After playing Donnie Wahlberg's partner, Detective Jackie Curatola, on the hit CBS series "Blue Bloods," actress Jennifer Esposito is taking a leave of absence. But the split from the network is less than amiable and, according to Esposito, more cold-hearted than anyone realizes.
In a statement to Deadline.com last weekend, CBS reps said they were writing Esposito off the show due to her "very limited part-time schedule."
"As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence," they added. "She is a wonderfully talented actress and we hope that she will be able to return at some point in the future."
Esposito blasted those remarks, saying on Twitter that CBS has been insensitive to her struggles with Celiac disease. The 39-year-old was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition in 2009 and has been forced to shift to a gluten-free diet.
“CBS PUT me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doctor said you needed a reduced schedule due to Celiac,” she wrote. “CBS didn’t listen to my doc and I collapsed on set. Which everyone saw! After a week off my doc said I could return to work but CBS implied that I was NOT truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise! It’s been almost two months without bringing me back to work + keeping Me from working anywhere else!… Absolutely shameful behavior.”
Fans of the actress, as well as others suffering from autoimmune diseases, have since rallied to support the star and urge CBS to reconsider their decision. "Brought tears to my eyes," Esposito said in response. "Truly a very sad day when you can be bullied at my age with a disease."
Related story on MNN: