Blue Bloods’ Jennifer Esposito Accuses CBS of "Shameful Behavior" Over Leave of Absence
Jennifer Esposito is leaving Blue Bloods — at least temporarily — but she's not going quietly.
Deadline first reported Saturday that the actress, 39, would be taking a leave of absence from the show, on which she plays Donnie Wahlberg's character's partner, Detective Jackie Curatola. "Jennifer has informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule," CBS TV Studios said in a statement. "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. She is a wonderfully talented actress and we hope that she will be able to return at some point in the future," the studio said.
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However, shortly after news broke of her sudden hiatus, Esposito spoke out against CBS and accused the network of misrepresenting the situation surrounding her departure. Esposito wrote the following in a series of tweets: "CBS knows [they] PUT me on unpaid leave an[d] has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doc said u 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 brin[g]ing me back to work + keeping... Me from working anywhere else! So no that article is not telling you the truth. Absolutely shameful behavior."
Her last episode is set to air Nov. 2 and Esposito's role will be filled by several new partners, the first being played by Megan Ketch (Law & Order: SVU) for at least four episodes. Esposito has been public about her struggles with Celiac disease, which is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important to stay healthy.
She joined Blue Bloods shortly after the pilot and was promoted to a series regular midway through the first season.
CBS would not comment on Esposito's comments, except for their original statement.