The Cast Of Law & Order: SVU: Who Are Their Significant Others In Real Life?

Hit NBC crime procedural "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" focuses more on its characters' work than their romances, much to the dismay of all the Benson-Stabler shippers out there. But the personal lives of the record-breaking TV show — which became the longest-running live-action primetime series in American television history in 2019 — seem far more romantic (via Deadline). For example, Mariska Hargitay has been married to a certain TV actor and frequent "SVU" guest star since the early 2000s. And her longtime costar Christopher Meloni, the Stabler to her Benson, has been living in matrimony even longer.

Other "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" stars and alums, meanwhile, are married to actors, artists, and former classmates. One "SVU" spouse is a TV producer, and another is a former reality star. And collectively, the cast has so many kids that one "SVU" crew member quipped that the show is the "most fertile drama there is." Read on for the details on the cast's offscreen relationships.

Mariska Hargitay's husband is 'Younger' star Peter Hermann

Mariska Hargitay, who has portrayed Olivia Benson since day one of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," met husband Peter Hermann when he started playing defense attorney Trevor Langan on the show. He was the one who asked her out, inviting her to attend church with him, as she told People in 2019. "As a little girl you're told, 'Oh, when it's the right person, you'll know.' ... We went to church together, and it was like getting hit with a lightning bolt," she recalled. "I just started sobbing. Peter thought I was crying because I was so moved by the service. No, it was because I was just overwhelmed, realizing he was the one."

After the outing, Hargitay told a close friend that Hermann was the man she was going to marry, and she was right. The duo traded vows in 2004, and they've since welcomed three kids: sons August and Andrew and daughter Amaya.

Hermann still pops up on "SVU" from time to time, but these days, he's best known for playing love interest Charles Brooks on the Paramount+ comedy "Younger." He's also the author of the 2018 children's book "If the S in Moose Comes Loose."

Christopher Meloni met wife Sherman Williams when she rode up on a motorcycle

Christopher Meloni, who played Elliot Stabler for the first 12 seasons of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and returned in 2021 as a special guest star, revealed his and his wife's origin story in a 2006 YourTango interview. As he explained it, he was working on an "immensely forgettable" HBO series in Los Angeles in 1989 when production designer Sherman Williams pulled up on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, sporting short, bleached hair. "This I gotta meet," he thought at the time, as he told the site.

But Williams had a boyfriend at the time, and she and Meloni wouldn't start dating until years later. Williams told YourTango that she knew he was serious about her when he had the concrete steps in front of his house cut "so I could get my cycle onto his lawn." The couple married in 1995, according to Good Housekeeping, and they have two children: daughter Sophia and son Dante.

Williams' IMDb credits include art direction on the 1986 film "Platoon" and production design on the 1994 film "The Chase." When asked about the secrets to their relationship, she told YourTango that they have "space, respect, trust, and freedom" as a couple.

Ice-T and wife Coco Austin starred on their own E! reality show

Ice-T, the actor and rapper behind "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" character Odafin "Fin" Tutuola, married Nicole "Coco" Austin in 2002 after meeting the model on a movie set, as her archived online bio explained. And the duo welcomed their first child, a daughter named Chanel, in 2015 (per People).

As Ice-T told in 2011, he "absolutely" had lust at first sight when he met Austin, but he was looking for something more than physical attraction at the time, and he wasn't sure she was ready for a domestic life. "But she was like, 'No, I'm ready. Let's just go snuggle someplace and do home stuff,'" he recalled.

From 2011 to 2013, the Ice-T and Coco took E! viewers inside their New Jersey home on the reality series "Ice Loves Coco," which showed their life away from the spotlight. "We have two lives together," Austin explained. "We have the crazy relationship life where we go out, we party, and we have fun together as a couple. Then, when we come home, we relax. We play video games together, we watch DVDs together. We're very homey people that just like to chill."

Kelli Giddish has two kids with husband Lawrence Faulborn

Kelli Giddish, who has played Amanda Rollins on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" since Season 13, is married to Lawrence Faulborn, an artist who has even commissioned murals of her character in New York City, according to Forsyth County News. The duo tied the knot in a 2015 ceremony in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, according to E! News. And later that year, Giddish and Faulborn welcomed their first child, a son named Ludo, with the actress' "SVU" costar Ice-T breaking the news on Twitter.

In 2018, Faulborn introduced the world to their second child, a son named Charlie. "#WelcomeHomeCharlie," he wrote on Instagram, alongside a pic of Ludo checking out the new addition to the family. That same year, Giddish revealed that her "SVU" family supported her once when Faulborn was gravely sick. "My husband got very ill when I had a six-month-old baby," she told Stuff at the time. "He was in the hospital for two months, completely paralyzed, and they once again rallied around me. The job, the people I work with and for, I can't say enough good things about."

Peter Scanavino and wife Lisha Bai contributed to an on-set baby boom

Peter Scanavino, who has played Dominick Carisi Jr. on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" since 2014, has two kids with wife Lisha Bai. In fact, they welcomed their second kid just after Coco Austin had her first child with Ice-T and Kelli Giddish had her first child with Lawrence Faulborn, according to E! News. On Twitter, "SVU" showrunner Warren Leight joked that the NBC procedural was the "most fertile drama there is" and used the hashtag "#SVUNursery."

According to her online curriculum vitae, Bai got her BFA in painting from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001 and her MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University four years later. Her work has graced exhibitions in New York City, San Francisco, and London; she has also taught at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. Bai is also involved in an artist-run, Brooklyn-based initiative called the Studio Archive Project, her Instagram bio touts.

Scanavino hyped up his "darling's work" on Instagram in 2019 when she had her work featured in the New Art Dealers Alliance's NADA Miami show.

Richard Belzer is married to former costar Harlee McBride

Before Richard Belzer played John Munch in the first 17 seasons of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," he played the same character on the NBC crime drama "Homicide: Life on the Street," on which his wife, Harlee McBride, recurred as Alyssa Dyer. Their shared IMDb credits reveal Belzer and McBride appeared in 22 "Homicide" episodes together, along with other projects.

Belzer, who was previously married to Gail Susan Ross and Dalia Danoch, met McBride on a blind date in 1981, according to a 1993 People profile. At the time, she was a Playboy model best known for playing the lead role in the X-rated 1977 film "Young Lady Chatterly." She too was previously married, and she had teenage two daughters. "Richard softened me a lot," McBride revealed. "When I met him, I was cynical about men and life, but he's somebody I've grown to trust and feel comfortable with. Marriage relaxed him too."

For his part, Belzer said that he learned about parenthood from McBride, telling the magazine, "Harlee taught me that loving a child is unconditional, no matter how bad they are."

Dann Florek met wife Karen Florek in college

Dann Florek — who played his "Law & Order" character, Donald Cragen, in the first 16 seasons of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" – is married to Karen Florek. The pair met at Eastern Michigan University, and they share a love for animals. In a chat with Michigan Humane, the actor said that he and Karen foster dogs and help out Los Angeles-area animal shelters by volunteering to work telethons and taping public service announcements. The Floreks had three rescue dogs at the time of the interview: Maddie, Greta, and Little Dog or "LD."

Dann also said that it's Karen who keeps the "law and order" in their household. "I have 10 things going on at once, so she can focus better," he explained. "The animals, though, dictate what needs to go on in the house."

According to her online bio, Karen is an artist who has worked in graphic design, painting, and photography. She has also curated exhibitions in New York and California. During her previous job as Head of the Graphics Department for New York City's Office of the Comptroller, she earned a design award: an Outstanding Woman in Government nomination, her bio adds.

Michelle Hurd is married to 'Fear the Walking Dead' actor Garret Dillahunt

Michelle Hurd, who played Monique Jeffries on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" from 1999 to 2001, has a famous husband: Garret Dillahunt, who starred as John Dorie on the AMC zombie drama "Fear the Walking Dead." They met when they co-starred in a 1996 production of the play "900 Oneonta" in New York City. But it wasn't exactly love at first sight, from what Hurd said on the talk show "Friday Night In With the Morgans" (via TV Insider): "I said, 'Hi, I'm Michelle, and I'm playing Palace. I'm playing your love interest.' And I swear to God ... this is what I got: 'Hi, I'm Garret.' [turning away] Oh, that's it? Oh, that's it? You just going to give me a look?"

Dillahunt also starred as Francis Wolcott on "Deadwood," Burt Chance on "Raising Hope," Keith "KD" Dennison on "Hand of God," and Dr. Jody Kimball-Kinney on "The Mindy Project." He even played Jesus in the NBC drama "The Book of Daniel." And yes, he had a guest-starring spot on "SVU," appearing in the 2009 episode "Hardwired."

Stephanie March tied the knot with investor Dan Benton in 2017

Stephanie March, who played ADA Alexandra Cabot across nearly 100 episodes of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" between 2000 and 2018, married tech investor and Andor Capital founder Dan Benton in 2017, as People reported at the time. March's friend and fellow Rouge Makeup Salons co-founder Rebecca Perkins told the magazine that she had "never seen [March] as happy or as beautiful" as she was on her wedding day and that it was an "absolutely picture-perfect ceremony."

According to Crunchbase, Benton worked as vice president of Goldman Sachs and president of Pequot Capital earlier in his career. He founded Andor in 2001 but closed the fund in 2016. These days, he's managing the private family office Benton Capital Management. He's also a board trustee for Colgate University, Hospital for Special Surgery, and Horace Mann School, the site reports.

March was previously married to celebrity chef Bobby Flay. She and Flay wed in 2005, having met when he helped her nab a dinner reservation, but they split in 2015, according to People. Later that year, they said in a statement to the magazine that they had reached "an amicable divorce settlement."

BD Wong and husband Richert Schnorr met at a singles mixer

BD Wong, who appeared on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" as Dr. George Huang from Season 2 to Season 17, married Richert Schnorr in 2018 after meeting at a 2010 singles mixer arranged by a dating website, according to a wedding announcement in The New York Times.

At the time of the wedding, Schnorr, a Sarah Lawrence graduate, was the director of digital media for the New York Public Library; there he helped raise more than $200 million and helped add more than 100,000 new Instagram followers for the library system, according to his online CV. He left the NYPL job in 2019 and has continued work as a freelance video director, producer, and editor.

Wong was previously in a long-term relationship with agent Richie Jackson, according to The Advocate. In 2000, Wong and Jackson welcomed twin sons through a surrogate, Boaz Dov and Jackson Foo. Sadly, Boaz died shortly after childbirth as a result of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, the magazine reported. Schnorr paid tribute to both Wong and his son Jackson in a 2020 Instagram post, writing, "Happy Father's Day to @wongbd, who raised one heck of a young man. Love you both!"

Adam Beach's wife, Summer Tiger, is a clinical psychologist

Adam Beach, who starred on Seasons 8 and 9 of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" as Chester Lake, is married to Summer Tiger. Tiger is a Seminole Tribe of Florida member who has a master's degree in clinical psychology, as Beach revealed in a 2017 Deadline commentary. In that essay, both husband and wife criticized Hollywood's practice of casting non-Native performers in Native roles. "Hollywood profits off of telling our stories, using us as backdrops in their white savior narratives, sending the message to our people that we are disposable," Tiger wrote. "The least Hollywood could do is cast Natives who are actually connected to their tribe."

That same year, the couple told Cowboys & Indians magazine that they were working on a script called "Sacred" about the disproportionately high suicide rate in Native American and First Nation communities. "This will be a story of both horror and hope," Tiger explained.

Beach and Tiger also team up to support Native filmmakers at the actor's Adam Beach Film Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba, according to the magazine.

Michaela McManus is married to TV producer Mike Daniels

Michaela McManus, who played "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" character Kim Greylek from 2008 to 2009, married TV writer and producer Mike Daniels in 2011, according to Variety. They welcomed their son Gabriel in 2014 and their child Declan two years later.

Daniels is the creator of the 2019 NBC series "The Village," a drama centering on a "bonded family of friends and neighbors" in a New York City apartment building, as the network described in a press release. McManus starred in the series as nurse and single mom Sarah. Additionally, according to his IMDb filmography, Daniels also served as a writer of "One Tree Hill;" a co-producer of "The Vampire Diaries;" a producer of "Pan Am;" a co-executive producer of "Sons of Anarchy," "Shades of Blue," "Taken," and "The Brave;" and a consulting producer of "Bluff City Law."

Daniels waxed romantic about McManus in a 2020 Instagram post as they celebrated nine years of marriage. "Thank you for making my life whole and happy; a place where against every odd and despite being wholly unworthy, I get to witness your lightning strike each and every day," he wrote.

Danny Pino and wife Lilly Pino met in middle school

Danny Pino, the actor behind longtime "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" character Nick Amaro, married wife Lilly Pino in 2002. However, he actually met her nearly 13 years prior when they were middle-school classmates, as he revealed in a 2019 Closer Weekly interview.

The duo have two kids together — sons Luca, born in 2006, and Julian, born the following year — and Danny said that his wife and kids are the "most important thing in [his] life" and that coming home to them is always a blessing. When Julian was born in 2007, Danny's rep told People that the actor was "thrilled beyond belief."

Danny also shared that he and Lilly keep their relationship strong. "It takes work," he explained. "So even on days you don't necessarily feel like you want to follow through with things, it's important to make the effort, to show that you're there and you care, to try to understand what's going on. ... Family puts you firmly on solid ground, so you deal with real life."

Philip Winchester's wife, Megan Coughlin, was his high school sweetheart

Danny Pino isn't the only "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" alum to marry a former classmate. Philip Winchester, who played Peter Stone both on that show and on "Chicago Justice," is married to high school sweetheart Megan Coughlin, according to E! News. The future husband and wife grew up in the town of Belgrade, Montana, and got hitched in 2008, according to the site.

It was Coughlin who brought Winchester back to reality after he spent four weeks filming the first season of the Cinemax action drama "Strike Back" in South Africa, as he told Digital Trends in 2015. "My wife looked at me one day, and she said, 'It's nice to have you home, Philip.' And I was like, 'What are you talking about, babe?' And she said, 'You haven't been 'Philip' since you started shooting 'Strike Back.' You've been so intense — checking everything out wherever you go, looking over your shoulder when we go to a restaurant."

Winchester and Coughlin have two girls together, per Us Weekly: Their daughter Charlie was born in 2015, and their next daughter, whose name Winchester later revealed was Jaymes, entered the world in 2019.