Law & Order: SVU just lost a major star.
Raúl Esparza took to Twitter to release a statement shortly after Law & Order: SVU Season 19 Episode 12 aired and confirmed his days with the NBC crime drama are over.
“Goodbye Barba. Thank you. You changed my life. My squad. And you, you always, my Liv, my friend Mariska. I will always treasure my time with all of you,” the actor said.
“It has truly been an honor writing for Raul. The power, sensitivity, and morality he brought to the character of Rafael Barba never failed to elevate our scripts,” showrunner Michael Chernuchin said in a statement.
“Raul is family, and we look forward to seeing his talent shine in new projects. As for Barba, SVU fans may see him again soon.”
During Raul's final episode as a series regular, Barba decided his time as ADA was over in the aftermath of pulling the plug on a brain-dead child.
It all proved to be too much for Barba, and he will hand the title of ADA for New York City to Chicago Justice character Peter Stone (Philip Winchester).
It was revealed a few months ago that Winchester would be making the jump from Chicago Justice to SVU.
Given that no details about his casting were revealed at the time, it was unclear whether he would be replacing another character.
Okay, Law & Order: SVU fanatics. What do you think of the big exit?
Are you sad?
Hit the comments below!
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.