Thomas Gibson is telling his side of the story when it comes to the incident that cost him his longtime gig on CBS' Criminal Minds last month.
The 54-year-old actor -- who portrayed main character Aaron Hotchner on the crime drama since its premiere in 2005 -- was initially suspended for two weeks after he allegedly kicked writer-producer Virgil Williams on set, but was permanently let go from the show a day later. In his first interview about the incident, Gibson says he actually "tapped" Williams on the leg when the writer was coming towards him.
"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 tells People. "He said, 'Sorry, it's necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.'"
The former Dharma & Greg star says he went into another room and shared Williams' words with a few of his co-stars, when Williams entered the room and "started coming towards" him.
"As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg," Gibson says. "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."
"I feel like it took years to make a good reputation and a minute to damage it," he adds.
Gibson says he is unhappy with the way the show is handling his exit in season 12. In the statement announcing that Gibson had been dismissed from Criminal Minds, ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios stated, "Creative details for how the character's exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date."
"It seems like they're trying to erase me from the show. That hurts," Gibson says. "But I'm using this time to be with my kids, and I look forward to what's next. Maybe I'll do a comedy, or a play, or direct, or produce."
Last month, Gibson addressed his firing and thanked his fans for their support when he joined Twitter. "I love Criminal Minds, & I'm disappointed by what's happened," he tweeted. " ... This is not an ending, but a beginning as well. Thank you all."
This isn't the only drama the Criminal Minds cast has experienced in recent months. Watch the video below for more!