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Christopher Meloni's Daughter Had a Very Subtle Cameo on SVU That You Missed

The actor confirmed his daughter's 2003 appearance on the show in an interview with NBC Insider

By Jackie Manno

Christopher Meloni's daughter, Sophia, 22, had a very easy-to-miss appearance in a 2003 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — when she was just a baby! 

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Thursday, October 3 at 9/8c on NBC.

In Season 5, Episode 10 of the show (titled "Shaken"), Elliot Stabler (Meloni) shows Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) a photo of his baby daughter, Maureen, at a bar. Actress Erin Broderick plays young and teenage Maureen on SVU, while Autumn Mirassou portrays adult Maureen. However, the photo Stabler shows Cragen in this scene is actually of Meloni's real-life daughter, Sophia, when she was a tiny tot. 

Christopher Meloni's daughter, Sophia, made a subtle Law & Order: SVU cameo when she was a baby 

Meloni himself confirmed to NBC Insider that the baby in the picture is, indeed, Sophia. If you're curious about her cameo, you can watch Season 5, Episode 10 of SVU on Peacock. The scene with Stabler and Cragen at the bar starts around the 41:24 mark. 

The official description for this episode reads, "A missing infant is discovered badly beaten in the bushes at a local park." 

Doris Meloni, Christopher Meloni, Dante Meloni and Sophia Meloni attend the Premiere Of 20th Century Fox's "Snatched"

RELATED: Chris Meloni Had a Night Out with His Daughter Sophia

Christopher Meloni and his daughter, Sophia, have the sweetest relationship 

Fast-forward nowadays, and Meloni has a close bond with Sophia. In August 2023, he shared whimsical pictures of the two of them going on a hiking trip — that was thwarted by a scooter-related mishap. 

"Hike with @sophiameloni, scooter home," Meloni captioned the Instagram post. "First one was low. Switch to another. Only to have it conk out at the West Hollywood/ Beverly Hills borderline. I don’t think scooters are allowed in Beverly Hills." 

Christopher Meloni as a dad 

Along with 22-year-old Sophia, Meloni is also the father to 20-year-old Dante, and the longtime husband of Sherman Williams

In a 2014 interview with USA Todaythe actor opened up about his parenting style. “I think my kids would call me a little crazy. I’m very physical, very affectionate. I’m also very disciplined and focused on education. That’s one thing that was instilled in me, one place in life where there’s no compromise,” he told the outlet. “What works for me is empowering my kids. I remember not having any power when I was growing up. Power helps kids mature, and it requires critical thinking on their part. They feel engaged in a decision, which makes them feel engaged in the family process.”

RELATED: Chris Meloni & Wife Sherman Williams Have NYC Date Night

He also talked about how Sophia and Dante have very different personalities in a 2022 interview with People. "I always knew I wanted kids, as did my wife. My mother always used to say to me, 'I've learned so much from you kids,' and I didn't get it. Now I get it," he said. "One is more of an old soul. I never used that term until they came out of the womb and I looked in their eyes. I was like, 'Holy cow, look at you. You're here to teach me.' As well as the other one, who's a young soul. It's ever-evolving and a complete fulfillment of my life." 

 — Reporting by Stephanie Gomulka