Why did Elisabeth Röhm leave Law and Order as Serena Southerlyn?

Law and Order SVU: Promo trailer for Season 24 finale

Many different characters have left Law and Order since it was first launched on screens, including Elisabeth Röhm who starred as Serena Southerlyn.

Serena was part of the NBC legal drama from 2001 to 2005, when she was fired by District Attorney Arthur Branch (Fred Dalton Thompson) for being “too emotional”.

Serene then came out as gay during the firing, a last-minute reveal which has been criticised by LGBTQ+ organisation GLAAD.

The organisation told Chicago Tribune it was “really disappointing to have one of the leads come out five seconds before she exits the show.”

Fans were also critical of the sudden revelation coinciding with Serena’s exit.

READ MORE The real reason Richard Brooks left Law and Order as Paul Robinette

In Elisabeth’s final scene on the show, Arthur explains Serena is too sympathetic towards defendants and allows her emotions to get in the way too much.

Following a pause, Serena asks: “Is this because I’m a lesbian?” to which Arthur responds: “No, of course not, no.”

Her final words in the show were “Good… good,” in response to Arthur’s reply.

But what was Elizabeth’s reason for leaving the series?

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Why did Elisabeth Röhm leave Law and Order?

Speaking around the time of her exit, the actress told Told: “I travelled and I shot a film this summer, and it opened my eyes to something beyond what’s comfortable, and I realized that I didn’t have anything else that I could offer this character.”

Elisabeth’s exit ended up airing in the middle of season 15.

She went on to star alongside Bradley Cooper in both American Hustle and Joy.

Elisabeth has also featured in The Oath, Jane the Virgin and The Last Ship.

More recently, she has starred in films like A Marriage Made in Heaven in 2022 as well as Notorious Nick and The Runner in 2021.

Her latest TV role came in 2020 when she appeared as Grace Tanner in Sleeping with Danger.

The 50-year-old married Peter Glatzer in October 2021, with her daughter in attendance.

Law and Order is available to watch on NBC.

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