According to court documents obtained by Page Six, Neal, 44, reportedly told her former campaign manager, Rachel Himsel, that the only person on the SVU set she got along with was Ice-T, and the rest of the cast were “awful people.”
The Power star’s alleged words were shared in an email that is now part of her ex-boyfriend JB Benn’s lawsuit against her as a counteract to her suit against him for “sexually and physically abusing her.”
“That’s the funniest thing that I’ve ever heard,” Neal told Us Weekly exclusively at the Annual Ripple of Hope Awards and Auction on Thursday, December 12, when talking about fans who blame her for the reported Hargitay comment. “Okay. All of that. It was from a campaign manager that was hired for three weeks.”
The NCIS alum explained that Hargitay incident stemmed from a “disgruntled” former employee who has been “manipulated” by her ex “into saying things.”
Thursday’s Ripple of Hope Awards, which celebrate community leaders for their lifelong work in the fight for social change and global human rights, honored several impactful figures, including U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling.
To clear things up with the SVU star, she offered to send photos of what her ex had allegedly done to her. “I will give you pictures of my beaten, broken body, which nobody realizes, too,” she explained.
The costar drama came after Neal’s ex, who she broke up with in March 2018, filed his suit in reaction to her 2017 lawsuit against him. She alleged at the time that he physically abused her, stole money from her and harmed her pets. Benn, 44, denies any wrongdoing.
Neal said the actress, who founded the Joyful Heart Foundation to help create change in society’s response to cases of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, was focused on giving back when they spoke.
“Yeah, we’re working on the rape kit stuff more than anything,” Hargitay said, to which Neal replied, “Game on and joy will depart me at the moment.”
Neal noted that she wants to help others to “understand victim’s rights are human rights,” which is why she is going to be “working for national coalition against domestic violence.”
The Virginia native previously shutdown the alleged remarks toward her SVU costars in a statement to Page Six in November.
“There is no truth to this at all,” she said at the time. “Most of the people I’ve worked with are amazing, I love almost everyone I’ve ever worked with. Mariska and I were not the closest, but that doesn’t mean we have any animosity towards each other, we’re still very supportive of each other. She’s a great mom, she’s great as Benson, she’s doing great charity work. I have never talked about the cast members like this, it’s salacious and untrue.”
With reporting by Travis Cronin
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