NCIS: CBS Boss Leslie Moonves Explains Cote De Pablo's Exit

Cote de Pablo is leaving “NCIS,” but CBS’ President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves told reporters on Monday that the decision was the actress’ own.

“Look, I really want to clarify, we offered Cote de Pablo a lot of money, and then we offered her even more money,” Moonves said during the CBS portion of the Television Critics Association Summer Tour in Beverly Hills of how they tried to keep the actress on the show playing Ziva David.

“We really didn’t want to lose her,” Moonves continued. “We love her. … She was terrific and obviously, [we were] in discussions and the rest of the cast and producers were aware [of] what’s going on and ultimately she decided she didn’t want to do the show.”

PHOTOS: Mark Harmon & The Stars Of ‘NCIS’

Moonves emphasized the departure of the beloved actress, which has upset devoted “NCIS” fans, is not the network’s doing.

“It was purely her decision,” he continued. “We’re obviously getting a lot of emails, there’s a lot of Twitter buzz about her and rightly so, she’s a wonderful lady. Look, ‘NCIS’ [was] the highest-rated show on television last year. We don’t like losing anybody, but we did everything humanly possible, we feel like we exhausted every opportunity and she just decided she didn’t want to do the show.”

PHOTOS: The Stunning Ladies Of Primetime Television: Character Portraits & Scene Snaps

-- Jolie Lash

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.