Pauley Perrette Unearths Her '48 Hours' Interview About Being Stalked, and Fans Are Reaching Out

Former NCIS star Pauley Perrette is a longtime advocate for strong stalking laws, and revived interest in her fight last week by re-sharing a 2017 interview with 48 Hours. Fans voiced their support for Perrette in response to the new tweet, published Thursday. On Saturday, she shared a tweet with U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, who visited her house to discuss anti-stalking legislation.

Perrette broke her silence about her own stalking case in the 48 Hours episode, admitted she felt her life could be in danger.

"I was afraid of my computer... afraid to open it, afraid to check my emails," the actress said at the time. "The whole world is such a frightening place for me."

In the same interview, Perrette said she was "completely suicidal" at one point and struggled to get law enforcement agencies to take her case seriously.

"I was told by a police officer once that I should have stayed and let my stalker break my arms so then they would have something to prosecute," she explained. "I went, 'I don't want my arms broken.'"

"The first victimization is being stalked and terrorized and harassed and the second victimization is that the system does not work for stalking victims," she continued. "It simply does not."

Perrette said even talking about the case was scary.

"I'm so scared sitting here talking about it. It -- it just -- it puts the same fear into every victim. But we can't keep this a secret," she said. "We have to be courageous. We have to get these laws changed. I'm here for other victims. I'm here for the next victim."

Although Perrette did not reveal the details of her stalking case, she was allegedly attacked by a homeless man named David Merck in November 2015. In February 2018, Merck was released from a state psychiatric institution, leading Perrette to voice concerns that he could hurt another person.

"It changed my life forever. I don't walk outside my house," Perrette told Fox 11 after he was released. "I think it's entirely possible that the next word I hear about this guy is that he'll kill a female."

Perrette's fans said they were proud of her after seeing the 48 Hours interview.

"Way to go Pauley!" one fan tweeted. "It would have been easy for you to focus on yourself & try to 'get past it.' But you choosing to shine a light on this horror will help so many more. Well done! This world needs more advocates & it's a problem that needs a hero to step up. Thank you!"

"I'm very sorry you went through this," another wrote. "Thank you for speaking out and sharing your story. It is my sincere hope lawmakers will wake up and make serious change."

"I hate it that you have to go through this, you and your family," another tweeted. "If any of mine was being stalked. I would do whatever I could to make sure that the stalker would not get anywhere close to them. Please be careful and keep moving forward."


Perrette's next series, the sitcom Broke, co-starring Jamie Camil and Natasha Leggero, debuts on CBS Thursday, April 2 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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