The actress also known as Olivia Benson told TV Line, "For the past 12 years Chris has been my partner and friend, both on screen and off. 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."
We are too, Mariska. We are too.
But with a career as varied as Meloni's -- he's bounced seamlessly from prison inmate on HBO's grim 'Oz' to hilarious camp cook in 'Wet Hot American Summer' -- we're sure Meloni will never cease to surprise us with his range.
Hargitay will likely exit the series too -- but not until at least next season. The actress signed a new deal that will see her character promoted mid-season. Jennifer Love Hewitt is rumored to be in talks to replace Hargitay as the show's female detective once Benson takes on a supervisory role.
Tell us: Are you still mourning the loss of the Benson/Stabler partnership?