"Assaulting Reality"
SVU, Episode 17.21
Production number: 17021
First aired: 11 May 2016
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Teleplay By
Julie Martin & Warren Leight and Brianna Yellen & Robert Brooks Cohen

Story By
Brianna Yellen & Robert Brooks Cohen

Directed By
Alex Chapple


The producers of a reality dating series make Benson and the SVU part of the show when they investigate a contestant's claim that she was raped.


episode plot


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast




[When Carisi and Rollins are watching "Heart's Desire"]
Carisi: Did you see what I just saw?
Rollins: She wasn't acting. Did they just air a rape?
Fin: Maybe you guys were distracted, but, uh, reality shows are all fake. You know that, right?
Rollins: Not last night. They want drama. They want fairy tales. They don't want rape, and you saw they cut away as soon as Melanie started to freak out.
Olivia: Did she report it?
Rollins: Who knows if the producers let her make a call? They don't allow access to the outside world.
Carisi: Yeah, it's like Stockholm syndrome. I mean, with all these headlines, plus the amount of calls we're getting from concerned viewers, including the Chief of D's wife...
Rollins: We should at least just go and ask a few questions.
Olivia: Okay, so go talk to Melanie, but I'm interested in our reality, not theirs.
Barba: This girl didn't realize she was raped until she saw it on live TV?
Olivia: I know, I know.
Barba: I get the "she said". What's the "he said"?
[After Barba plays an incriminating video about the Princes]
Jeffrey Prince: She filmed this? Is that even legal?
Barba: You put cameras in Melanie's hotel room without her knowledge and then aired it on national TV. That's a felony.
Olivia: Not to mention your little cover-up. That's another felony. Aiding and abetting a rape? That puts you on the registry.
Regina Prince: Oh, come on. You... you can't be serious.
Barba: We are. What's that other show? "Let's Make a Deal"?
Melanie Connor: I don't know what I'm gonna do when I get home. I feel lost.
Olivia: That's normal. It takes time, Melanie, but you will get through this, I promise.

Background Information and Notes

Episode scene cards


Heart's Desire Triplex
539 West 22nd Street
Tuesday, April 5

Previous episode:
"Fashionable Crimes"
"Assaulting Reality"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 17
Next episode:
"Intersecting Lives"
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