Just as speculated last week, it has happened: Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni will no longer be fighting crime and solving cases together in a new season of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Meloni is out – and Mariska has just confirmed it in a statement.
Meloni reportedly asked for more money to reprise his role on the highly successful series for its 13th season, but negotiations came to a dead end and he eventually left the show.
In a statement released to People
magazine, Mariska confirms the sad news, while also using the opportunity to thank her friend and colleague for the many wonderful years they spent together.
“For the past 12 years Chris Meloni has been my partner and friend, both on screen and off. He inspired me every day with his integrity, his extraordinary talent and his commitment to the truth,” the actress tells the mag.
According to her, now is not the time to be selfish: so she wishes Chris all the best in his future endeavors.
“I love him deeply and will miss him terribly – I’m so excited to see what he’ll do next,” Hargitay adds.
As we also informed you
last week, Hargitay too will be spending less time on the set of “SVU” given that she re-negotiated her contract to allow her to be at home with her family more.
While her character will not be leaving the show completely, halfway through the upcoming season, she will be getting a promotion, which means fans will be seeing less of her.
Reports have it that producers are now working on finding another female star to replace Mariska, and that Jennifer Love Hewitt, who once played a victim in one of the episodes of last year, is being considered for the part
“Twelve years is a long time and I’ve gotten to really flesh out a lot [of Olivia] and I’m ready to do something a little different, but not ready to say goodbye to Olivia Benson,” Mariska said in a statement a short while ago.
“I think that’s the reason we did it this way, and we structured it this way so I could have a little more free time to be a mom – that was the goal,” she added.
No word yet on who will be replacing Meloni.