“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” was a staple from 2000-2015. But as with many sturdy titles of the near or distant past, the show is back, this time as “CSI: Vegas.” And it returns with two of the original’s stars, Jorja Fox and William Petersen as forensic investigators Sara Sidle and Gil Grissom

Last we saw the pair, they “literally sailed off into the sunset together,” said Fox.

“It was a storybook ending that I loved, so that’s where we left them. And when we open up on the first episode of ‘CSI: Vegas,’ Sarah has been called by an old friend who is in trouble and asked if she can come help out. So she drops into Vegas and thinks she’ll be there for a couple days. But very quickly we learn that there is really bad stuff happening and she is going to be a while, so she calls her husband Gil and says, ‘You have to come.’” The characters were in an on-and-off relationship for the duration of the original series and “we didn’t get to play the relationship that much on screen,” Fox said. “And in this rendition, we arrive as a married couple and that’s how we’re playing it, so that’s really fun.”

Her time with the “CSI” franchise has been a highlight. But all careers have low points as well. When asked about a worst moment, she replied: “I had a long list of things to choose from, and I think that’s good, it keeps me from taking myself too seriously.

“But I’m going to go really serious with this story,” she said. “It happens to be my worst moment and I think it was important for my growth. And hopefully somebody else can get something out of it.”

My worst moment …

“At a certain point in my career, it was a long time ago, I was asked to sign a gag order by a company. Of course I can’t tell you the company. I can’t tell you what happened because I signed the gag order. It’s the only time in my life that I signed a gag order.”

By gag order does she mean a NDA or nondisclosure agreement?

“Yes. I was invited to never talk about something for the rest of my life. And I didn’t receive any compensation for it.

“I just happened to be privy to information that sort of challenged or maybe brought into question an accepted narrative and an accepted truth. And I was someone who would have been able to speak against that narrative.

“In my case, I got a phone call. There were a couple balls in the air and one of them included, ‘And you need to sign this thing.’ I was shocked that I was asked, but also this was not about something illegal — that might have pushed me to a different decision, if I felt there was a human or animal victim. But it was sort of a victimless situation. It was just that a story was being spun that wasn’t accurate and it had to do with people’s careers and reputations and how they’re perceived.

“I’m a pretty strong person and I have fairly decent self-esteem, but I didn’t have the guts to challenge it.

“I really don’t regret much in my life, but I do still wish I had never signed it.

“I know that every situation is different and these are often very personal stories and people have to make their own decisions. But for me, it wasn’t a good decision. I felt that my legs had been cut out from under me. And after I signed it, I was kind of angry at myself and I was embarrassed and it sort of whittled away at my confidence a good deal. I spent a lot of time playing it out in my head over and over again and trying to assure myself that it was OK that I had signed it, but I really ultimately wished that I hadn’t.

“And why did I do it? It was because I was really afraid that if I didn’t, there would be a retaliation — that I wouldn’t move up or get the promotion or get the callback. It felt like, if I didn’t play the game that I was going to lose work or be singled out as someone who was trouble. The big fish in the ocean I was swimming in definitely had the ability and the power to do that.

“And I think I was looking for peace. There’s a saying, would you rather be right or would you rather have peace? And you’re picking your battles. Is this the rock you want to die on?

“Looking back, I’m glad there was no financial compensation because I think I’d feel even worse about myself, like I had sold out somehow. I definitely struggled with wishing I’d had more of a backbone, but if I had actually gotten something out of it too, I would have struggled with that for sure. So in a way, that was a blessing.

“I’ve signed NDAs where, to read a script, I’ll sign something that says I won’t talk about the details of that script. I sign that kind of stuff all the time. But this was the only time I had been asked really to not speak. To literally close my mouth about something and not talk about it for my lifetime. And I’ve spoken out about a lot of different topics, I’m not shy. So it was strange that I signed it and it hit me hard to do it. But I signed it because I was scared. I thought I wouldn’t be scared anymore after I did it. But then I continued to be scared that this thing would haunt me.”

If Fox was confronted with a similar situation today, how might she work through it?

“I’m older and life has been very kind to me. I have financial stability in my life and really great friends and family, so I don’t think I would ever sign something, probably under any circumstances, that made me feel like I was being silenced. That someone has taken my voice. It was a profound punch. It hit me harder than I thought it would.

“At the time, they were much bigger than me and had a lot more money. And sometimes these things end up coming down to who has more money. I would not have won. So I try to be kind to myself and think, yeah, I was young. And didn’t have a lot, but at the same time I had a lot to lose. I had to figure out the best decision for myself considering the circumstances in that moment. And I’m not sure I did make the right decision. But we live and learn and I can look back on it and say, yeah, that was a hard time. And I have security and support in my life now and I’m in a good position that I would be able to say no.

“I would say to other people: If you can, don’t let someone take your voice away. Ever.

“I want to thank you because this conversation has been therapeutic, I really haven’t talked to too many people about this.”

The takeaway …

“I’m really glad that I lived to fight another day. If my fears were real, I’m glad that I had a chance to have a long, wonderful career.

“And also my takeaway is to stand up for what you believe in. I will stand up for what I believe in and my truth, and I hope others do the same.

“And listen, I’ve got a whole bunch of other embarrassing stories, so call me back any time.”

Original Article: My worst moment: ‘CSI’ star Jorja Fox and being pressured into silence (msn.com)