Thomas Gibson Breaks His Silence on ‘Criminal Minds’ Firing

A month after he was fired from Criminal Minds, Thomas Gibson is finally ready to talk about the infamous kick that got him sacked from the hit crime drama.

As previously reported, the actor was canned by CBS after he assaulted writer-producer Virgil Williams on set. Gibson was suspended from filming for two weeks before he was eventually dismissed.

I feel like it took years to make a good reputation and a minute to damage it,” he told People of the firing.

“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,” he recalled. “He said, ‘Sorry, it’s necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.'”

After exchanging heated words, Gibson went to speak with his co-stars when Williams approached him. According to Gibson, the so-called “kick” was not deliberate.

“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 explained. “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, who plays BAU Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner in the series, will appear in the first two episodes of Season 12, which he shot before the altercation with Williams. A statement from CBS said the absence of Gibson’s character would be addressed on the show.

“It seems like they’re trying to erase me from the show. That hurts. But I’m using this time to be with my kids, and I look forward to what’s next,” Gibson shared. “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,” he added. “I just need more opportunities to do good work and be a good guy.”

Gibson was one of the few remaining actors from the original Criminal Minds cast. He first appeared in the series’ pilot episode.