Corinne Stafford

Callous conspirator Corinne Stafford

Corinne Stafford (Emily Meade) is a hidden minor villainess of "Bully", episode 12.18 of Law & Order: SVU (airdate February 23, 2011). She was the newest employee of Luscious Grape Distributors, a prestigious wine and spirits importer that was founded 15 years before the episode's events. Despite the company initially appearing to be one with a close-knit and friendly work environment, it was eventually revealed that the company's CEO, Annette Cole, was actually a narcissist and a sociopath who verbally and even sometimes physically abused her employees. Despite the sheer cruelty they faced from their boss, Corinne and the rest of her colleagues kept silent in exchange for their stable (and well-paying) jobs at Luscious Grape, along with lucrative bonuses and payouts from Annette.

Annette directed most of her bullying to her CFO Ellen Sazelin, and as a result, the latter began making plans to expose her sociopathic friend's abuse. However, Corinne found out about Ellen's plan when the former overheard the latter mumbling to herself about said plan. She then reported her discovery to three of her other co-workers at Luscious Grape: Justin Jennings, Bruce Clarkson, and David Watson. With the company on the verge of a $500 million buyout from Globacol, the four turned heel and became determined to stop Ellen from exposing Annette's bullying.

The villainous group sent Bruce to talk Ellen into backing out of her plans, but beforehand, Justin confronted and also attempted to seduce the CFO of Luscious Grape into changing her mind, only to accidentally kill her in a fit of rage when he pushed her against her coffee table, causing a glass vase to fall and break, with one of the shards of said vase entering Ellen's neck and severing one of her carotid arteries when she fell onto the floor of her apartment. Later on, as the SVU detectives were investigating Ellen's murder, the three colleagues had David break into and ransack Ellen's apartment in order to retrieve 20 recordings that she had made of Annette's workplace abuse, but he was unable to find them. Furthermore, Ellen had already sent them to MSNBC after she had dinner with Annette on the night she died. As a result of the villainess' abusive behavior being revealed to various news outlets, she subsequently fired Corinne and her other employees during a press conference that she had her lawyer arrange and also committed suicide in front of everyone present after unleashing a crazed rant during which she condemned her business partners, her customers, the press, the New York Police Department, and also said employees (especially Ellen). Furthermore, Annette made sure to cut all of her staff out of her entire estate as the final twist of the knife to them; she bequeathed said estate to her dog.

Later on, Corinne confronted Bruce—believing him to have killed Ellen—while driving to a market in order to buy cigarettes for her grandfather Donald Fielding. After he dismissed her accusation and began to walk away, the evil villainess struck Bruce with Donald's car by backing into him, breaking his right leg. Despite Bruce covering for Corinne in order to hide their secret, Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler uncovered her as the perpetrator of the hit-and-run when they tracked down her grandfather's car, with Donald identifying her as the driver of his car on the day of the "accident."

When Corinne was brought in for questioning by Stabler, she initially denied everything before confessing to hitting Bruce in a fit of rage. Afrer the villainess accused Bruce of being Ellen's killer, Bruce (who had been listening in on the interrogation) burst in and denied it, with the pair revealing how they had been trying to stop Ellen from exposing Annette's harassment while also callously disregarding the emotional strain their colleague had been under as a result of their boss' cruelty. After Benson lambasted the pair for their cold and greedy actions, she and Stabler left the interrogation room, with Corinne meekly admitting that all they had wanted was to be rich. She was then presumably arrested offscreen for assaulting Bruce.

Quotes Edit

  • " I borrowed my poppy's car, and I tracked Bruce down, and I was already so angry that when he blew me off, I just lost it 'cause that son of a bitch ruined everything!" (Corinne's unfeeling confession to striking Bruce with her grandfather's car)
  • "(Bruce: "Corinne, I did not kill her!") You did so! (Bruce: "I told you Ellen was dead when I got there!") Then who killed her? (Bruce: "I don't know; it must have been Annette!") No! You had to be the one to go talk to her, and you both started drinking, and you screwed everything up! (Bruce: "I'M SOBER!")" (Corinne and Bruce arguing during the former's interrogation)
  • "That was David, and he couldn't find the tapes! It was too late anyway; Ellen had already sent them to the TV station." (Corinne revealing that David broke into and ransacked Ellen's apartment during Benson and Stabler's investigation)
  • "We just wanted to be rich." (Corinne disclosing her and her three co-conspirators' motive for plotting against Ellen to Benson and Stabler)

Trivia Edit

  • Emily Meade also appeared in the 2010 slasher film My Soul to Take as the villainous Fang, as well as the 2016 thriller film Nerve as redeemed bully Sidney.
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