SVU’s Kelli Giddish Shares the (Surprising) Reason Behind Her Exit

The day after her final Law & Order: SVU episode aired, Kelli Giddish is speaking out about what precipitated her exit from NBC’s long-running procedural.

“My side of things is just that it’s time in the Rollins storyline,” Giddish tells our sister site Variety. “I felt like where it was heading, and where it headed last night, just seemed the right place to leave it right now.”

She adds: “I am so excited about things going on in my personal life and kind of the mirroring of what’s going on in my personal life and in Rollins’, there’s a lot of joy to be experienced.”

Giddish’s statements seem to refute rumors that she’d been let go from SVU, where she’d played Det. Amanda Rollins for the past 12 years. News of the departure broke in August. She says she knew she’d be leaving “before the season started, this year. We worked on this storyline together, and I think the last episode culminated the beautiful Rollins and Benson relationship, and we got to see Carisi and Rollins get married, which was such a treat.”

In addition to the ‘Rollisi’ nuptials, the episode chronicled Rollins’ decision to leave Capt. Benson’s squad and take a teaching position at Fordham University. (Read a full recap.)

Giddish also addresses the possibility of a return, particularly given that Rollins’ new husband — Assistant District Attorney Dominic “Sonny” Carisi, played by Peter Scanavino — is still a major character on the show.

The door to return “is un-shut,” she says, later adding: “Dick Wolf has got such a fertile universe that’s going on, that people can pop up in different places. That’s really a cool thing that he’s created.”

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