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August 31, 2014

Is Christopher Meloni Leaving 'SVU'? In a Tweet, "No"

by Gary Susman, posted Feb 8th 2010 1:15PM
Rest easy, 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' fans. Despite a story published on Friday (and later yanked offline) in Australia's Courier-Mail newspaper, Christopher Meloni is not quitting his day job as Det. Elliot Stabler on 'SVU.' At least, that's what his boss says.

'SVU' executive producer Neal Baer debunked the rumor in a tweet. Asked by a fan if the story about Meloni's departure was true, Baer simply replied, "No." To another fan's similar question, he replied, "Don't believe everything you read in the papers!"

The original article purportedly quoted Meloni as saying that he'd be leaving the show at the end of the 2010-11 season to focus on theater and film, and that he felt 12 years on the show would be enough. It also purportedly quoted his TV partner Mariska Hargitay as saying she hoped Stabler doesn't get written off the show by being killed because that would devastate her character, Det. Olivia Benson.

By Saturday, however, the Courier-Mail had apparently retracted the story and had pulled it from its website. However, the article was re-posted later and, at this writing, is still online. In the meantime, the story was picked up by entertainment news outlets around the world.

To many, the story seemed credible, especially since Meloni had grumbled about contract re-negotiations in recent years. In 2007, according to the NY Post, Meloni blogged about how the latest round of contract talks were "unpleasant to say the least," but later, he scrubbed the post from his blog.

In addition to debunking the rumor about Meloni's departure, Baer's Twitter feed this weekend was full of upcoming casting spoilers for 'SVU.' Among those soon to appear on the crime drama, tweets Baer, are 'The Blind Side' star Quinton Aaron, Teddy Sears ('A Single Man'), Jeri Ryan, and "a star of Tyler Perry's movies." Fingers crossed for Janet Jackson.

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