Attention Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans: Chris Meloni has no plans to hand in his badge.
The TV star has finally spoken out about an early February report that claimed he intended to leave the NBC show after shooting season 12.
"It's lies. All lies. No," Meloni told UsMagazine.com Tuesday at the Benefit Gala for Figure Skating in Harlem at NYC's Wollman Rink.
The actor, 49, has played Detective Eliot Stabler in the NBC spinoff alongside Mariska Hargitay since it premiered in 1999. Australian newspaper Courier-Mail had quoted him as saying, "I think 12 years is enough, a good number…It will be a difficult transition."
But Meloni explained to Us: "What I said was 'When your contract is done…that will be the end. Because when your contract is done, it's usually the end," he said. "But when [producers] come back to me, you know, we can always talk.' I couched it incorrectly. It wasn't [the reporter's] fault."
To set the record straight, the star clarified: "I had one year [left] on my contract. Our show hasn't been picked up. Those are the facts of the matter."
Should SVU get renewed, would Meloni want to remain on the show? "Yeah. Why not?"
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!