Cote de Pablo’s upcoming NCIS exit has fueled plenty of online outrage. But CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves says the network tried to convince the actress to remain on the show.

“I really want to clarify,” Moonves told critics at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Monday. “We offered Cote de Pablo a lot of money, and then we offered her even more money, because we really didn’t want to lose her. We love her. We think she was terrific. And we, obviously, were in discussions. And the rest of the cast and the producers were aware what’s going on. And ultimately she decided she didn’t want to do the show. It was purely her decision. We’re, obviously, getting a lot of emails. There’s a lot of Twitter buzz about her, and rightly so. She’s a wonderful lady. Look, NCIS was the highest-rated show on television last year. We don’t like losing anybody. But we did everything humanly possible. We feel like we exhausted every opportunity, and she just decided she didn’t want to do the show.”

Pablo has played agent Ziva David since the third season of the long-running hit series. She will appear in the upcoming 11th season premiere on Sept. 24 to finish off her character.

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