Mariska Hargitay Reflects on 'Meaningful' 22-Year Friendship With Christopher Meloni (Exclusive)

ET spoke with the 'SVU' star at the 2021 Glamour Women of the Year Awards on Monday.

Mariska Hargitay has a very "meaningful" relationship with Christopher Meloni.

The Special Victims Unit star reflected about her and her longtime friend and former co-star's 22-year journey while at the 2021 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at the Rainbow Room in New York City on Monday. Meloni was on hand to present Hargitay with the Women of the Year award, an honor the actress called "amazing."

"You know he, after my husband, he knows me pretty well," Hargitay told ET on the red carpet. "So it's very meaningful, especially after the journey we've had these 22 years. The creative journey, the trust, the friendship, he's sort of seen it all."
"You know we've gotten in there, we've gotten dirty," she continued. "So it's very meaningful for me to have it presented by him."

Hargitay, looking radiant in a hot pink gown, was accompanied by her husband, Peter Hermann. The two looked sensational as they posed for photos before she was honored.

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Meloni, meanwhile, praised Hargitay on stage, kicking off his speech by saying, "I have been trusted with one task tonight, introduce someone who needs no introduction, who I've been working with for 13 years, and been friends with for 22." He then described her as "Radiant. Charming. Funny. Embracing. Generous. Elegant. Honest. Appreciative. Inclusive. Direct. Vivacious. That's my favorite one: vivacious," per Glamour.

During her speech, Meloni expressed what glamour meant to her, sharing, "Glamour isn't surface. I'm a girl who likes to put on a pretty dress, who likes to put on make-up, who likes to glam it up. I love glamour. I love it. But it's not illusory. It's not so I seem appealing. It's not to cover anything. I love glamour because it expresses, not because it hides."

She also paid tribute to her mother, Jayne Mansfield, saying, "I think that her glamour, her real glamour, the glamour of her luminous, tender, searching heart, was deeper and more beautiful than she ever knew.”

"She would be 88 now, and I think she would have liked this evening very much. I also think that she knows more now than when she died," she continued. "She is here with us, and she is here with me, sitting with us and sitting with me, and I am so happy and grateful that we get to learn these things together."

Meloni recently returned to the Law & Order franchise as Elliot Stabler on Organized Crime. Fans are eager for the two former partners to ignite their romance onscreen, especially after Stabler professed his love for Olivia Benson and gave her a mysterious letter that supposedly contained his feelings for her in season 1 of Organized Crime.

“I think it’s going to be a collaborative effort between both showrunners and Mariska and I to figure it all out. It’s a complicated relationship, so we’ll see,” Meloni told ET in September about their characters getting together. "It goes to show that whatever our chemistry was, whatever we did on screen in our SVU days together stuck with the people and there was a sense that it was not finished correctly or properly."

For more on Hargitay and Meloni, see below.