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Why did Emily Fornell leave NCIS?

Emily Fornell was written out of the NCIS storyline in early March 2021, leaving actress, Juliette Angelo, confused and disappointed at her character’s anticlimactic exit.

Juliette Angelo surprised NCIS viewers with her departure from the long-running CBS drama when her character, Emily Fornell, suffered an overdose. The actress appeared on the series for almost a decade, as she debuted at the age of 13 as a recurring character since 2011. The episode, titled “Winter Chill,” which aired on Tuesday, 9 March 2021, saw the team receiving news that Emily had suffered an overdose and did not make it out alive.

Juliette’s sudden departure led fans to question whether her exit was due to internal conflict within the production, or if it was always intended for the character to die. In an Instagram Story shared after the airing of the episode, the actress stated, “Thank [you all] for your messages about NCIS. It was a shock, for all of us. I found out the same time as you, via text. Lots of emotions about this. Just wanted to pop by in the midst of my social media break and say thanks for all the love these past years. Emily has been a part of my life since I was 13. As a newly 22-year-old, it has certainly been a journey. Onward.”

Her comment alluding to the fact that she was not informed about her dismissal prior to the episode angered NCIS fans, who subsequently pleaded with the show to give the long-running character a fitting exit. NCIS has not made reference to the character’s death in any of its social media posts thus far, which has sparked further speculation regarding Juliette’s exit.

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