Thomas Gibson is sharing his side of the story about the on-set altercation that got him fired from Criminal Minds, and indicates that his character's abrupt exit from the show this season probably isn't going to give fans much closure.
Gibson originally received a two-episode suspension after news broke that he kicked writer-producer Virgil Williams on set in July while shooting an episode that Gibson was directing. However, Gibson was subsequently dismissed from the show entirely - a decision that took the actor by surprise, since he claims the altercation had been quickly resolved.
"We were shooting a scene late one night when I went to Virgil and told him there was a line that I thought contradicted an earlier line," Gibson told People. "He said, 'Sorry, it's necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.'"
The actor said he then returned to set, where he was venting to castmates when Williams entered the room, leading to the much-discussed kick.
"He came into that room and started coming towards me. As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg," Gibson said. "If I hadn't moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home - and I never got to go back."
Gibson has played the lead character Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner on Criminal Minds since the show premiered in 2005. He had already completed filming on the first two episodes of the season before he was fired and didn't return to set to film a proper exit.
After Gibson's firing, it was announced that Paget Brewster, who was originally just set to guest-star this season, will return to the show as a series regular. Jane Lynch will also return for two episodes as Reid's (Mathew Gray Gubler) mother, and Criminal Minds is reportedly looking to add two new characters in the wake of Gibson's departure.
"It seems like they're trying to erase me from the show. That hurts. But I'm using this time to be with my kids, and I look forward to what's next," Gibson said. "Maybe I'll do a comedy, or a play, or direct, or produce."
"My pride and reputation are hurt, but in the end I know the good work is what people will remember," he added. "I just need more opportunities to do good work and be a good guy."
Criminal Minds returns Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 10/9c on CBS.
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