Why Michelle Hurd Really Left Law & Order: SVU

"Law & Order: SVU" has had a rotating cast of characters since it started airing in 1999. Originally starring Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni (and now just Hargitay), "Law & Order: SVU" has told a number of fictional stories of sexually heinous crimes in New York City. It figures, though, that after more than two decades, a large number of cast members have exited the show, though some more unceremoniously than others. 

Michelle Hurd appeared in the first two seasons of the show as Detective Monique Jeffries. The tough-as-nails detective with plenty of street smarts was assigned to the Special Victims Unit. But while the character was originally on the straight and narrow, her work caused her to slowly unravel. Soon Detective Jeffries started acting out, which made her a liability to the Special Victims Unit. And as she started to become more and more chaotic, she met her downfall with work. 

But while this was the reason Detective Jeffries originally left the Special Victims Unit, it wasn't why Hurd left the show.

Michelle Hurd hasn't spoken on why she left the show

Michelle Hurd's character in "Law & Order: SVU" was relegated to a desk job after sleeping with a suspect in Season 1 of the show, leaving the actor out of future seasons (other than a brief appearance in Season 2). Hurd herself, though, hasn't actually been open about her exit. It's been speculated that she didn't really like her storyline and felt the character of Detective Monique Jeffries was being underutilized. According to Express, Hurd thought the showrunners didn't have faith in her character, which is why her storyline was a bit unfortunate. 

Express also pointed out in July 2021, interestingly enough, that Hurd is the only character who left the show in the first eight seasons to not return as a guest after leaving. Assuming her quick appearance in Season 2 doesn't count, Hurd never came back for another "Law & Order: SVU" episode after that. It sounds like it could be possible that she either didn't leave on the best terms or was that unhappy with her job on the show in the first place.

Michelle Hurd has been busy since 'Law & Order'

Even though she left "Law & Order: SVU" almost as quickly as she came, Michelle Hurd has been very busy since then. Right after "Law & Order," she went on to have a number of guest roles in other TV shows, like "Leap Years," "According to Jim," "Bones," and "The O.C." She also had longer stints on "ER" and "Gossip Girl" in the early 2000s, as well as "Daredevil" and "Ash vs Evil Dead." She stuck around on the TV show "The Glades" as Colleen for a few years, but some of her biggest roles came at the end of the 2010s.

In 2020, she starred as Raffi in "Star Trek: Picard" alongside Patrick Stewart in the title role. Hurd has also been starring in the show "Blindspot" since 2016 as Shepherd. In short, Hurd's résumé is stacked with work, and it doesn't appear she had any trouble landing roles after her exit from "Law & Order: SVU."