Pauley Perrette was attacked outside of her home in Hollywood last month. Her alleged attacker is a 45-year-old homeless man named David Merck. On Wednesday, the NCIS star–best known for her role as the quirky Abby Sciuto–faced her attacker in court in what was a very emotional moment.
Fighting back tears, Pauley Perrette gave her testimony on the stand. She refused to look at Merck, except when asked to identify him.
— People magazine (@people) December 3, 2015
David Merck pleaded “not guilty to charges of making a threat and false imprisonment using violence,” and stared at Pauley Perrette throughout the proceedings.
Visibly upset following her testimony, Pauley Perrette was led out of the courtroom via a private exit.
“He told me he was going to kill me several times, and I absolutely believed him,” Perrette said after the alleged attack. “I prayed as hard as I’ve ever prayed for anything ever in my life, and I didn’t do anything. I thought, anything I do would escalate the situation–I couldn’t overcome him, he was stronger than me.”
“I took a pen, and I immediately, in shock, like, drew a picture of the guy, ’cause I didn’t have a camera,” she added. “The guy looks exactly like the thing that I drew.”
She wrote about the incident in a Twitter post.
So, tonight was awful, life changing and I’m only grateful to be alive. It’s here: pic.twitter.com/vXIT1pkVRc
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) November 13, 2015
Despite fearing for her life at the time of the alleged attack, Pauley Perrette spoke out empathetically about the plight of the homeless.
“[My heart] breaks for every single person that’s out there on the streets,” she said, “especially [those] with undiagnosed or untreated mental illness.”
“I’m glad I lived,” she said, adding of her alleged attacker, “I’m glad he didn’t kill me, but whatever, he doesn’t know who I am. He doesn’t know. He’s mentally ill and he has no support.”
If David Merck is convicted of attacking Pauley Perrette, he could spend up to four years in prison.