A month-plus after he was fired from CBSCriminal Minds, Thomas Gibson is telling his version of the altercation that led to his dismissal. The actor, who had played Special Agent Aaron Hotchner since the series’ 2005 debut, told People that his run-in with writer-producer Virgil Williams was a minor incident that was blown out of proportion.

Criminal Minds Thomas Gibson Shemar moore
CBS

“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,” Gibson told the magazine. “He said, ‘Sorry, it’s necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.’ ” The actor said he was frustrated and telling some castmates about it when Williams came in the room.”[He] started coming towards me. 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 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.”

Gibson initially was suspended, as Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reported, for “kicking” co-EP Williams, and his case was being looked into by human resources. Soon afterward, the ABC Studios/CBS TV Studios-produced show announced Gibson would not be returning.

“It seems like they’re trying to erase me from the show,” Gibson told People. “That hurts. … 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.”