Does ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Actor Christopher Meloni Have Kids?

Most people know Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He played the role for 12 years, and fans will probably always connect him to his on-screen partner, played by Mariska Hargitay. But it turns out, Meloni has a far more important role. One that’s been a part of his life for far longer than SVU. The actor’s biggest role will always be as a husband and father to his adorable family. 

Christopher Meloni smiling with his head turned away from the camera
Christopher Meloni | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

Christopher Meloni has been married almost 25 years

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Why. Not. #vineyardtrollin

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In July of 1995, Meloni married Doris Sherman Williams (she goes by the name Sherman Meloni). They met 31 years ago, when Sherman, who wore short, bleached blonde hair and cat’s-eye sunglasses, pulled up on her motorcycle to the television set Meloni was working on.

“This I gotta meet,” was Meloni’s first thought upon seeing her, according to an interview he did with Your Tango. Sherman had a boyfriend at the time, so Meloni had to be patient. But when they met again, years later, they fell in love. 

However, even after they married, the pair had to spend significant time apart because they were each working on separate careers. They both wanted to have a home and a family, but it took some time before they finally settled down.

“Without a certain amount of money, there’s stress,” Meloni said, explaining why he and Sherman didn’t settle down right after the wedding. “… So, in 1995, I didn’t feel I could establish a career as an actor and commit to kids at the same time.”

Christopher Meloni and Sherman Meloni have a beautiful family

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This is all I wanted for Xmas. #thxSanta

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Finally, Meloni and Sherman settled down in New York City. In 2001, they had their first child, a daughter named Sophia. Then, in 2004, their son, Dante was born. 

“I love my children beyond all reason,” Meloni told Your Tango. “They’re my joy, even when they’re wild with kid energy.”

Now, after almost 25 years of marriage, the couple’s children aren’t so young anymore. Sophia is in college. She keeps the world up to date, and posts cute photos of her celebrity parents, on her Instagram account.

Dante is 16 years old, and while he isn’t on social media as much as his sister, we still see an update at least once a year from dear old dad. Meloni posts a throwback photo every year for Dante’s birthday on his own Instagram account. Last year, he captioned a sweet shot of himself and Dante as a toddler with “I Have been lucky enough to love this human being for 15 years.”

It’s clear that Meloni is very proud of his family, and he has good reason to be. His marriage alone is very special in Hollywood terms. There aren’t many relationships that have lasted as long as the Meloni’s.

“We just like each other,” Sherman told Your Tango, when asked what their secret was. “Space, respect, trust, and freedom,” she continued. “We laugh a lot.” 

Christopher Meloni has tried to raise an LGBTQ inclusive family

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Me. Joe. And my fav boy band mug #Maxxx @O-Tfagbenle

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After playing the bisexual character of Chris Keller on the HBO drama, Oz, Meloni made it a point to raise his kids in an LGBTQ inclusive way. He tried to make time to talk about the issue with his kids, even when they were young.

In 2014, he spoke to The Advocate about his beliefs. When asked about parents who claim introducing same-sex marriage to children would be “confusing,” Meloni laughed. “My son is 10 years old, and he gets it,” he said. 

Meloni offered a story about his parenting to demonstrate the point. “My son plays football,” he said, before describing how NFL hopeful Michael Sam had come out right before he was to be drafted. Meloni used it as an opportunity to teach his Dante. “I told him, ‘That’s a real man. That’s a guy with courage,'” Meloni said. And his son agreed. 

“I think that’s the kind of example … that’s going to push us forward,” Meloni said. “For more people to say, ‘I don’t want to carry this silly burden anymore, this silly secret, let’s move on. It’s not the focal point of who I am.'”

It’s clear that Meloni has made his marriage and his family a huge priority in his life, and it shows.