Embattled former Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson has finally opened up about the fight that prompted TV bosses to fire him from the show.
The actor was filming the new season of the hit drama in late July (16) when he lashed out at writer-producer Virgil Williams.
Gibson was initially suspended from the show for two weeks and then dismissed, and now he admits his actions wrecked his reputation.
He tells People magazine, "I feel like it took years to make a good reputation and a minute to damage it."
The 54-year-old TV veteran reveals he was filming late at night when he approached Williams with a script concern.
"I went to Virgil and told him there was a line that I thought contradicted an earlier line," says Gibson. "He said, 'Sorry, it's necessary, and I absolutely have to have it'."
Gibson returned to the set and was sharing Williams' response with castmates when the writer-producer walked in.
"He... started coming towards me," Gibson recalls. "As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg. If I hadn't moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologised the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home - and I never got to go back."
The actor will appear in the first two episodes of Criminal Minds' upcoming season 12, but then his character will exit the show.
"It seems like they're trying to erase me from the show," the actor tells People. "That hurts. But I'm using this time to be with my kids, and I look forward to what's next. 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. I just need more opportunities to do good work and be a good guy."
Season 12 of Criminal Minds debuts in America on 28 September (16).
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