Cote de Pablo on leaving 'NCIS': Scripts weren't good enough for Ziva

The actress left the series in Season 11 but did not offer an explanation at the time.

Annie Martin
Cote de Pablo at the AFI Fest premiere of The 33 on November 11, 2015. The actress played Ziva David on NCIS. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Cote de Pablo at the AFI Fest premiere of "The 33" on November 11, 2015. The actress played Ziva David on "NCIS." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

WELLESLEY, Mass., April 27 (UPI) -- Cote de Pablo is opening up about her departure from long-running CBS series NCIS.

The 36-year-old actress discussed her exit during an appearance at Babson College this week and confirmed she won't reprise the role of Ziva David for Michael Weatherly's final episode in Season 13.


"Unfortunately, because of political things and the scripts not being good enough, I chose not to [continue]," de Pablo said of her much-mourned departure.

"I love this character. I worked eight years in crafting this character and loving her, so when I felt or I perceived the character was not being treated with the respect that she deserved, all the money in the world [couldn't make me stay]," she explained.

"They were going to send her back to Israel and make her an unfortunate, miserable woman," the star revealed. "I didn't think it was fair. So I said, 'Until someone can really write something fantastic for her, I won't come back.'"

CBS Entertainment President Glen Geller previously said there are "not currently" any plans for de Pablo to return. Showrunner Gary Glasberg, however, recently revealed Ziva will influence Tony DiNozzo's (Weatherly) decision to leave the agency.


"Tony's relationship with Ziva absolutely will have an impact on his reason to depart," Glasberg told E! News. "There's no part of Tony DiNozzo that Ziva David isn't a part of."

"She's a huge aspect of who his character is, so it would be unfair and wrong to write this episode, to produce this episode and not have her character be a part of it," he added.

Weatherly announced his exit in January and will last appear on the Season 13 finale May 17. NCIS cast Sarah Clarke and Duane Henry following the news, and will feature first lady Michelle Obama on the May 3 episode.

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