Breaking 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?
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.
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.”
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).