One ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Guest Star Filed Lawsuit Against Show Producers: Here’s Why

by Madison Miller

The cast and crew over on “Law & Order: SVU” isn’t always one big happy family.

During the course of the show’s 23 seasons, some drama has popped up on occasion. In the past, actress Rosie Perez ended up suing the “Law & Order: SVU” producers. What exactly went on behind the scenes for the actress to do this?

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Producers Get Sued

You may remember Perez from when she guest-starred in the 2009 episode called “Hardwired.” She played Eva Santiago, a woman who has a son that’s been abused by her ex-husband.

Similar to many episodes of “Law & Order: SVU,” this 2009 episode was incredibly emotional. It luckily ended well for the Santiago family. Eva was able to get justice for her son with the help of Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). The two ended up getting the ex-husband locked up and they moved to Florida to start over.

While it all ended happily, Perez did not seem to have the best experience while filming for the episode.

According to Express, she filed a lawsuit in 2011 against the show’s producers due to a long-term injury she got from filming the “Law & Order: SVU” episode. She apparently got a herniated disc after a violent scene. She needed two surgeries to help with the injury.

Perez said it was all because she was “recklessly pulled, grabbed, yanked, wrenched and manhandled.”

As for how it all ended, Perez ended up settling the lawsuit in 2012 under “confidential terms.” She appeared at the White House in 2010 for a meeting with President Barack Obama regarding her position on The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. She showed up wearing a neck brace and in a wheelchair for the meeting.

Where Have We Seen Rosie Perez?

Besides her role in “Law & Order: SVU,” Perez has continued to be quite successful in the entertainment world.

She started out with roles in “Do the Right Thing” and “White Men Can’t Jump.” She would also end up getting nominated for an Academy Award after her popular performance in the 1993 movie “Fearless.”

Perez would then eventually start getting involved in more TV roles. She earned three Primetime Emmy nominations for her choreography for “In Living Color.” One of her most recent roles was alongside Kaley Cuoco in the HBO series “The Flight Attendant.”

For fans of morning talk shows, Perez was a co-host on “The View” during season 18. In addition to her acting roles, Perez is an activist. Many of which focus on Puerto Rican rights.

As for her role in “Law & Order: SVU,” producers had specifically wanted Rosie Perez to star in the episode. The executive producer at the time, Neal Baer, said to TV Guide that they had her in mind the whole time and he thought audiences would “be surprised by her performance.”