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Chicago PD stars celebrate milestone moment as Jesse Lee Soffer breaks silence on exit

Jesse confirmed in August 202 he was leaving the show 

Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
23 February 2023
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Jesse Lee Soffer has finally broken his silence on his exit from Chicago PD - hours before the hit NBC series will celebrate its milestone 200th episode.

The episode, titled Trapped, will see Intelligence Unit Officer Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) on a moving train with a gunman and a bleeding victim before - very quickly - finding herself submerged in a well.

WATCH: Promo teaser for Chicago PD's milestone episode

But it was Jesse's comments that got fans talking, as he shared that there is "no good answer" that explains why it was time for him to quit, "except I was ready for more".

Speaking to Variety, he revealed: "I really wanted to grow and expand, and we’ve only got this one trip. If I signed up again, it would have been for another three years.

"I would have turned 40 on the show. I thought, 'You know what? It’s time to take a risk.'"

Jesse starred as Jay Halstead and had been with the series since season one. He made the decision at the end of season nine, and show bosses encouraged him to stay on through the first three episodes of season 10.

Exclusive: Chicago PD's Marina Squerciati shares what Jesse Lee Soffer's departure means for Voight

MORE: Why was The Rookie star Nathan Fillion's hit show canceled?


Jesse left the show after three episodes of season 10

"Eventually, you know the character so well, there’s not much that can shift or transform,” he continued.

Even though Jesse appeared in a recent video from show producers Brian Luce on the set of the 200th episode, it is not thought he will make an on-screen appearance as Jay; the show has sent Jay to Bolivia with the Army to take down the cartel, leaving behind his life and marriage to wife Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiradakos).

However Jesse will direct the March 22 episode, Deadlocked, which will follow IU's boss Hank Vought (Jason Beghe).

Exclusive: Chicago PD star Benjamin Levy Aguilar details changes to Unit as he brings new 'specific voice'

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Marina shared this behind-the-scenes picture

The cast of the show, a spin-off from Chicago Fire, have taken to social media to share their excitement for the special episode with Marina sharing a series of behind-the-scenes pictures of the episode, including one of her, Jesse and Patrick John Flueger.

"TONIGHT is the 200th episode of #ChicagoPD! I spent most of the episode on the floor of a subway train or in a vat of water. Everyone on #cpd put their blood, sweat and talent into tonight. We can't wait to share it with YOU!" she captioned the post.

chicagopd 200 episodoes

The cast enjoyed a celebratory cake

 "Tonight is the 200th episode of #ChicagoPD!!!! Thank you to all the fans - you are incredible, we love you, and wouldn’t be here without your support. Tonight’s episode will be epic!" added Tracy. 

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