NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider Law & Order Franchise

All About Mariska Hargitay's Husband Peter Hermann and Their Children

The SVU star delights in being a mother of three with her longtime spouse.

By Jessica White

While fans thank Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for decades worth of primetime thrills, Mariska Hargitay thanks the series for (among other things) leading her to her husband and their three children.

How to Watch

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

Hargitay and her spouse, Peter Hermann, met on set, got married in 2004, and have welcomed three children to their family. (Like Olivia Benson, Hargitay didn't rush into motherhood, giving birth to her eldest at 42.)

RELATED: Mariska Hargitay Made a Rare Red Carpet Appearance with Her Family of 5: See Pics!

The actress has spoken about how her role as Benson equipped her for the challenge of raising children.

"[SVU] really prepared me for motherhood," Hargitay told Good Housekeeping in 2010. "Because as a cop, you are in charge of any emergency, and you need to stay calm, take control, and get the help and the attention you need to fix it. It's the same thing with being a parent."

Lieutenant Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Trevor Langan (Peter Hermann) appear in Season 19 Episode 5 of Law & Order: SVU

Mariska Hargitay met her husband Peter Hermann on the SVU set

Hargitay first crossed paths with Hermann after he appeared on Season 3 of SVU as defense attorney Trevor Langan. He's has since appeared in 35 episodes across Season 3-23. 

Hargitay shed some light on the moment she met Hermann in a 2022 appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show, remembering that she viewed Hermann as a "Clark Gable, superman guy" that she needed to marry that same day. 

RELATED: Mariska Hargitay's Husband, Peter Hermann, Is an SVU Veteran

Hargitay revealed in a 2019 interview with People that following his Season 3 guest appearance, Hermann asked Hargitay to attend a church service with him, a date choice that resonated with the SVU star.

"We went to church together, and it was like getting hit with a lightning bolt," Hargitay shared. "I just started sobbing. Peter thought I was crying because I was so moved by the service. No, it was because I was just overwhelmed, realizing he was the one."

In October 2021, Hermann took to social media to share his love for his wife in honor of the 500th episode of SVU, throwing it back to the day they met on set.

"You astonish me," Hermann captioned the post. "We met in episode 54. Best 447 episodes of my life. Congratulations, you beautiful life force. I love you. #SVU."

Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann

When did Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann get married?

Following two years of dating, Hargitay and Hermann got married on August 28, 2004, in Santa Barbara, California. People reported that the ceremony was attended by over 200 of Hermann and Hargitay's friends and family as the couple swapped "enchanting" vows, according to their wedding planner.

“We got married, and we knew that it was going to be good, and I think we both knew, sort of, what we found. We sort of knew that we found the right one," Hargitay told People in 2019. "I never thought it could be this good, and I never knew that I’d be reminded on the journey, that I’d marry the right one. That I waited and married the right one and it’s better than I thought it was."

RELATED: Mariska Hargitay and Her Husband Have Such Magnetic Chemistry in This Season 16 SVU Episode

Hermann echoed her confidence, sharing that he knew he wanted to marry Hargitay during her 40th birthday after seeing her surrounded by loved ones.

"I actually saw Mariska with all of the people that she loved around her," Hermann revealed. "It was like seeing this person who was now in the soil… which was this abundance of people and this abundance of love, and I thought, 'I want to be part of that soil.'"

In a separate 2019 interview with People, Hermann chatted about the secret to their long-lasting marriage: laughter. 

"I never thought I would have this much laughter in my life," Hermann revealed. "Not just actual laughter, but also the way that Mariska is just the embodiment of laughter — of joy."

Hermann continued, "It's the way we find our way back to each other. It's this fantastically, wonderfully ridiculous way that we can swing back and forth any number of times in any given day. But, fundamentally, we know we have the same destination. We know where we're headed, and it's good. And we know we'll get there together."

Peter Hermann and Mariska Hargitay pose together.

How many children does Mariska Hargitay have?

Hargitay and Hermann have welcomed three children to their happy family: their eldest son, August Miklos Friedrich Hermann; their daughter, Amaya Josephine Hermann; and their youngest son, Andrew Nicolas Hermann.

RELATED: Inside the Incredible Career of Jayne Mansfield, Mariska Hargitay's Mother

Hargitay gave birth to August in 2006 and adopted Amaya and Andrew within six months of each other in 2011.

The two delight in any family outing with the kids. 

Mariska Hargitay and her family pose on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Who is Mariska Hargitay's son, August Miklos Friedrich Hermann?

Hargitay and Hermann became first-time parents after she gave birth to August Miklos Friedrich Hermann on June 28, 2006. 

"Nobody wanted to be pregnant more than me," Hargitay told SELF in 2007. "From the minute I found out, I was wearing full-on maternity pants. My stomach was totally flat, mind you, but I was just so excited."

“You know, I think because I became a mom later in life, everything in life means more," Hargitay told SheBuysTravel shortly following August's 2006 birth. "Every day is deeper and richer and more soulful. Life is more sacred with him. Therefore, work is so much more now because I understand and value everything a little bit more.”

Hargitay and Hermann are proud members of the Stuttering Association For The Young (SAY) Hall of Fame, having made substantial donations to the foundation in honor of August, who has a stutter. The entire Hargitay-Hermann family made a rare red carpet appearance for their 2023 SAY inductions into the Hall of Fame.

RELATED: Mariska Hargitay's Son August is the Spitting Image of His Parents in Rare New Pic

"I think that being in a place where you're surrounded by the people who are dealing with the same thing you are is super special," August told People during the event. "In school, there aren’t a lot of other people, or on the sports teams you play, at the organizations you go to, at the events I’m at with my parents. There's always a lot of pressure and conversation. So to be in a place where the edge is off, and it's encouraged, it's welcomed? It's special.”

Mariska Hargitay, August Miklos Friedrich Hermann and Peter Hermann pose together.

Who is Mariska Hargitay's daughter, Amaya Josephine Hermann?

Hargitay and Hermann knew they wanted to expand their family after August, ultimately adopting Amaya Josephine Hermann in April 2011.

"I'm deliriously happy," Hargitay told People a week after Amaya's adoption. "From the minute she was born, she was just surprisingly alert and so full of love."

It was actually Hargitay and Hermann's eldest who first expressed a desire to become a big brother. 

"He is over the moon," Hargitay expressed. "He calls her his baby because he says the whole thing was his idea. He always talks about how he's going to protect her. He's going to be a great big brother."

Hargitay continued by sharing she and Hermann were "thrilled that this is the way our prayers were answered ... We're just so happy she's here."

RELATED: Mariska Hargitay Shares Rare Pic of Daughter at Taylor Swift Show with Selena Gomez

Hargitay has opened up many times about her decision to adopt, citing her unconventional childhood as partial inspiration. 

"Having lost my mom at a young age, I then grew up with my stepmom, and I have half-siblings, and so I know that families can be built in all sorts of different ways, that there isn't just one way to create a family and that it isn't just about biology," the Law & Order: SVU told People in 2019.

Hargitay and Amaya have been on many mommy-daughter dates in their time, attending the Eras Tour in August 2023 to support Hargitay's longtime BFF, Taylor Swift. Hargitay and her daughter also attended the October 2023 world premiere of The Eras Tour movie at The Grove in Los Angeles.

Mariska Hargitay and Amaya Hermann hold hands at the "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" Concert Movie

Who is Mariska Hargitay's son, Andrew Nicolas Hermann?

Six months after Amaya's adoption, Hargitay and Hermann got the big news that they were going to be able to adopt another child. They welcomed Andrew Nicolas Hermann to their family in October 2011.

"We never in a million years thought it would happen this quickly, but something inside of us knew that this was right, and we said, 'Yes, yes, yes!'" Hargitay told People at the time. "We knew this was our guy. Everything about it felt right. It felt divinely right."

Suddenly, the couple found themselves with not one but two newborns. Luckily, Amaya and Andrew instantly clicked. 

"They'll lie in the crib together, and she'll hold his hand and put her arm around him," Hargitay shared when the two were little. "She's already so protective of him."

She has expressed gratitude for the unique nature of how her family came to be. 

"I think there is such beauty in the divine architecture of how this family was built," she said.

RELATED: Mariska Hargitay's Youngest Son, Andrew, Asked Her the Sweetest Question About Fame

In a January 2024 check-in with People, Hargitay revealed that 12-year-old Andrew has yet to see an episode of SVU, so he occasionally gets confused by the emotional reactions she gets from fans. 

“He thinks I play a cop on TV, end of story,” Hargitay explained. “So he asked ‘Why does everyone say I love you when we're walking down the street?'"

Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann attend a basketball game with their children.

Mariska Hargitay's husband and children threw her 60th birthday party

Mariska Hargitay on Naming Her Cat After Taylor Swift's "Karma" and 25 Years of Law & Order: SVU

In honor of Hargitay's 60th birthday in February 2024, Andrew and his siblings helped throw their mother a birthday she'd never forget. In an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Hargitay revealed her husband helped orchestrate a "magical and spectacular," concert event at their home.

Hargitay's youngest, Andrew, sang "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne. Her daughter, Amaya, sang Taylor Swift's "Long Live," true to her Swiftie roots. Additionally, August tore down the house with a double-hitter of Linda Ronstadt's "Blue Bayou" and "Blue Christmas" by Elvis.

"They taught me to really listen," Hargitay told People of her family in 2018. "My husband is my North Star, and my kids are my teachers. Our family is so perfect, or at least perfect for me. Together we're just this whole, happy, joyful, chaotic, crazy unit. I've never known anything that was more right."

Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on Thursdays on NBC and the next day on Peacock.