‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Defends Co-Star Isabel Gillies from Bullying

by Suzanne Halliburton

This all seems like such a bizarre TV tale. Some bitter fans of Law & Order: SVU are attacking an actress who played a character killed off last season.

Some fans didn’t like the fact that Kathy Stabler, wife of Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni), dictated a letter to Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). When the contents of the letter were revealed in last week’s episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime, angry fans took it out on actress Isabel Gillies, who portrayed Kathy.

Hargitay tweeted her support for Gillies in two separate posts. Earlier in the day, Gillies published a Substack column that detailed some of the abuse she received on social media after the show aired.

Hargitay wrote: I’m so sorry that you had to go through any of this sweet Isabel. #WordsMatter #Think.”

Hargitay then added:

“You ask if we can we stop and think. You’re evidence that we can do both. You also answer to the question ‘Can we write? Can we use words intelligently enough to disrupt the noise?’ You can Isabel Gillies. And you do. You’re important and you have all my love.”

Gillies joined the cast of Law & Order: SVU in 1999. She portrayed Kathy Stabler for 32 episodes, including a crossover in April. When Meloni left the show in 2011 after a contract dispute with NBC, there wasn’t much of a need to keep Stabler’s wife on the show.

Gillies Returned For One Episode of Law & Order: SVU Last April

After a 10-year absence, she came back to Law & Order: SVU in season 22 only to die because of a car bomb. It was all to introduce Meloni’s new show Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Gillies wrote: “I don’t watch ‘Law & Order.’ And while I love Mariska and Chris, if their characters were falling for each other or not wasn’t my concern. Once they buried me, I continued on my life as Isabel Gillies, mom, wife, mahjong player.”

She also added: “And even though Kathy Stabler has departed from this earth, she’s still smack in the middle of it. And there was this letter which to this day, I still don’t know what the heck was in it — truth — I don’t care.”

Last Thursday, the Law & Order shows hyped a key scene between Meloni and Hargitay. The two former partners always had terrific chemistry. But Stabler was married, so nothing happened. Stabler wrote a letter to Benson, telling her why he left NYC and never said goodbye. He gave the letter to Benson last season. But this past Thursday was the first time the two discussed what was in it.

And if you loved the idea of Stabler-Benson as a couple, you booed the news that Kathy dictated the letter, saying the two got in each other’s way. And, Kathy dictated, what Stabler and Benson felt wasn’t real. However, there was one final line. “In a parallel universe, It will always be you and I,” Stabler confessed he wrote the last line.

Gillies said the abuse she received on Twitter made her cry. And she urged people to THINK before they post. “Is it thoughtful? Is it honest? (And) Is it interesting, is it necessary, is it kind?”