"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.
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.