The pair's co-star Ice-T recently spoke of his "surprise" and sadness following news of Meloni's departure, and Hargitay has now revealed she will miss her pal "terribly".
She tells TVLine, "For the past 12 years Chris has been my partner and friend, both on screen and off. He inspired me every day with his integrity, his extraordinary talent and his commitment to the truth. I love him deeply and will miss him terribly - I'm so excited to see what he'll do next."
Hargitay, who recently adopted a baby girl, is expected to cut back her role in upcoming episodes so she can spend more time with her family.