Diane Neal

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Diane Neal
Diane Neal - Monte-Carlo Television Festival.JPG
Born (1975-11-17) November 17, 1975 (age 44)
EducationHarvard University
Years active2001 – 2015
Notable credit(s)
Casey Novak on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Marcus Fitzgerald (m. 2005⁠–⁠2014)

Diane Neal (born November 17, 1975[1]) is an American actress best known for her role as Casey Novak in the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which she played from 2003 to 2008 and 2011 to 2012. She is also known for portraying Coast Guard Investigative Service Special Agent Abigail Borin in the NCIS franchise and NCIS: New Orleans.

Early life[edit]

Diane Neal in 2008.

Neal was born in Alexandria, Virginia,[1] the daughter of Colleen, a math teacher, and Christopher Neal, a federal attorney, the youngest of three sisters, Leigh, Erin and Diane. She was raised in Littleton, Colorado[2] and Ohio.[3] After Neal graduated from Littleton's Heritage High School, she moved to Hawaii to attend college, but later left school to become a model and travel. Neal started modeling for Shiseido and Pond's skin-care ads. After deciding to resume her education, Neal began attending Harvard University's Extension School in 2009, and graduated with an associate degree in May 2018.[4][5]



Neal first appeared in SVU as a guest star, playing a female rapist in the season 3 episode "Ridicule". Neal first appeared as Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak in the show's fifth season, replacing Stephanie March, who played Alexandra Cabot.

Neal portrayed Novak through the end of season 9, when the character exited the series after being censured by the New York State Bar. In 2011, Neal reprised her role as Novak in the season 12 episode, "Reparations", when Novak returned to SVU as their temporary ADA. After that appearance, she became a recurring character in season 13. She was last seen in the episode "Valentine's Day". Neal said of her return to the series in season 13 to TV Guide, "It's back on track to what the original SVU was intended to be, which is about sex crimes and crimes against children, it's got more of a nitty-gritty feel." She says that March's and her return to the fictional universe of the series provided a familiarity for viewers following original cast member Chris Meloni's departure. "I think they should put us in the court room together!" she says about March.[6]


On February 6, 2018, Neal announced that she would run for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York's 19th congressional district as an independent.[7] She described her political views as "a little libertarian, I'm a lot liberal, mostly progressive, but I have this amazing ability to be able to take really complicated policy and break it down into edible sound bites, which is something most progressive liberals cannot do."[7] Neal finished with 1% of the vote.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 2005, Neal married Irish model Marcus Fitzgerald in a ceremony that took place in the Dominican Republic.[9] Neal and Fitzgerald divorced in 2014.[10]

Neal was later involved in a relationship with magician JB Benn.[11] It ended acrimoniously, and in November 2019 Neal became the plaintiff in a lawsuit in which she made allegations against Benn including fraud and identify theft, and claimed Benn had subjected her to physical and sexual abuse.[11] Benn denied the allegations, and released audio recordings in which Neal can be heard berating Benn and making threats including promising to kill Benn's dog.[12]

In 2013, Neal was involved in a car accident which fractured her spine.[11] In announcing her 2018 Congressional candidacy, Neal indicated that the long recuperation from her injuries had caused her to place her acting career on hold.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
2002 Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra Cleopatra (voice) English version
2003 Dracula II: Ascension Elizabeth Blaine Video
2003 Second Born Natasha
2005 Dracula III: Legacy Elizabeth Blaine Video
2007 BelzerVizion Dr. Ryan Short film
2011 Dirty Movie Nancy
2013 Newlyweeds Manny
2013 Mr. Jones The Scholar
2013 Santorini Blue Florist—"Flowers of the World"
2014 After Kat
2014 A Warden's Ransom Warden Samantha Brandt
2015 The Emissary Christine Short film


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Ed Vanessa "Loyalties"
2001 Fling Prudence Fisher "At the End of the Day"
2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Amelia Chase "Ridicule"
2002 The American Embassy Molly "Pilot"
2002 Hack Patricia Bennet "Husbands and Wives"
2003 Future Tense TV film
2003–2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit A.D.A. Casey Novak Main cast 2003–2008, recurring role 2009–2012
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury A.D.A. Casey Novak "Day"
2008 30 Rock Erin "Reunion"
2009 My Fake Fiancé Bonnie TV film
2010 White Collar Kimberly Rice "Front Man"
2010–2014 NCIS CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin Recurring role seasons 7-12;
"Ships in the Night",
"Safe Harbor",
"Lost at Sea",
"Oil & Water",
"The San Dominick"
2012 A Gifted Man Attorney Kim Fletcher "In Case of Complications"
2012–2014 Suits Allison Holt "Break Point",
"Blood in the Water",
"No Way Out"
2013 Captain Blackout Daphne TV film
2013 This Magic Moment Helena Harris TV film
2014 Power Cynthia Sheridan Recurring role
2015 NCIS: New Orleans CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin "The Abyss",
"The Walking Dead",
"Rock-a-Bye Baby"
2015 The Following Lisa Campbell "Demons",
"A Simple Trade",
"Dead or Alive",
"The Reckoning"
2015 Blue Bloods Kelly Blake "Hold Outs"


  1. ^ a b "Big D". DianeNeal.com. Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2015.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. ^ Neal, Diane. "I'm from Littleton, Colorado. No more questions about who I'm rooting for. However, I wish both teams good and safe play...and fun for all!". twitter.com. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Law & Order: SVU's Diane Neal - Diane Neal". People.com. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
  4. ^ Kemble, William J. (February 5, 2018). "Actress Diane Neal, a Hurley resident, launches independent bid for 19th Congressional District seat". The Daily Freeman. Kingston, NY. Archived from the original on September 12, 2018.
  5. ^ Walsh, Colleen (May 22, 2018). "Diane Neal moves from 'Law & Order' to take aim at making laws in Congress". The Harvard Gazette. Cambridge, MA.
  6. ^ Ross, Robyn (August 9, 2011). "VIDEO: Law & Order: SVU's Diane Neal Says Season 13 Has a Nitty-Gritty Feel". TV Guide. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Costantino, George (7 February 2018). "'Law & Order: SVU' star Diane Neal running for Congress in NY". ABC News. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  8. ^ "New York's 19th Congressional District election, 2018". Ballotpedia.org. Middleton, WI: Lucy Burns Institute. November 7, 2018.
  9. ^ People staff (July 14, 2005). "Law & Order Star Diane Neal Marries". People. New York, NY.
  10. ^ Lim, Gene Paul (September 3, 2019). "The Female Stars of NCIS". Herald Weekly.com. Ramat Hasharon, Israel: Samyo Technologies, LTD.
  11. ^ a b c Hitt, Tarpley; Briquelet, Kate (November 16, 2019). "'Law & Order SVU' Actress Threatens Ex on Leaked Tape". The Daily Beast. New York, NY.
  12. ^ Bitsky, Leah (November 21, 2019). "'Law & Order: SVU' star Diane Neal allegedly threatened to kill magician ex and his dog". PageSix.com. New York, NY: New York Post.
  13. ^ Esch, Mary (May 3, 2018). "Law and Order' actress Diane Neal seeks House seat". AP News.com. New York, NY.

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