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What Happened to Amanda Rollins on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?

Kelly Giddish's character became a Law & Order legend after 12 years of service at the Manhattan SVU.

By Jessica White

As one of the most hardworking detectives of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Detective Amanda Rollins (played by the amazing Kelli Giddish) is a bona fide fan favorite. 

How to Watch

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

First appearing in Season 13, Rollins went through an impressive transformation throughout her 12 years on the show — but she changed the most in Season 24. In the midseason finale that year, Rollins told Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) that she was leaving the department for an exciting new opportunity. 

Since Rollins' departure, her life has gone on many twists and turns (and she's occasionally returned to the franchise).

Det. Rollins on Law And Order SVU

When did Amanda Rollins first appear on Law & Order: SVU?

Rollins made her way to the Manhattan SVU in the Season 13 premiere ("Scorched Earth"), but didn't receive the warmest welcome considering her introduction was preceded by the sudden departure of Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).

However, she instantly got to work proving herself around the precinct, offering invaluable insight during investigations and extending empathy to whatever survivors entered the squad room. Benson and Rollins eventually became dear friends, with Benson even promoting Rollins to Detective 2nd Grade in Season 21. 

Amanda Rollins' Gambling Addiction on SVU

Det. Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) rests on a table in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 1517.

But, just as Rollins was climbing the ranks, it was revealed in Season 13, Episode 14 ("Home Invasions") that she had a gambling problem and owed $20,000 to a bookie. Instead of firing her, Donald Cragen (Dann Florek) chose to get Rollins the help she needed to handle her addiction, leading her to attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings. 

Rollins' addiction resurfaced in Season 15, Episode 17 ("Gambler's Fallacy") after she began gambling at an illegal site. Rollins got into a mess of trouble after the owners learned she was a cop, prompting them to force her to work for them out of fear of being exposed to the NYPD and her friends.

After being coerced into stealing a gun from the evidence locker and getting caught, the jig was up. After the blackmailers were arrested, Benson revealed to Rollins that the only reason she wasn't being transferred was due to the SVU being short-staffed at the time. Rollins then had to earn Benson's trust back — always a difficult task after crossing the dedicated Captain. 

What happened between Amanda Rollins and Nick Amaro on SVU?

As Rollins settled into the SVU beat, she was partnered up with Detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) on several cases. Over time, a flirtatious chemistry emerged between the partners, prompting many viewers to question if something was going on between them.

Rollins and Amaro's entanglement was revealed in Season 15, Episode 22 ("Reasonable Doubt") after Amaro was seen coming out of Rollins' shower wearing nothing but a towel. While Rollins and Amaro slept together, they never got into a serious relationship — especially after Rollins met Sonny Carisi (Peter Scanavino).

Det. Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Det. Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) stand in a police office in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 1301

Who were the fathers of Amanda Rollins' first two children on SVU?

Rollins's first daughter, Jesse Rollins, was born in Season 17 of SVU after Rollins' romance with then-Lieutenant Declan Murphy (Donal Logue). Murphy disappeared after getting Rollins pregnant, but reappeared in Season 23, Episode 10 ("Silent Night, Hateful Night") to admit that he felt guilty for not having an active role in his daughter's life. (Rollins noted it had been six years and he hadn't tried to contact them at all.)

RELATED: The Most Beloved Law & Order Couples from All the Franchises

Her second daughter, Billie Rollins, was born in Season 20 as a result of Rollin's romance with Al Pollack (George Newbern), a doctor who was never particularly faithful. Though he ultimately proposed marriage after Rollins went into labor, she turned him down.

 

Did Amanda Rollins and Sonny Carisi end up together on SVU?

Yes, Rollins and Carisi ended up together!

After Carisi joined the SVU as a detective in Season 17, he became close friends with Rollins. Then, after the two became partners, they eventually veered into will-they-won't-they territory. Thereafter, anyone who laid eyes on Rollins and Carisi assumed they were dating, from family members to random onlookers.

Carisi was Rollins' biggest shoulder to lean on during her two pregnancies, attending doctor visits with Rollins and generally stepping up to the plate after Rollins' exes failed to do so. 

RELATED: All the Details From Rollins and Carisi's Marriage Ceremony on SVU 

Their relationship became complicated after he left the SVU to become an assistant district attorney, leaving Rollins without a partner and making her realize how much she valued having him around. She later visited him at the D.A. office and admitted she missed him and, soon enough, Carisi admitted his deeper feelings for Rollins.

In the Season 22 finale, Carisi and Rollins shared the first kiss of many to come. 

By the Season 23 premiere (“And the Empire Strikes Back”), Rollins and Carisi were a couple, though they kept it on the down low out of a concern for how it might affect their shared workplace. After breaking the good news to their colleagues, though, "Rollisi" started to soar.

The couple got married in Season 24, Episode 9 ("And a Trauma in a Pear Tree") in a courthouse ceremony surrounded by their SVU loved ones. 

Sonny Carisi and Amanda Rollins on Law and Order SVU

When did Amanda Rollins and Sonny Carisi have their baby?

Carisi revealed in the Season 24 finale that he and Rollins were expecting their first child together.

In the Season 25 premiere, fans met Rollins and Carisi's newborn, Little Nicky, at his christening. Godmother Benson assisted in Nicky's baptism and the SVU family celebrated the newborn at the restaurant after. 

Carisi and Rollins Are Pregnant! | Law & Order: SVU | NBC

How did Amanda Rollins get shot on Law & Order: SVU?

Rollins was shot in the line of duty twice: once in Season 14, when she was shot by a sniper in front of the precinct; and once in Season 24, when she was monitoring a key witness at a safe house and the two were attacked by a group of gunmen.

RELATED: See Kelli Giddish on SVU as a Different Character 4 Years Before She Played Rollins

Thankfully, Rollins woke up in the hospital after the second time to find Carisi standing at her bedside for support. They held hands and smiled at each other with relief — but Rollins was rocked by the event.

Benson and Rollins standing together

When did Amanda Rollins leave SVU?

Rollins left the show in Season 24.

Her journey to the end of her tenure started when she began substitute teaching criminology classes at Fordham University at Carisi's recommendation After after the trauma of the safe house shooting, teaching significantly improved Rollins' mood. Benson took note of Rollins' chipper demeanor, leading to a heartfelt catch-up between the two friends. 

“I’m in a good place,” Rollins told Benson. “Figuring things out." 

Benson smiled. “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing that," she said. 

As expected, Carisi informed Rollins that she was being offered a full-time teaching position at Fordham and she accepted the job.

Rollins officially resigned from her post at the Manhattan SVU in Season 24, Episode 9 ("And a Trauma in a Pear Tree), shortly after her surprise wedding with Carisi. She told Benson she was resigning during a girl's night of drunken confessions, much to Benson's dismay.

Having become close friends and confidantes after 12 years, Rollins's departure was hard for both women to process. Eventually, Benson realized that leaving the precinct was the best for Rollins, who assured her friend that nothing would change between them. 

Rollins and Olivia Law And Order SVU

How did Amanda Rollins return to the Law & Order franchise?

Rollins has returned to the Law & Order fold on several occasions since her emotional SVU exit.

Her first post-departure episode came during Law & Order: Organized Crime in Season 3, Episode 21, ("Shadowërk") to help Detective Stabler on a high-stakes case. Though she had been killing it as a professor at Fordham, she admitted to Stabler that she'd missed the thrill of a good mystery. 

RELATED: Kelli Giddish is Back with the Entire SVU Cast in New Selfie After Her Return to Set

Rollins got to enjoy the thrill of the chase again in SVU's Season 25 premiere ("Tunnel Blind"). After celebrating the birth of her newborn boy, Benson asked her for an assist on a case. Rollins predictably dished some of the most valuable intel Benson had heard, proving yet again that Rollins is a rock star when it comes to understanding criminal behavior. 

Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Detective Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish), and Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) appear in Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Why did Amanda Rollins quit her teaching job in SVU Season 25?

Fans got a major Rollins update in Season 25, Episode 11 ("Prima Nocta") after it was revealed that she'd turned down a 10-year contract and quit her teaching job at Fordham.

Rollins had grown bored as a professor and missed the adrenaline rush of the SVU.

Benson called her up for help on a runaway bride case shortly after she left, and Rollins was re-certified as an NYPD cop, leading viewers (and Benson) to wonder if she wished to return to the squad room.

After Benson returned the prized taxidermy squirrel that had lived on her squad desk for years, Rollins admitted she was still working on figuring out her purpose outside of the SVU.

Detective Amanda Rollins sits at a table in Law & Order: Special Victims Unity Season 25 Episode 11.

Originally published May 12, 2023.