Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay says she's going to miss her partner in crime, Chris Meloni, terribly.
"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 told TVLine.
VIDEO: SVU's Mariska Hargitay says she's scared but excited about Benson's promotion
Last week, contract negations for Meloni to return to Law & Order: SVU fell through. He's portrayed Det. Elliot Stabler alongside Hargitay as Det.Olivia Benson since the show's debut in 1999.
Hargitay renewed her contract for Season 13, but with a lighter workload. Benson will get a promotion midway through the season and a new female detective — possibly Jennifer Love Hewitt -- will take her place. Hargitay recently told TVGuide.com she's "scared of [the new position] in a good way and that excites me."
Watch our interview with Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni below.