Cote de Pablo's mysterious exit from "NCIS" has been one of the strangest TV stories of the summer. CBS CEO Les Moonves has said that they offered de Pablo "a lot" of money to stay, but they weren't able to reach a deal.
And in an interview with TV Guide, de Pablo opened up about her departure, without really revealing her reasons for leaving.
"As far as my decision to leave, that's a personal thing, and I'd rather leave it at that ... The idea of leaving was not something I toyed around with for a long time. It was an overwhelmingly hard thing -- at times terrifying," she said. De Pablo also added that she has no other immediate acting plans. "Leaving 'NCIS' was not planned, so there is no plan."
But fear not, Ziva fans: de Pablo left the door cracked open for a possible future return to the show.
"The greatest thing about this last episode is that Ziva doesn't die," she said. "As long as a character doesn't die, the character can always come back. Not that it would actually matter, because we bring back characters from the dead all the time on 'NCIS!'"
As for her "NCIS" goodbye, de Pablo will be on the first two episodes of the new season. "NCIS" producer Gary Glasberg described her final episode as "pretty damn heart-wrenching" and a moment in "television history."
"NCIS" Season 11 premieres Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET.