Cote de Pablo Mum on NCIS Exit Details, Says: 'I Left Under My Terms, and That Was Wonderful'

Why Did Cote de Pablo Leave NCISBreaking her silence for the first time since issuing a statement about her and NCIS‘ shocking parting of the ways, Cote de Pablo (somewhat) addresses the elephant in the room:

Why did she leave?

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Speaking with TV Guide Magazine, the actress says the exact details surrounding her exit from the role of Ziva David after eight years on the CBS drama is “a personal thing, and I’d rather leave it at that.” (Shortly after her departure was announced, CBS CEO Les Moonves said, “We offered Cote de Pablo a lot of money — and then we offered her even more money.”)

Yet the actress goes on to note, “The idea of leaving was not something I toyed around with for a long time. It was an overwhelmingly hard thing — at times terrifying.”

“Leaving NCIS was not planned,” she reiterates when later asked to preview her future plans.

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De Pablo confirms that she shares her final scene — as she did in very first NCIS bullpen scene — with Michael Weatherly, and promises the closing of “a beautiful chapter” between Ziva and Tony DiNozzo.

But as for wrapping up her storyline in Season 11′s first two episodes (starting tonight at 8/7c), she states: “Did I want to leave under those circumstances? That’s another story. But I’m not of the belief that you just take off and leave fans hanging…. I left under my terms, and that was wonderful.”

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We now leave you with de Pablo during a much more playful moment, accepting in 2012 TVLine’s Ultimate Law-Enforcement Crushes Tournament trophy (the “male” version of which went to Weatherly).

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  1. I miss Cote, too. Perhaps, after a period of rest, Ziva will return. Maybe she has had a baby while away, and will come back as an unwed mother. More mature, but definitely still able to kick-ass.

  2. f4nsi6ck says:

    I respect Cote’s decision but still hope that she returns to NCIS. I agree that the new girl doesn’t fit in…. getting lost in her script… yes she’s a rookie as an agent but I hope not as an actor…. NCIS would lose its standing to be a classy intelligence agency. Honestly, I have stayed away from the new episodes and just enjoy watching the reruns with Ziva. We miss you Ziva….Please come back :(

  3. Bob says:

    I liked Coyote de Pablo and I like Emily Wickersham. They are much better than Lauren Holly’s character. Though I wish Jimmy Palmer wasn’t so dumb.

  4. Hope Creasman says:

    This is such a mistake. Ziva belongs on NCIS. We have pulled for you all these years and you owe us some slack. Please don’t leave. If it is the hours of work you do, I am sure you could work part time.

  5. Doug Boone says:

    there is no doubt that cotes charactor ziva was an integral part of ncis’s success, and the show hasn’t been the same since she cannot replace someone who played that part so well.the csi series tried it and has failed, criminal minds tried it with letting aj cook go, and they had to bring her back. so if they don’t try and bring back cote, they will lose there number one rating. she’s the best looking butt kicker on tv and plays the part supperbly.if she won’t come back, then you should try and lure aj cook away from criminal minds.we love cote.

  6. Wanda says:

    Ziva! Ziva I miss you so much on the show. It is not the same with you gone. The other staff is great, but you bought out something that they will never get back – your relationship with Tony who is great. Enjoy!

  7. Barbara says:

    I do not care for the new girl. What is it with her and sitting on the floor she just isn’t Ziva. But I was thinking that maybe she is with child. A year off maybe she will come back.

  8. BC says:

    Somehow I don’t think that Bishop is going to tickle all the female viewers’ hidden inner lesbian quite like Ziva did. And when the heck are they going to get rid of those CRT’s?!?

  9. Jean Alica says:

    I noticed that when Cote de Pablo’s departure was pending a lot of fans asked for Diane Neal’s character to replace her but that would not have worked as it would have been a demotion. But a red head would have appealed more at that time. She could still have been married but instead of a Proby she could have been a regular NCIS agent who has moved to be with her husband. Maybe she already knows Gibbs.It might have worked given that trying to replace a beloved character of eight years would be difficult. I don’t care who she has worked for the present character is a total mistake. She is to opposite Ziva for it to work. (

  10. CathPounder says:

    come home Ziva. We miss, and dare I say need you. What a character, what a waste.

  11. NCIS LA need to learn something from the ORIGINIAL SHOW!!!! NCIS (especiallywith Cote) had such a tremendous sense of connection between the cast, there is a real feeling the viewers get from the backstory of the characters……EACH AND EVERY ONE…..FROM ABBY TO JETHRO AND DUCKY…..I FEEL LIKE THEY ARE MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY AND THATS WHY I CAN WATCH RE-RUNS OF NCIS FROM YRS AGO EVEN IF I HAVE SEEN THEM 100X. I STILL GET THE SAME EMOTIONS EVERY TIME. NCIS LA IS LACKING IN THAT DEPARTMENT AND THEY NEED TO FOCUS LESS OF THE BIG EXPOSIONS AND MORE ON CHARACTER DEVEOPMENT. THAT IS WHAT KEEP VIEWERS HOOKED. And I am so so so so very sad to see Ziva go, because the chemistry between Tony and her was ELECTRIC. GOODBYE AND GOODLUCK COTE IN YOUR NEXT FUTURE ENDEAVORS!!! SINCERELY, CARRIE from Springfield MO (1OF YOUR BIGGEST FANS :-) )

  12. griskapratiwi says:

    Kate gone, and now ziva do. At the first time I think nobody can’t replace kate, but I saw ziva in NCIS I tried to loved it and now I really love it. And the blonde girl who play elanour, I think she don’t have a charisma like kate and ziva. And it makes me NCIS so empty, WE WANT ZIVA BACK!

  13. griskapratiwi says:


  14. Elmer B Fillow says:

    We miss ziva. Show is not the same without her. As a big fan , It is a big loss for us.