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Criminal Minds - Season 12 - Thomas Gibson Fired *Updated 22nd September 2016*

Update: 22nd September Thomas Gibson Opens Up

Thomas Gibson opens up about firing

Thomas Gibson is finally speaking out about the physical altercation that got him fired off Criminal Minds.

“I feel like it took years to make a good reputation and a minute to damage it,” the TV veteran, 54, says in the current issue of PEOPLE.

Gibson says he was filming the second episode of the upcoming twelfth season of his hit CBS drama on July 26 when tensions flared between him and writer-producer Virgil Williams.

“We were shooting a scene late one night when 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.’”

Frustrated, Gibson says he returned back to set and was sharing Williams’ response with some of his castmates when Williams entered the room.

“He came into that room and started coming towards me. As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg,” Gibson recalls. “If I hadn’t moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home – and I never got to go back.”

After an initial two-week suspension, Gibson was informed by production that he was “dismissed” from the show.


Update: 17th August Thomas Gibson Faces Major Legal Hurdles If He Sues

Having hired sharp-elbowed litigators Skip Miller and Alexander Frid this weekend, fired Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson looks inclined to launch a lawsuit against ABC Studios. But he might want to call Nicollette Sheridan first.

“He needs to show the studio fired him for no good reason,” a prominent Hollywood lawyer said of the challenges Gibson faces taking on the same studio the ex-Desperate Housewives star has been fighting in the courts for six years. “His contract might spell out they need cause, and in court they could spell that out in a million different ways, like putting the studio’s name in a bad light by his behavior or their obligation to provide a safe workplace environment.”

Gibson, a Criminal Minds original cast member, first was suspended then cut loose by ABC Studios on August 12, about two weeks after an on-set incident in which the actor supposedly kicked co-executive producer Virgil Williams. It wasn’t the first time the actor had been involved in a physical altercation on the set of the long-running procedural, where he was paid some $5 million a year. Back in 2010, the actor who played Special Agent Aaron Hotchner was sent to anger management classes after reportedly shoving assistant director Ian Woolf.

Additionally, an unresolved 2014 lawsuit over unpaid commissions from Gibson’s ex-manager Craig Dorfman lists several instances of the actor’s behavior crossing the line. Among them, Dorfman cited verbal altercations with fellow actors Mandy Patinkin and Shemar Moore and a claim the manager “talked Gibson out of physically attacking Moore.”

Update: 13th August New Details Emerge, Thomas Gibson Hires Top Lawyer.

Thomas Gibson, fired on Friday after an altercation on the set of his CBS drama Criminal Minds, has hired a top Los Angeles law firm to pursue possible legal claims against the show's producers.

Skip Miller, a prominent litigator with experience in entertainment industry disputes, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he and partner Sasha Frid have begun representing Gibson and are evaluating whether to pursue legal claims. Miller, Frid and other attorneys at the Miller Barondes firm are set to meet with their client early next week. Miller declined to comment further.

The move comes as new details emerge from the fracas on the long-running CBS procedural and of Gibson's sometimes-contentious relationship with his cast and crew.

Gibson, 54, was terminated by producers ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios after allegedly kicking writer-producer Virgil Williams in the shins during an on-set argument more than two weeks ago. Gibson, who stars in the show and was directing an episode written by Virgil, is said to have disagreed with Virgil about a creative choice, and the argument escalated to a physical fight. (A source close to Gibson describes his actions as "self defense" because Virgil trains as a boxer but other sources say Virgil is known to be a non-aggressive presence on the set and is small in stature and often wears a bow tie and blazer to work.) The incident was witnessed by several Criminal Minds producers, including showrunner Erica Messer.

After the altercation, Williams filed a formal complaint with human resources representatives for the studios and sat for an extensive interview. (Howard Davine, executive vp for ABC Studios, which is the lead producer on the show, is said to be playing a key role in the internal investigation). Gibson, who has been with the drama for 12 years, was suspended for two episodes and another director was brought in to finish the episode he was helming. A day after news of the suspension became public, Gibson was let go. Neither Messer, Davine nor ABC Studios or CBS Studios would comment but the language in the statement announcing his dismissal lacked the usual Hollywood sugar-coating. "Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds," CBS and the studios said in a joint statement Friday. "Creative details for how the character's exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date."

Gibson, who is said to have made about $5 million to star in the show last season, issued his own statement Friday in which he said he loved Criminal Minds but declined to apologize for any bad behavior. Instead, he said, "I had hoped to see it through to the end, but that won't be possible now. I would just like to say thank you to the writers, producers, actors, our amazing crew, and most importantly, the best fans a show could ever hope to have."

It's unclear what claims, if any, Gibson might pursue against the studios or CBS. In 2011, Charlie Sheen sued Warner Bros. Television and writer-producer Chuck Lorre for $100 million over his dismissal from the hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men after repeated erratic behavior. In the suit, Sheen alleged he had "suffered the intangible loss of employment-related opportunities," among other claims, from his termination. (The case settled.) In a key difference from the Gibson matter, Sheen was not accused of physical abuse.

Update: 12th August Thomas Gibson responds to his firing.

"I love Criminal Minds and have put my heart and soul into it for the last 12 years," Gibson said in a statement to THR on Friday. "I had hoped to see it through to the end, but that won't be possible now. I would just like to say thank you to the writers, producers, actors, our amazing crew, and, most importantly, the best fans that a show could ever hope to have."

Update: 12th August It now appears that he has been fired.

Thomas Gibson's time on CBS' Criminal Minds have come to an end.

"Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds. Creative details for how the character's exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date," producers ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios said in a statement.

This is the second incident for Gibson with the series; he pushed another producer a few years ago and had to attend anger management classes though he was not suspended.

The actor, who has been with the veteran CBS procedural since its start, has been suspended for two episodes, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

"There were creative differences on the set and a disagreement," Gibson said in a statement to THR. "I regret that it occurred. We all want to work together as a team to make the best show possible. We always have and we always will."

Aaron Hotchner will be going MIA. I’ve learned that Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson has been suspended for at least one and likely two episodes after a physical altercation with a producer on the set of the CBS crime drama. (I hear the incident involved Thomas kicking the producer).

In addition to Gbson’s immediate suspension from acting on the ABC Studios/CBS TV Studios-produced show — now believed to be filming episodes 3 and 4 – I hear his Season 12 directing stint on Criminal Minds also was nixed following the incident. (Gibson has directed 6 episodes of Criminal Minds so far.) I hear Gibson has been written off the episodes during the suspension, and production on the show continues.

I hear the matter is being handled by Human Resources, with Gibson’s future status on the show under review. Deadline reached out to ABC Studios and CBS for comment earlier on Wednesday.