As Linda Fairstein continues to face backlash for her role in the false imprisonment of the now-Exonerated Five (also known as the Central Park Five), insight into her influence in Hollywood has become clearer by the day.
Brought to light by Shadow and Act, Fairstein was part of the inspiration for Dick Wolf’s creation of Law and Order: SVU, which has become the most notable series from his Law and Order franchise. After the premiere of Law and Order in 1990, Wolf created Law and Order: Special Victims Unit in 1999. Fairstein revealed her role in the series in an op-ed she penned for USA Today terribly titled, “‘The Real SVU: We kicked open the courtroom doors and got justice for sex-crime victims.”
In the piece, Fairstein shares her brain was picked by Wolf and to be a consultant of sorts to Mariska Hargitay (Detective Olivia Benson) and Stephanie March (ADA Alex Cabot).
“Twenty years ago, while I was still leading what is now known as the Special Victims Unit, I had a call from Dick Wolf, creator of the Law and Order television series,” she wrote. “He was in pre-production of a spinoff that he called Law and Order: SVU. He wasn’t asking me to be a part of his team, but he was hoping I would spend time with two of his leading actors–Mariska Hargitay (Detective Olivia Benson) and Stephanie March (ADA Alex Cabot)–to explain our work. Not only did I enjoy that opportunity, but it was the start of two friendships I cherish to this day.”
Hargitay, who has lead the series for quite some time hasn’t said much about her friendship with the author. One of her last social posts about Fairstein was in 2016. They’ve also taken part in charitable events together like The Joyful Heart Foundation and KIND Healthy Snacks’ Do the KIND Thing program which was housed by Safe Horizon, where she served as board of directors.
CONGRATS to my dear friend @lindafairstein, the original real-life SVU prosecutor, on the publication of KILLER LOOK https://t.co/mFwMFD20AN
— Mariska Hargitay (@Mariska) July 20, 2016
Since the release of the critically acclaimed project, When They See Us, Fairstein has been dropped by her publisher, stepped down from the nonprofit God’s Love We Deliver, removed from The Mount Vernon High School’s Hall Of Fame and shamed for refusing to take accountability for the wrongful imprisonment of Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise.
Find out more about her connection to SVU below.