Actress Diona Reasonover has been promoted to series regular after her character Kasie Hines was introduced late in season 15, the network announced on Wednesday.
“Queue @DionaReasonover! We are so excited to welcome you full-time to season 16 of #NCIS as forensic scientist, Kasie Hines!” CBS TV tweeted alongside a photo of Reasonover.
Reasonover first appeared on the show in an episode that aired in March 2018, featuring her as a graduate assistant to David McCallum’s Ducky.
Shortly after her on-screen debut for the series, speculation abounded that she would ultimately emerge as Perrette’s replacement, considering she had already announced her departure from the series.
She then returned for the season’s final episodes as Perrette bid her adieu to the lab coat and combat boots.
Days after her emotional May 8 finale, Perrette, who starred as Abby for 15 seasons, spoke out about her departure from the CBS drama on Twitter.
“I refused to go low, that’s why I’ve never told publicly what happened. But there are tabloid articles out there that are telling total lies about me. If you believe them? Please leave me alone. You clearly don’t know me. (Sorry guys, had to be said),” Perrette, 49, tweeted.
A day later, Perrette posted three more tweets, in which she claimed a “machine” is “keeping me silent” and alleged that there were “multiple physical assaults.”
“Maybe I’m wrong for not ‘spilling the beans’ Telling the story, THE TRUTH. I feel I have to protect my crew, jobs and so many people. But at what cost? I.don’t know. Just know, I’m trying to do the right thing, but maybe silence isn’t the right thing about crime. I’m… Just… ?” she tweeted.
“There is a ‘machine’ keeping me silent, and feeding FALSE stories about me. A very rich, very powerful publicity ‘machine’. No morals, no obligation to truth, and I’m just left here, reading the lies, trying to protect my crew. Trying to remain calm. He did it,” she continued.
She concluded in another tweet: “I’ve been supporting ant-bullying programs forever. But now I KNOW because it was ME! If it’s school or work, that you’re required to go to? It’s horrifying. I left. Multiple Physical Assaults. I REALLY get it now. Stay safe. Nothing is worth your safety. Tell someone.”
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, CBS Television Studios confirmed that the actress came forward with a “workplace concern” over a year ago and that it “took the matter seriously.”
“Pauley Perrette had a terrific run on NCIS and we are all going to miss her,” CBS Television Studios said in the statement.
“Over a year ago, Pauley came to us with a workplace concern,” the statement continued. “We took the matter seriously and worked with her to find a resolution.”
The statement concluded: “We are committed to a safe work environment on all our shows.”
CBS announced online that production on NCIS season 16 officially launched on July 16.
“#NCIS season 16 has officially started filming, and @BrianDietzen was in the first scene of the day! Don’t miss the season premiere September 25 on @CBS!” the series tweeted.
NCIS returns Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.