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Mariska Hargitay smiles at a press event. She has brown hair that sits in light waves over her shoulders and she wears a floral top

Mariska Hargitay Helps Lost Girl Reunite With Her Mum

Mariska Hargitay paused filming of Law & Order:SVU during a location shoot in New York City today to help a lost girl reunite with her mother.

As reported by People who interviewed a witness to the incident, it’s understood Mariska was in character as Detective Olivia Benson, complete with a police badge, near the Anne Loftus Playground in Fort Tryon Park. She was filming a scene with Ice-T when the young girl asked Mariska for help, mistaking her for a real-life police officer.

According to the witness, Mariska immediately stopped filming to help the child. She spent 20 minutes reuniting the girl with her mum and chatting to them afterwards. (There are some paparazzi photos of the incident which we have decided not to share here in order to maintain the young girl and her mother’s privacy.)


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Mariska, who has been portraying Detective Olivia Benson on the popular series for 25 years, has consistently used her platform to help others. In 2004, she founded the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organisation which aims to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Through the foundation, Mariska has helped draw attention to the backlog of rape kits across the United States, encouraged legislative reform and backed support services for survivors.

Interestingly, the Joyful Heart Foundation was formed as a direct result of her role as Detective Benson – during her time on SVU, Mariska received thousands of fan letters from survivors disclosing their personal stories of abuse. The letters motivated her to take action the best way she could.

Today, the foundation continues its mission to support survivors and end violence.

(Feature Image Credit: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com)



Did you know…

Taylor Swift has a cat named Olivia Benson, in honour of Mariska Hargitay’s character?

And this year, Mariska announced her family had welcomed a cat which they named Karma, in honour of Taylor Swift’s song of the same name!


Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.