Law and Order SVU: Why did actress Rosie Perez sue Law and Order producers?

Demore Barnes addresses his Law and Order character’s exit

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Law and Order SVU (Special Victims Unit) is currently airing season 23 on NBC and, as ever, it has gone down a hit with fans. This particular series will go down in history as it briefly saw the return of Elliot Stabler (played by Christopher Meloni) as he returned for a backdoor pilot to his new spin-off Law and Order Organized Crime. The legal drama has already been renewed for a season 24 so there is no need to worry about its future just yet.

Why did actress Rosie Perez sue Law and Order producers?

Actress Rosie Perez is best known for her roles in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and the movie White Men Can’t Jump.

In recent years, Perez has been focusing more of her attention on TV work.

She has starred in The Flight Attendant, Elena of Avalor, Maya and the Three and Bounty Hunters.

Some lifelong Law and Order fans, however, may remember when she featured in the crime series. 

Perez guest-starred in the 2009 episode Hardwired where she portrayed Eva Santiago, the mum of a boy who had been abused by her ex-husband.

This was a very emotional episode as Eva wanted justice for her son which, with Olivia Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) help, she was able to get.

After her little boy’s abuser was put behind bars, they started a new life together in Florida.

While it was a happy ending for the young family, Perez didn’t have such a good experience when she was on set.

In 2011, two years after the Law and Order SVU episode aired, Perez filed a lawsuit against the show’s producers.

This was because of a long-term injury she allegedly receive while filming for Hardwired.

BBC News wrote at the time Perez claimed she had been “recklessly pulled, grabbed, yanked, wrenched and manhandled”.

She reportedly suffered a herniated disc after she was forcefully shaken during a scene where Perez was leaning through a car window.

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As a result, Perez underwent two surgeries to try and reverse the damage done.

Her lawyer informed the New York Daily News: “She’s still suffering severe pain, numbness of the arms, and she’ll never be the same despite the surgery.”

When approached by Entertainment Weekly, an NBC spokesperson refused to comment at the time.

In 2012, Perez settled the lawsuit, resolving the matter under confidential terms.

Unfortunately, a new episode of Law and Order SVU will not be airing this week.

In fact, according to the show’s IMDb page, the spin-off won’t be on our screens for a number of weeks.

Season 23 will continue next month on NBC, starting on Thursday, December 9.

Law and Order SVU is available to watch on NBC.

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