'Law & Order: SVU' Star Kelli Giddish Leaving Series After 12 Seasons

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans will have to say goodbye to another beloved character. After 12 seasons of playing Det. Amanda RollinsKelli Giddish is leaving SVU, she announced on Wednesday. Her final episode will be during SVU's upcoming Season 24, which begins with a massive three-way crossover with Law & Order and Law & Order: Organized Crime. Giddish joined the show in 2011.

"I wanted to address the chatter I've seen online and let everyone know that this will, indeed, be my last season on Law & Order: SVU," Giddish said in a statement Wednesday, just after NBC released a trailer for the crossover premiere. "Playing Rollins has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life. I've been so fortunate to be a part of the Law & Order family for the last 12 years. There is simply no other character on TV like Rollins. She's grown and changed, and I have as well. I started on this show when I was in my late 20s and I'm grateful I got to spend so many of my adult years with Rollins in my life."

"I want to thank Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay, Peter Jankowski, NBC, Universal Television, all of my co-stars, every single member on the crew, and all the writers here for our incredible work together these last 12 years," Giddish continued. "I'm so excited to take all the things I have learned in my time on SVU and put them toward everything that's next to come."

NBC has not commented on Giddish's exit. Sources told TVLine her final episode is likely to air during the first half of Season 24. It's also unclear how she will be written out, but one insider said she will experience a "traumatic event" early in the new season. 

Giddish joined SVU in 2011 for Season 13, right after Christopher Meloni left the series. Rollins became an integral part of the team, with a personal life that was as dramatic as the cases she solved. After a years-long will-they, won't-they relationship, Rollins and now-ADA "Sonny" Carisi (Peter Scanavino) finally gave into their feelings in Season 23. SVU writer Julie Martin told fans that the Rollisi relationship will have a "happy ending."

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SVU Season 24 will debut on NBC Thursday, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. ET, with the premiere serving as the middle part of the three-show crossover. Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Peter Scanavino, and Octavo Pisano are all returning. Molly Burnett (Days of Our Lives, Queen of the South) was cast as the newest detective, Grace Muncy, in July. David Graziano (Coyote) is also replacing Warren Leight as showrunner.