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Dahlia Jessup

The villainous Dahlia Jessup

Dahlia Jessup (Kelli Barrett) is the villainess of "Flight", episode 12.15 of Law & Order: SVU (airdate February 2, 2011). She was a fashion designer and the on-again, off-again girlfriend of millionaire Jordan Hayes, with their relationship starting when she was a teenager. As revealed over the course of the episode, Jordan was a serial pedophile, with Dahlia inviting underage girls to his house under the claim of a modelling job, only to instead set them up to be raped by Jordan. Dahlia harbored much guilt over her actions, driving her to begin abusing prescription drugs as a coping mechanism.

The SVU squad began investigating Jordan after one of his victims, Dominique Moreau, had a freakout on her plane ride home to Paris as a result of PTSD from being raped by Jordan. Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler questioned Dahlia, who denied that Jordan did anything to harm Dominique before ordering the detectives to leave. Later on, when the two went to question Jordan's private concierge doctor, Ari Nathan, they found him treating Dahlia, who had overdosed on her medicine (which was later implied to be the result of a suicide attempt). In the hospital, the detectives began to make progress in goading Dahlia to confess, but were stopped when Jordan entered the room.

After a blog Dominque created regarding her rape went viral and inspired Jordan's numerous other victims to come forward to press charges, Dahlia was brought in for interrogation, growing frustrated and insulting towards Benson due to withdrawal. When Benson pondered how the wealthy Dahlia was seduced by Jordan, Dahlia revealed how their relationship began, as well as how she felt Jordan was the first person in her life who cared about her. Benson fiercely refuted Dahlia's belief that Jordan loved her, pointing out how Jordan had groomed Dahlia and only stayed with her out of the knowledge that she would do anything he wanted her to do.

As Dahlia was placed under arrest and learned that she was going to be processed before going to see a judge on bail, Dahlia revealed that Jordan had lied to her and said he was going to have his lawyers take care of her. When Dahlia confronted Jordan as he was being taken away by federal agents, having used his connections to get away with his crimes, she became tearful as she screamed at Jordan, realizing that he had sold her out and manipulated her into assisting his crimes. As Jordan coldly walked away, Dahlia broke down into tears as she begged him not to leave her, now seeing that Jordan had never really loved her.

Trivia

  • Kelli Barrett later appeared on Law & Order: SVU as serial statutory rapist Phoebe Bernap.
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