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Serena Benson
SerenaBenson
Name Serena Benson
Affiliation Hudson University
Occupation English professor
Family Olivia Benson (daughter)
Noah Porter-Benson (adoptive grandson)
Status Deceased
Actor Elizabeth Ashley
First Appearance "Payback"

Serena Benson was an English professor at Hudson University, and the mother of Lieutenant Olivia Benson from the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. She was one of the major inspirations for her daughter's joining that particular unit.

History

Serena was an alcoholic who emotionally and physically abused Olivia.

The only time Serena was seen was in the episode "Payback". Olivia and Serena were having dinner. When Olivia started talking about the case she was working on, Serena expressed her concern about Olivia working in the Special Victims Unit. Serena also seemed to have accepted the fact that she was raped and that the rape produced a child.

In the episode "Haystack", Olivia runs her DNA through a kinship analysis and discovers she has a half brother. From Simon Marsden, she learns about the man who fathered her (SVU: "Philadelphia"). Simon's description of his father leads Olivia to doubt Serena's rape allegation but another one of his victims, Jane Willet-Marcus, confirmed that Joseph Hollister was a rapist. From Simon's mother Sharon Marsden, Olivia learned that Hollister knew about her and at least once called her house but Serena answered the phone. (SVU: "Florida")

When her daughter was 16, the two got into a fight after Olivia announced that she had accepted a proposal of marriage from one of Serena's students. An intoxicated Serena went after Olivia and Olivia kicked her into a wall, knocking her unconscious. Olivia retained the services of then-law student Simone Bryce to avoid jail. (SVU: "Intoxicated")

On December 10, 2000, Serena came out of a bar called the Velvet Room and took a fatal tumble down the stairs. (SVU: "Taken", "Hammered") This was the first time Olivia stated her mother was an alcoholic.

Several cases have reminded Olivia of Serena, such as when a news reporter fell pregnant with her rapist's baby. (SVU: "Legitimate Rape") Olivia once confided in Rollins during a case that when she was fifteen, she overheard Serena on the phone one night, asking someone how she could love someone who was a product of rape. (SVU: "Dearly Beloved")