito is brave and tenacious for staying in the entertainment business.

    • Jennifer Esposito says:

      It is ILLEGAL to hold someone in a contract without pay and not allow them to work anywhere else. Especially in her contract it states that she be paid for every episode. If Esposito couldn’t work enough because of her illness, fire her hire someone who can But to not let her out of her contract, block her from making a living AND not pay her is completely illegal

  36. Celeste says:

    If CBS made this Public Service Announcement about Celiac, then later they don’t think that it’s a real Disease is totally frakked up situation.

    http://www.celiac.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=38&Itemid=64

  37. Monica says:

    Jackie is my favorite character on “Blue Bloods”! That sanctimonious family needs someone like Jackie to keep them in reality. Jennifer Esposito is such an asset to the show. Bad move CBS. I guess you britta’d it too!

  38. Gil says:

    If this story is true, CBS behavior is shameful

  39. Kate says:

    Yet another example of greedy executives behaving badly without being held accountable! I feel badly for Jennifer and think CBS is acting disgracefully! How can CBS ask someone to endanger their health for the sake of ratings? Oh, wait, I know…it’s because greedy executives no longer care about employees and would happily fire or outsource us all for the sake of ratings and increased profits both of which mean larger bonuses for them! CBS is scum!

  40. Lisa says:

    Jennifer was one of the best characters on BB and I think Jackie’s chemistry with Danny was MUCH better than his chemistry with Linda who bores me. I’m done with BB until CBS does the right thing and brings Jennifer back!

  41. Pat says:

    It won’t really matter if she leaves, it’s not as though she is one of the most important characters, Danny can have anyone as his partner. It’s happened in lots of series that a female partner has had to have leave because of pregnancy and a replacement has been called in.

  42. pete says:

    all the people saying they wont watch, it wont make a difference, unless you are ratings house, and the fans of jenn/jackie aren’t the majority of the people who watch, unless this story gets on a major news outlet, this whole thing wont matter to the mass public, thats the sad truth. It’s easy for Jennifer to get her side of the story out, i’m sure cbs has to have their statements go through many lawyers, while she can post right to twitter, not saying its not the truth, but it might not be the whole story. Also i’m sure if it’s as a bad as she says, another actor on the show would speak out.

  43. Erin says:

    This is so disheartening to hear! And frankly I’m really sick and tired of how CBS seems to keep screwing over females on their shows (AJ Cook and Paget Brewster anyone?) Shame on CBS, and quite frankly, as much as I love Blue Bloods this really turns me off from it. Can’t say that I’ll continue to watch if if this isn’t resolved for Jennifer.

  44. Mike says:

    An average work day on a SAG set is 12 hours. Is her doctor allowing her to work the 12 hour day, or is the doctor asking for a reduction of the minimum hours worked per day?

  45. Pat Long says:

    We could always boycott the show and write to the sponsors!!

  46. As a dietitian with celiac disease, I can vouch for the fact that this is a very serious disease. Much of the public views celiac as an “upset stomach” issue when in fact it is much more than that. And the “just cut out gluten and you’ll be fine” mindset isn’t true either. I cut out gluten and was still sick. I’m constantly having to reassess my diet and the truth is, I feel like crap much of the time. This makes it hard to work and be a good mom. Oh, and if I go to a restaurant and get accidentally “glutened” through cross contamination, I’m SICK. The gluten attacks my brain, my muscles, my joints. I have a hard time focusing, become fatigued, bloated, and lose some motor function for a few weeks. Celiac disease affects each and every part of my body.

    Keep fighting Jennifer! The celiac community is standing behind you!

  47. MGL says:

    This has brought a lot of discussion. I like her and her character. If I remember correctly, she joined the show after a few weeks, and I think added a lot to it. She has very good chemisty with Danny (and I think lot more than his wife, who I find very boring). i think CBS should keep her and come to some mutual compromise regarding her hours. I think she is too good to lose totally.

  48. Arlene says:

    Will not watch #BlueBloods again til CBS apologizes & brings her back if she still wants in. I cannot abide bullies. Last week’s show was about the commissioner kicking an international bully out of his city (my city, too). How incredibly hypocritical.

  49. KC says:

    How rich coming from the network that is always preaching “CBS Cares”!

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