Blue Bloods exit: Why did Jennifer Esposito leave as Detective Jackie Curatola?

Blue Bloods has been on CBS for more than a decade and continues to be a hit with fans across the world. Despite the show’s longevity, the majority of the Blue Bloods main cast has remained the same with only a handful of its other characters making their exits. Express.co.uk explores the reason behind actress Jennifer Esposito’s departure from the CBS series as Detective Jackie Curatola.
Why did Jennifer Esposito leave Blue Bloods as Detective Jackie Curatola?
Detective Jackie Curatola (played by Jennifer Esposito) was part of the original Blue Bloods cast in 2010.

While she only had the “also starring” distinction during her time on the show, Jackie was a crucial member of the team as Detective Danny Reagan’s (played by Donnie Wahlberg) partner.

She was in the first three seasons of Blue Bloods with Esposito being taken off the show before season four.

In Blue Bloods itself, Jackie decided to take early retirement from the NYPD after showing signs of burnout.

CBS and Esposito had conflicting stories regarding the real reason why the actress had left the show.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in 2012, CBS said: “Jennifer [Esposito] has informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule.

“As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role, and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence.

“She is a wonderfully talented actress, and we hope that she will be able to return at some point in the future.”

Shortly after, Esposito took to Twitter claiming that she had collapsed due to her Celiac disease while on set and as a result, was put on unpaid leave by the network.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine which can cause fatigue.

She wrote: “CBS didn’t listen to my doc and I collapsed on set. Which everyone saw!

“After a week off my doc said I could return to work but CBS … (i)mplied that I was NOT truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise!

“It’s been almost two months without (bringing) me back to work + keeping (m)e from working anywhere else! …Absolutely shameful behavior.”