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'L&O: SVU' star 'will miss Chris Meloni'

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'Law and Order: SVU' star Mariska Hargitay

© PA Images / Peter Kramer/AP

Mariska Hargitay has admitted that she will "miss" Chris Meloni when she starts working on the upcoming season of Law & Order: SVU.

Meloni, who played Detective Elliot Stabler, confirmed earlier this week that he will not be returning to the show.

When the announcement was made, his representative explained that it is "time for the next chapter".

Hargitay has now told TV Line that she enjoyed working with Meloni on the show.

"For the past 12 years Chris has been my partner and friend, both on screen and off," she said. "He inspired me every day with his integrity, his extraordinary talent, and his commitment to the truth. I love him deeply and will miss him terribly - I'm so excited to see what he'll do next."

Hargitay, who recently adopted a daughter, is expected to have a reduced role in Law & Order: SVU when it returns for its 13th season.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Love Hewitt is thought to be in talks to appear in the NBC drama.

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