"American Disgrace"
SVU, Episode 16.02
Production number: 16002
First aired: 1 October 2014
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Written By
Warren Leight & Julie Martin

Directed By
Arthur W. Forney

Barba tries a pro basketball star on serial rape charges.


Basketball superstar Shakir "The Shark" Wilkins announces his partnership with the Orion Bay clothing line, owned by billionaire Orion Bauer and his daughter Cordelia. But the SVU intervenes when Orion press rep Carla Cannon tells reporters she was raped by Wilkins. When more women come forward, Benson and Detective Carisi disagree on the authenticity of each woman's story, and Barba takes a shaky case to court. Meanwhile, the case takes Rollins to her former precinct in Atlanta, where ex-colleagues bring up old memories.


Orion Bay Sportswear holds a press conference that recently retired basketball legend Shakir "The Shark" Wilkins' contract will be renewed with a clothing line called Sharkwear MVP.

After the press conference comes to an end, CEO Orion Bay and his daughter Cordelia escorts Shakir out. They asks their press wranger Carla to give Shakir a ride back to his hotel. While in the elevator, Carla loses it and security footage shows her kicking and hitting him. As the elevator opens, she runs out of there, screaming that Shakir is a rapist.

At the precinct, Carla tells the detectives that three months ago during Memorial Day weekend, Carla drove Shakir back to the hotel from a summer kickoff in the Hamptons. Shakir invited her back to his hotel bar for a nightcap. The next thing Carla remembers is waking up in his room, sore & naked. When she told Orion what happened to her, he gave Carla a $5,000 bonus.

The detectives meet with Bauer and Cordelia (who is also Bauer's lawyer). They claim that Carla is an unstable employee that made unsupported allegations. Shakir admits to having a drink with Carla, but never raped her, claiming that she's coming after her money. It is revealed that Shakir is going through a bitter divorce & custody battle with his ex-wife.

Rollins gets a text message from her old captain in Atlanta where a girl saw Shakir's story on the news and has claimed that Shakir assaulted her.

When Rollins arrives in Atlanta, she interviews a woman named Macie-Lynn. She claims that Shakir raped her six months ago while she was working as a stylist on an Orion Bay photoshoot. Shakir invited Macie-Lynn to his hotel room for a glass of wine and the next morning, she woke up sore & naked. When she told Orion what happened, he told her that no good would come out making a complaint, but he gave her a $5,000 bonus.

When Orion is questioned by the detectives about what happened, Barba explains to him that he's looking at charges of obstruction and bribing witnesses. Orion claims that an African-American girl came forward, claiming that Shakir assaulted her, but he didn't believe her.

When Carisi and Rollins speak to the woman, Tiana at the Sharkware flagship store, she says that Shakir drugged her & when she came to, she woke up in the store sore & naked, except she kept her underwear which had semen on them along with the dress she was wearing.

When Barba meets with Shakir and his lawyer, Shakir admits that he hooked up with Tiana in a dressing room after hours, but never raped her. He confesses to having consensual sex with the other women, but he couldn't publicly admit it because of his custody battle.

Olivia tells Carla that they still need more evidence to corroborate her story, so Carla meets with Shakir on a park bench. Shakir threatens if Carla testifies against him, he'll bring up all the other athletes she had sex with, but it is shown that Carla recorded the whole conversation.

Shakir ends up getting arrested and his contract with Orion Bay has been terminated. Carla and Macie-Lynn testify in court about what Shakir did to them.

When Barba & Rollins prep Tiana to take the stand, she starts getting annoyed and says that she'll say what they want her to say. She reveals that Orion Bauer only paid her $800, not $5,000 like Macie-Lynn and Carla. Tiana reveals that Bauer paid her to say that Shakir raped her and even offers to provide sexual services to Barba.

After hearing the news, Carla & Macie-Lynn are questioned by the detectives, but they stick to their story & say that Tiana is lying. Orion denies paying Tiana to say that Shakir raped her and tells Cordelia that he forgives her for everything.

Rollins asks Cordelia why her father is mad at her, but Cordelia refuses to talk. Later that night, Cordelia confronts Orion and tells him that she can't be his lawyer anymore.

Orion says that after everything he's done for Shakir, he sleeps with Cordelia. He goes on to say that Shakir is a bad person and never wanted Cordelia to get involved with him.

Orion also reveals that he knows that Cordelia is pregnant with Shakir's baby. He ends up going on a tirade, saying that African-Americans are animals and the conversation ends up being recorded.

In the end, the charges against Shakir are dropped. The detectives see Shakir and Cordelia having a conversation in the hallway.

Shakir is devastated that his good name was ruined, but hopes that Cordelia can forgive him & that they can raise their child together, but Cordelia drops a bombshell on him, saying that she terminated her pregnancy after Tiana accused him of rape which saddens him.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


Episode references


Rollins (about Shakir Wilkins): I swear I didn't have a gambling problem till he left the game.

Olivia: Come on, guys. I don't want to hear that women lie and that Shakir is a hero and he never could have done such a thing. This is SVU and we take disclosures seriously.

Barba (to Tiana Raynes): Are you saying Shakir Wilkins did not rape you?
Tiana Raynes: I'm saying you get Mr. Bauer to give the right amount, the fair amount? I'll say whatever the two of you want me to say. Hell, I'll do you nasty like I did Shakir in that dressing room, but you got to man up and pay up.

Olivia: Carisi, remind me why you're SVU, again?
Carisi: I worked Homicide, couple years. It's it's the women who get you. I mean, they're dead, but their hair's clean, they're nicely dressed, they're made up. And that means their husbands or their boyfriends did it. It's like they knew. They knew it was coming. they don't even look surprised.

Olivia (about Orion Bauer): Look, he's gotta be senile, or crazy, or both.
Rollins: Yeah, I feel bad for Cordelia. Her father's a narcissist, she fell for another one. She never had a chance.

Carisi (about Cordelia and Shakir): Gotta be a tough conversation.
Rollins: I know, right? Where to begin?
Olivia: One of them is saying, "Let's start over" and the other one is saying, "It's too late."

Background information and Notes

Background info.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4 5

Orion Bay Headquarters
106 North End Avenue
Tuesday, August 19

Atlanta Police Department
Precinct Zone 8
205 Spring Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia
Wednesday, August 20

Sharkwear Flagship Store
17 Times Square
Thursday, August 21

Supreme Court
Part 17
Monday, August 25

Supreme Court
Part 17
Thursday, August 28

Previous episode:
"Girls Disappeared"
"American Disgrace"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 16
Next episode:
"Producer's Backend"
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