Former Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Diane Neal seemingly had a rough time on set. According to new court documents obtained by Page Six, the actress, who portrayed Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak on SVU for 11 years, called her co-star Mariska Hargitay a “total b—.” The actress also reportedly called all of her SVU castmates “awful people,” with just the exception of Ice-T.
The allegations stem from a lawsuit from Neal’s ex-boyfriend, celebrity magician JB Benn, whom she accused of physically and sexually abusing her as well as seeking to harm her career. In his own lawsuit denying the claims, Benn included an email from Neal’s former campaign manager Rachael Himsel, who she allegedly said the comments to and who reportedly wrote them down in an email to an unnamed source.
Himsel, writing in support of Benn, also expressed fears for Neal’s mental health and claimed that within days of working with her, Neal made the comments regarding her former co-stars.
“I also learned that all of her co-stars on Law & Order were ‘awful people’ — except Ice-T — and Mariska Hargitay was a total bitch,” Himsel, whom Neal fired after only two weeks on the job, wrote. “She said that *everyone* in the industry was awful, stupid, unkind. She said there were only three ‘good’ people in the entire industry. She said Robin Williams was one of them. I don’t know who the other two are…”
Although none of Neal’s former SVU co-stars have commented on the alleged comments, Neal, in a statement to Page Six, fiercely denied them.
“There is no truth to this at all. Most of the people I’ve worked with are amazing, I love almost everyone I’ve ever worked with,” she said before going on to directly address the allegation that she called Hargitay a “total b—.”
“Mariska and I were not the closest, but that doesn’t mean we have any animosity towards each other, we’re still very supportive of each other. She’s a great mom, she’s great as Benson, she’s doing great charity work,” she said. “I have never talked about the cast members like this, it’s salacious and untrue.”
Neal added that she is choosing to focus on a return to acting.
Neal starred on Law & Order: SVU from 2001 until 2012, starring as Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak opposite Hargitay, Ice-T, and the other series stars. After leaving the series, she went on to a number of other titles, including NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans and Blue Bloods, her most recent credit in 2015.